15 Blogs with the Best Tips for Teaching Kids to Cooperate

cooperationCooperation is a social skill that all children have to learn, and teaching your children to share at an early age is the best way to begin teaching them about cooperation. Learning to share helps kids understand that they have to cooperate with each other to have fun. As kids get older, they’ll need to begin cooperating with others in bigger ways.  At school, kids need to cooperate with other students when working on a group project or playing on the playground. Your family cooperates at home by cleaning the house together or leaving the house on time for an outing. In these 15 blogs, tips will be given to teach cooperation through modeling the behavior, praising your child for successful cooperation and communicating positively.

Modeling

As with many other skills, children learn cooperation by watching others cooperate. You might think that your child will learn to cooperate without any active input from you, but the truth is they learn best by watching you model desired behaviors. As a parent, you need to make sure that you are actively showing them how to cooperate with others. Do you count to three to get your kids to obey what you tell them? Do you threaten them with a time-out? If your kids do what you say simply because you are bigger and you make them do it, you are modeling bullying instead of cooperation. These five blog articles will explain how to model cooperation.

Praise

Everyone enjoys receiving praise. It makes you feel appreciated and valued. When teaching your child to cooperate it’s important to praise his efforts. And while it’s important for your child to cooperate with others, it is also important for you to cooperate with your child. It’s a two-way street. For instance, some kids don’t like to do chores. That’s not unusual because there are many adults that don’t like to do chores either. But by working with your child and discovering his strengths you can figure out how to get him to do his chores without argument. Learn more about using praise to teach cooperation by reading these five blogs.

  • Cooperation Makes it Happen Make sure that you praise a positive attitude when your child cooperates.
  • 10 Creative Ways to Gain Kids Cooperation Kids want to please their parents, so when you praise your child for cooperating you will encourage that behavior.
  • 5 Ways to Increase Cooperation When Kids Won’t Do Their Chores Watch this video and learn how to determine your child’s strengths, then praise him for what he does well and try to work on the things he will excel at instead of assigning chores without discussion.
  • Teaching Kids to Solve Problems Let your child know that you believe in him and his ability to solve problems. Give him the opportunity to solve those problems and he will develop cooperation with you and with others.
  • How to Fill Up a Child It’s important to take notice of the good things that people do; recognizing these things creates an atmosphere of love and cooperation instead of fighting.

Speak So Kids will Listen

Sometimes parents think their children aren’t cooperating because they ignore them when they ask them to do something. However, often the child is so engrossed in what they are doing or watching that they literally don’t hear the request. Instead of making sure that your child is listening the first time, parents will raise their voice and get angry when they have to repeat the request several times. Keep the peace and get your child’s attention before you ask him to do something. Other ways to speak so that your child will listen and cooperate are discussed in these five blog posts.

21 Blogs with Tips for Making Halloween Cards

halloweencardInstead of sending out store-bought Halloween cards this year, why not make your own? Doing so will not only save you money, it will also provide a fun, festive craft for the kids to do. These 21 blogs are full of directions for Halloween card crafts your kids will love assembling, and most require only a few supplies that you probably already have on hand.

3 Dimensional

People are always impressed when they receive a homemade card of any sort, but a homemade card that’s three dimensional is even more spectacular. Show off your creative side by making these simple three dimensional cards for family and friends. These cards are a little more involved, but will come together quickly with the help of these seven blogs.

Just the Right Touch of Bling

There is always room for bling, no matter what the occasion. These seven blogs tap into your creative side, and explain how to make some spooktacular cards using glitter and gems. 

Just for Kids

The kids will love to get in on the card making action by creating these simple, but impressive cards on their own. Some of the cards may be more appropriate for older kids or require some help from an adult. Instructions and inspiration can be found on these seven blogs.

10 Tips for Handling a Child’s First Trip to the Dentist

dentistWhile “fun” is rarely the first word that comes to mind for adults when they’re confronted with the prospect of a trip to the dentist, those without serious phobias are usually able to handle the occasion with at least a sort of calm resignation. For kids, however, this may not always be the case. From tantrums to terror, there are a variety of ways your child can react to their first trip to the dentist, and very few of them are favorable if you’re not prepared. These 10 tips can help you sail in and out of your child’s first dental appointment with relative ease, and can make the prospect of subsequent visits less harrowing.

  • Start Early – While the official recommendation for kids’ first dental visit is six months after the appearance of a first tooth or at one year of age, most American kids don’t visit the dentist for the first time until they’re around three years old. By that time, problems may have begun to present themselves, and the first experience your child has with a dentist may be a negative one. The earlier you establish a relationship with a pediatric dentist, the easier the first visit is likely to be.
  • Don’t Telegraph Your Own Fears – You may be terrified of the dentist, but your child will have no negative connotations to apply to dentistry when she’s never visited one before. Be sure that you’re not telegraphing your own fears or concerns during the visit, as your little one will look to you for behavioral cues and may pick up on your unease.
  • Stay Optimistic and Upbeat – There’s no real reason to dread the first trip to the dentist if your child is young, has no negative associations with the dentist and hasn’t been taught to fear the event. Just maintaining a cheerful and upbeat disposition while you’re in the waiting room and, later, in the exam room, can make all the difference in the quality of your child’s first visit.
  • Let Your Child Know What to Expect – If your child is an older toddler, she’ll need to know what to expect in order to be as comfortable as possible. Let her know that the dentist will look in her mouth, touch her teeth and talk about how she should take care of them. Don’t talk about cavity fillings, drilling or any other scary situations, and keep your answers matter-of-fact and honest.
  • Bring a List of Questions and Concerns – It’s easy to lose track of the things you mean to ask or address when you’re trying to wrangle a child while talking to the dentist. For your own peace of mind, be sure that you make a list of questions and concerns in advance, and that you bring it along for reference.
  • Use Comfort Items – A favorite teddy bear or blanket will be welcome in the office of a dentist who specializes in kids’ oral health, especially if your little one is nervous or afraid. Even if she has to hand Teddy over during the exam, knowing that a comfort object is waiting can make a real difference for your child.
  • Choose Your Child’s Dentist Carefully – Your first instinct may be to take your child to your own dentist for her first check-up, but that’s not necessarily the best course of action. If your dentist doesn’t have a wealth of experience when it comes to working with kids, it may be best to seek out one who does. Your dentist may even be able to make a recommendation.
  • Determine Exam Room Policies Before Making an Appointment – Some dentists encourage parents to accompany kids into the exam room, while others will have policies preventing you from sitting in on the appointment. If you feel strongly about accompanying your child to the exam room, you’ll need to determine specific office policy before making an appointment.
  • Talk About Sucking Habits – Whether it’s a bottle, a pacifier or even a thumb, your child’s dentist needs to know about sucking habits your child has during the initial visit. These behaviors can have an impact on oral health as your child gets older, and are important bits of information for your dentist to have on hand.
  • Avoid the Urge to Medicate Your Child – Some parents are under the misapprehension that not only is medicating a child to induce drowsiness safe, but it’s also a wise choice for potentially stressful situations like a visit to the dentist. Aside from being physiologically dangerous, medicating your child could leave her too groggy to cooperate with the dentist and can impede the process significantly.

15 Blogs with Alternatives to Yelling at Your Kids

frustratedmomWhen your kids are acting out, do you resort to yelling? Many people who were brought up being yelled at tend to yell at their own family members. This observation alone should alert you to the long-lasting consequences of yelling at your kids.  Kids learn by example, and when you consistently yell you are teaching them that the only way to be heard is to raise your voice.  You may be concerned that you can’t change, but according to these 15 blogs it is never too late to change the yelling behavior.

Techniques to Use to Avoid Yelling

When you feel yourself getting angry, count to 10 and get yourself back under control.  This may seem trite, but it can work. Many times yelling is a gut reaction, but by giving yourself 10 seconds to calm down you can curb your response. To learn tips on how to stop yelling at your kids, take a look at these five blogs.

  • Parenting Tips: How to Stop Yelling at Your Kids Anytime you have to repeat yourself to your kids, lower your voice instead of raising it. This will force your kids to stop yelling because they won’t be able to hear you otherwise.
  • How  to Become a Patient Parent Counting to 10 is a common technique used to calm down before reacting; this blogger discusses this technique and others that can help you regain your calm so you can avoid yelling.
  • 101 Things to Do Instead of Yelling or Spanking Instead of resorting to punishment, take a walk or go to the park to remove everyone from the situation and to take a mini time-out.
  • 5 Pleasant Alternatives to Yelling When you feel yourself getting upset or stressed, do something physical, such as push-ups or going for a run. This will give you a positive outlet to channel your feelings into.
  • How I Stopped Yelling at My Kids Don’t let yelling be an option to dealing with bad behavior, and instead try to lead your kids to good behavior by example.

How to Actively Listen to Your Child

Before yelling at your child for misbehaving, you might try asking him what’s going on.  Sometimes kids will act up or misbehave in an effort to get your attention.  Other times they may feel frustrated with something that has happened.  Make this a teachable moment and give your child alternate ways to deal with his frustration instead of misbehaving.  Learn more ways to listen to your kids in these five blog articles.

  • 5 Ways to Help You Stop Yelling at Your Kids When your child is upset, ask him how he’s feeling at that moment. Listening to the answer will give you time to control your temper and avoid yelling at your child.
  • Stop Yelling So Your Kids Can Hear You Yelling means that you have lost control of the situation. Instead, tune into what’s going on and pinpoint what is making you lose control, then react calmly.
  • Instead of Yelling, Try This! Sometimes children are unable to verbalize how they are feeling, and they need a parent to help them.  Ask your child why he resorted to a particular behavior, and if he can’t answer right away try to help him by giving him choices.
  •  I Need to Stop Yelling at My Kids Ask your kids why they are not obeying what you are saying and listen to what they tell you.  Kids push limits, but they also have feelings, and if you ask them what’s going on you may experience a memorable moment that you would have otherwise missed.
  • 5 Winning Strategies That Don’t Include Yelling or Nagging Reduce the amount of commitments that you have and then spend your extra time connecting with your kids and listening to what’s going on with them when they get frustrated.

How Yelling Effects Your Kids

Yelling may help you vent your frustration, but at what cost?  According to Dr. Mark Brady, PHD and author of A Father’s Book of Listening: Essential Practices for Truly Loving Our Children, children are fragile, and yelling at them hurts them emotionally.  You can read more about the effects of yelling at your kids by reading these five blogs.     

10 iPhone Apps to Help Kids Manage Homework

homeworkAs kids get older, their responsibilities and schoolwork begins to increase, sometimes to the point that it seems like they need a dedicated personal assistant to manage the workload! Whether your child has his own iPhone or shares yours, these are 10 of the apps you can both rely on to make sure that homework gets finished on time and reference material is readily available.

  • iStudiez ProDesigned to appeal to college and high school students or the parents of elementary school students, iStudiez Pro helps scholars take charge of their schedules and meet assignment dates with ease. For $2.99, users have access to a built-in assignment planner with detailed instruction areas, summaries of the schedule and grade/GPA tracking to ensure high academic performance. The app also sends out alert reminders for upcoming assignments and classes.
  • Grammar Guide – Getting a less than spectacular grade on a paper that your child has worked hard to perfect due to problematic grammar is a heartbreaking experience, which is why this $0.99 app is such a must-have for young students. Quickly look up questions and access general grammar rules in a timely manner, ensuring that each and every essay is grammatically flawless.
  • Toodledo – To Do List – Sometimes a simple, yet powerful to-do list app is all a child needs to stay on top of the homework heap. One of the most popular and feature-packed to-do lists out there, the $2.99 Toodledo app can be synced with a desktop to keep kids up-to-date on their assignments, no matter where they are. The web-based task manager is ranked among the top 30 paid iPad apps of all time, and is in the iPhone Top 200.
  • Graphing Calculator HD – You can go out and purchase an expensive graphing calculator for your child, or you can download this $1.99 app for the iPhone he already has and call it a day. With all the features and functions of a high-end graphing calculator, minus the steep price tag, this is one iPhone investment that can pay off in a big way.
  • FlashCards++ –In order to master his homework and stay on top of his studies, your child needs to have a basic grasp of the concepts he’s being taught at school. This free app makes it easy to quiz him on those subjects without the hassle of making or purchasing tangible flash cards.
  • iHomework –  Manage assignments, record grades, build partnerships for group projects and share data through email, all from this $1.99 app. The color-coded calendar makes managing assignments a snap, while full integration with Questia allows for easy, on-the-go research. You can also store the contact information for teachers and instructors for local storage or importing to the main Contacts list.
  • Dictionary.com Dictionary & Thesaurus Premium – It’s important that every word in an essay is spelled correctly and used properly, which is where the $2.99 Dictionary & Thesaurus app from Dictionary.com comes in handy. In addition to all the homework help it offers, this app also helps to expand kids’ vocabulary with a Word of the Day function, and allows for proper pronunciation through audio guides.
  • Evernote – The beauty of the free Evernote family of apps is that syncing to a variety of devices is seamless and simple. Keep assignments organized, set reminders and take notes that will all be stored in Evernote’s searchable database. No matter how many assignments your child has, he’s sure to keep track of them with ease, thanks to Evernote.
  • myHomework Student Planner – With support for period, block and time-based school schedules, universal functionality across iOS devices, storage for test dates, study notes and assignment features, myHomework Student Planner has all of the features you would expect from a paid app without the price tag. Free from the App Store, myHomework replaces paper planners and agendas in a snap.
  • My HomeworkNOW & School Alerts – Younger students aren’t typically mature enough for their very own iPhone, and parents are responsible for managing their kids’ schedules. This free app is designed with parents in mind, allowing you to help your child in keeping track of his assignments while receiving school alerts related to emergencies, school closings and other announcements. Your all-in-one manager for all things school related, My HomeworkNOW is indispensable to the modern parent.

25 Blogs with Preschool Lessons You Can Teach at Home

teahingwritingYou probably find different ways to teach things to your toddler every day, and usually in an informal manner. However, have you ever thought about using a more formal lesson plan to help teach your toddler certain things? The more your child can learn before kindergarten the better off she will be in her education.  Simple math, science, penmanship, spelling and arts concepts can be fun for your child to learn and will benefit her greatly as she enters into kindergarten.  Take a look at these 25 blog entries to gather some ideas for teaching your preschooler at home.

Math

You use math every day, often without even realizing it. You use math when you’re telling time, measuring out recipes and counting out change. To help your child learn some basic math skills, include her as you do these things. Teach her to count and do simple addition. These five blog articles will give you examples to get you started teaching your child basic math skills.

Science

Science may seem like magic to young children, which is important because it helps capture and hold their attention. There are several simple science projects you can do at home, and many require ingredients that are already in the house. For plenty of science experiments you can do at home, check out these five blog posts.

Penmanship

With the rise in popularity of texting and keyboarding, some schools aren’t focusing as much on teaching good handwriting. If you still feel that it’s important for your child to be able to print his letters and write a letter if he needs to, however, then you may want to work through these five blogs for tips that will get your preschooler ready to not only hold a pencil correctly, but also learn to write with it.

Spelling

Before you begin teaching your child how to spell, start by helping her learn the alphabet and what sounds each letter makes.  Once your child has mastered this, have her work up to three letter words.  Kids can often spell before they can write. Use these five blog entries to learn ways to make spelling fun for your child.

Art/Music

Have some fun with art and music with your preschooler. You can start by teaching your child to find the beat in a song, then have her clap or march to the beat. Kids typically love to sing songs, so teach her some simple songs to sing.  On the days you don’t teach her music you can do art projects to ignite his inner Picasso. To find out more about teaching toddlers art and music, look at these five blog posts.

How to Prevent Kids from Cutting Their Own Hair

cuttinghairIt’s difficult to find a parent who doesn’t have at least one story about a child who decided, whether out of curiosity or determination, to cut their own hair. Kids seem to have a knack for finding the means and the opportunity for hacking away at their locks when no one is looking, a situation that’s left more than one parent despairing over a style that’s more punk rock than precious. While hair does grow back and an ill-advised self-styling might make for a few awkward months at most, it’s still a situation that most parents would rather avoid, if at all possible. While it’s just not possible to keep your eyes on a fast-moving kid every second that she’s awake, there are a few things you can do to make an emergency trip to the salon less likely.

Understand Why Kids Cut Their Hair

To prevent home hair cut disasters, it’s important to first understand the urge that leads kids to the scissors in the first place. First of all, they’ve mastered the necessary motor skills to grasp both the scissors and their hair, then to close those blades around the lock in their hands. They know that scissors cut paper, and natural curiosity leads them to try the scissors on other objects. While it’s not the safest activity and can definitely have an impact on her appearance, your child’s urge to cut her own hair is a natural extension of the curiosity and inquisitiveness that comes with the territory of being a child. Kids around the preschool age of development also have an urge to assert their independence, do things themselves and explore the world around them, but don’t often have the critical thinking skills to understand what the long-term impact of their actions can be.

Give Her Some Control Over Her Hair

If your child would rather wear her coif short and you’ve insisted that she let it grow to her waist, she’s more likely to make the change herself than she would be if long hair were her own choice. Make sure that your child feels like she has some input regarding the length and style of her hair. It may not stop her from snipping away out of curiosity, but it will probably put the kibosh on schemes to hack her hair off because you won’t let her have it cut by a stylist.

Keep the Scissors Hidden

It should go without saying, but kids who have limited access to sharp objects are less likely to use those objects on their hair. Keep scissors put away when they’re not in use for arts and crafts time, and take them with you if you’re called away in the middle of a project. In addition to keeping your child’s hair safe, you’re also keeping her skin safe from injury.

Dealing With Repeat Offenders

Some kids cut their hair once, decide that they don’t like the results, and never make another attempt. Others are habitual hair-cutters, taking every opportunity to snip away at their locks. If you’re dealing with a child that has cut her own hair more than once, it’s time to have a long conversation about why she’s feeling the urge to cut her hair. She may be enthralled with the sense of power she gets from making such a drastic change to herself, or she may simply be showing a budding interest in styling hair. If the latter is the case, invest in a few inexpensive dolls with long hair and a pair of safety scissors. Let your child know that it’s only okay to cut the hair of these specific dolls, and only when you’re there to make sure she doesn’t accidentally cut herself. Also explain to her that while her own hair will grow back, any cuts she makes to the dolls’ hair will be permanent.

Be Aware of the Behavior You’re Modeling

Kids learn to interact with the world and react to certain situations based upon the behavior they observe from their parents. If you don’t want your child to cut her own hair, make sure that she never sees you doing the same thing. Even if you’re a trained professional, your child is probably too young to understand the difference between adult skills and the rudimentary ones of a child. It’s best not to model cutting your own hair at all.

10 of the Best iPhone Apps to Help With Recipe Substitutions

nutrinoWhether you have food allergies, want to eat a healthier diet or simply feel that your favorite meals could use some spicing up, it’s always difficult to find suitable recipe substitutes. However, these 10 apps for the iPhone have you covered. For great recipes that will tickle your taste buds, check out what these apps have to offer.

  • 5000+ Cooking Recipes – With recipes substitutes for people who suffer from diabetes and those with other dietary needs, 5000+ Cooking Recipes is a great free app for the iPhone. There are recipes available for every part of your day, whether it’s breakfast, lunch dinner or a snack. The app is incredibly easy to use and has a simple interface and search function.
  • Nutrino– Nutrino is the perfect app for replacing those delicious, yet not so healthy recipes with equally delicious but nutritious meals. The app will create recipes that mirror your lifestyle in order to provide you with healthier alternatives. This free app is also very intuitive and can even create recipes based on the nutritional value of meals you’ve had before. For the health conscious, Nutrino is a must have accessory on the iPhone.
  • Cook it Allergy Free – Do you have a gluten, dairy, egg or nut allergy? Well, now you no longer need to fret over finding suitable recipes. Cook it Allergy Free already has over 200 recipes that you can choose from. However, with a simple tap feature you can swap dangerous ingredients from recipes for safer alternatives. The app costs $3.99, but is well worth it for allergy sufferers and parents of children with allergies.
  • 21-Day Vegan Kickstart – If you are considering taking up a healthy vegan diet, this is a great app to start you on your journey. With 21 days of alternative vegan recipes, you won’t have to worry about going at it alone. The app is free and has a 4+ rating from iPhone users. There are also step-by-step recipes, including photos, to keep you on track with your Kickstarted diet.
  • Japanese Food Recipe Gallery – You get 15 recipes with the free version of this app to start you off. If you enjoy those, you can gain access to the full list of over 270 recipes for $4.99. All recipes are authentic Japanese creations that are based on homemade food from Japan. The app also includes multiple search functions, a cooking timer and a shopping list.
  • Eco Chef 10 Minute Meals with Bryan Au – This app is frequently featured in the Top 5 in Lifestyle Category. For raw organic recipe enthusiasts, Eco Chef is a steal at only $1.99. You can prepare all recipes in under 10 minutes, with expert tutorials from master chef Bryan Au. Given that the over 100 recipes on this app were created by Bryan Au, you won’t get much more in the way of alternative menu ideas that help you substitute processed ingredients for earth- and health-conscious alternatives.
  • Smart Chef Substitutions – Gluten free, baking, herbs, alcohol – you name it and Smart Chef has a substitute to suit your needs. There are over 300 substitutions to add to your recipe list so that every meal is a culinary adventure. This $1.99 app will save your dinner party in an emergency, and will even help you create your own unique recipes.
  • Do Eat Raw – Raw food recipes are all the rage these days, but delicious recipes aren’t always so easy to come by. With Do Eat Raw you’ll find over 300 recipes, including dressings, main courses, desserts and healthy drinks. You can choose recipes from food categories, ingredients or ratings. If you enjoy a particular recipe, don’t worry about having to find it again for a list of ingredients, as you can easily save each recipe to a shopping list. Do Eat Raw costs $0.99 from the iTunes store, and will help you substitute unhealthy ingredients for fresh, raw produce.
  • Green Kitchen – healthy vegetarian recipes – This app from Green Kitchen was runner-up in “Best of App Store 2012.” Green Kitchen – healthy vegetarian recipes will help you with your catering needs, should you have a vegetarian over for dinner and find yourself in need of a protein substitute for meat products in your favorite dishes. However, if you are a vegetarian, the app will also ensure that your menu never gets boring. There are a number of great tools for guiding you through preparing over 90 premium vegetarian recipes, along with step-by-step cooking instructions. You can buy this app for $0.99 today.
  • EatingWell Healthy in a Hurry – Want to substitute unhealthy dishes for more sensible fare? There are over 200 easy to follow, healthy recipes that will take you no time at all to prepare contained within this easy to use application. The app is designed to limit even the most complex recipe preparation time to less than 45 minutes. This version of the app is free, with premium recipes available via in-app purchase.

What Should You Do if You Witness a Parent Verbally Abusing Her Child?

forlornAs a childcare provider, you will hopefully never witness the heartbreaking and infuriating image of a child being abused by her parents. Verbal abuse, while just as damaging as physical abuse, leaves no physical marks and is rarely followed up by a social services system that’s flooded with other issues. As a childcare provider, your job is to protect and care for the children under your charge. When it’s a parent who’s harming them, though, it’s not always easy to know what to do.

Attempt to Diffuse the Situation

Your first instinct in a family conflict is probably to pull away, as it’s an essential part of maintaining the boundaries of privacy and professionalism that keep a nanny/employer relationship running smoothly. When your charge is being subjected to abuse, however, it is your responsibility to make some effort to bring the abuse to a stop. Try to calmly, gently diffuse the situation without heightening your employer’s ire or making her feel as if you’re judging her for a lack of control. Defensiveness can make an angry person even more angry, and the child under your care will have to be left alone with his parents when it’s time for you to go home at the end of the day.

Avoid Exacerbating Your Employer’s Anger

While it may make you justifiably angry to see your employer verbally abusing her child, it’s important that you don’t react in a confrontational or aggressive manner. This is likely to only make the situation worse, making her more angry and leaving the bewildered child caught in the middle. Try to take a sympathetic tack, explaining that you understand how frustrating kids can be and that you’ll be more than happy to spend a bit of extra time with your charge so that your employer can have a bit of time to decompress. Unfortunately, many parents that are verbally abusive don’t realize how hurtful they are when they’re angry; this gentle reminder might bring her back down to reality without offending her and making things worse.

Understand the Law

Childcare providers are supposed to be the first line of defense against child abuse, reporting their reasonable suspicions to the proper authorities. In the case of verbal abuse, however, there’s likely to be little that you or a legal entity can do. The laws governing emotional abuse are vague or even non-existent in some states, making it difficult to prosecute or take legal action against a parent that says hurtful, hateful things to her child. However, should you suspect the child is being abused, it’s your responsibility to report the abuse.

Reassure the Child Whenever Possible

Bearing the brunt of a parent’s anger and being demeaned at every turn will almost certainly damage your charge’s self-esteem. If there’s nothing you can do to put an end to the abuse and no legal outlet that’s likely to bring him relief, the best thing you can do is be there for him and offer him plenty of reassurance. Talk about the ways that grown-ups get angry and say things they don’t mean, and take every opportunity to compliment him on a job well done.

Suggest Family Therapy

If you have a close enough relationship with your employer that you feel a suggestion of family therapy would be taken as the well-meaning gesture that it is, it may be a good idea to approach her with your concerns. If you have no close relationship or worry that such an intervention could make things worse for your charge, however, you’ll need to think more carefully about whether or not such a suggestion would actually help or cause more harm in the long run.

Contact a Professional for Assistance

If you feel that your charge is truly being harassed in a damaging manner, you can always call a social worker or even an attorney with experience in such areas under the cloak of anonymity. You’ll be able to get professional advice from someone who is better equipped to advise you, but you won’t be running the risk of leveling accusations of abuse at your employer.

10 Ways to Deal With a Passive-Aggressive In-Law

Dealing with in-laws can be difficult. Unlike the family you grew up with, you do not have the benefit of years of experience in learning to understand them. While there are many personality traits that are difficult to swallow, passive-aggressiveness may be the most challenging of all the traits to handle in your newer family members. Passive-aggressive people are indirect and avoid confrontation. Never admitting to how they are really feeling, they subtly try to punish others through disguised insults, “accidentally” sabotaging events and playing the victim. Passive-aggressive types also tend to manipulate their loved ones into doing what they want, rather than just asking outright. All of this can be very frustrating to those around them. Because of the inability to admit to their true feelings, resolution with these folks can feel impossible. Before you get too discouraged, try these tips when interacting with your passive-aggressive in-law.

  • Stop Asking – Often, passive-aggressive people want to be seen as heroes that will do anything for their friends and family. As a result, your passive-aggressive in-law will offer to do favors that she really does not want to do. She will then become resentful of the commitment she made, which can result in pouting, martyrdom or even sabotage. An example would be a mother-in-law who offers to babysit but then shows up late, causing you to miss your reservations. Another instance is the sister-in-law who says she will attend your fundraiser and then pouts the entire time, making everyone uncomfortable. There is an easy way to avoid these antics. Simply stop asking your passive-aggressive in-law for help and politely decline their offers.
  • Don’t Feel Guilty – One of the passive-aggressive person’s most powerful weapons is guilt. You might share your family’s vacation plans, only to have it answered by a long tirade of how lonely your father-in-law is and how he has nobody to vacation with. Or, your mother-in-law might tell you how upset your husband’s third cousins are because they are not invited to your child’s birthday party. Don’t fall for this kind of manipulation. Remember that you have a right to make your own decisions based on your own set of ethics. Most likely, no matter what you do, you will never live up to your in-law’s standards and he will up the ante next time. A passive-aggressive person wants to feel in control, and guilt is the method he often uses to obtain it. The best thing you can do is emotionally separate yourself and not allow anyone to make you feel guilty for your choices.
  • Confront Them With “I” Statements – Confronting a passive-aggressive person is often the best defense. One reason people become passive-aggressive is fear of confrontation. If there is a chance of being confronted, she will likely stop the behavior, or at least stop it with you. However, confront her only using “I” statements such as, “I felt upset when you made that comment about my weight,” or “When you were late for the party, I thought you did not want to come.” This prevents her from feeling attacked and playing the victim. Using “I” statements can open the door for communication with your passive-aggressive in-law because it is non-threatening.
  • Act As If – A passive-aggressive person will often sigh, sulk or look angry; yet when asked if something is wrong, he will usually respond that he is fine. This can send relatives into a tailspin of worry, fretting over whether there was some accidental offense or secret tragedy. Instead of agonizing, just take what is said at face value. If your relative says he feels great, then act as if he feels great. If he is not okay, he can seek you out and let you know. Until then, accept what he tells you as the truth. It is not your job to read his mind or analyze his body language.
  • Don’t Take It Personally – Passive-aggressiveness is often the result of being punished as a child for expressing negative feelings, or it can be due to an extreme fear of confrontation and loss of control. As unpleasant as she makes life for those around her, the passive-aggressive is also suffering. Don’t take her actions personally. She most likely is unaware of what she is doing, as it is such an ingrained pattern.
  • Model the Behavior You Want to See – When you are spending time with your passive-aggressive in-law, be mindful of your own actions. Act with him the way you want him to behave with you. This will help set a precedent for your future interactions.
  • Figure Out What The Reward Is – Everything people do, they do for some kind of reward. If a behavior fails to bring the return, it will eventually desist. The passive-aggressive person is usually seeking to be gifted with making you feel badly. Therefore, keep smiling as if you are blissfully unaware of any ill will.
  • Take the Ball Out of Your Court – One thing passive-aggressive people will not do is make decisions. Instead, a passive-aggressive in-law will try to manipulate you into making the decision he wants. This way, he bears no responsibility if things go wrong and he retains the option to complain about your choice. Force your in-law to make choices, such as where to eat or when to get together.
  • Keep Your Temper – If you lose your temper with a passive-aggressive person, she will fall into the role of the victim. Because of her indirect way of communicating, she will be able to deny any responsibility for your behavior, making you the bad guy.
  • Use Parenting Skills – When all else fails, use the same skills you use when dealing with children. Praise the behavior you want to see again, be consistent in never giving in to the passive-aggressive tactics and ignore any undesirable conduct.