The Quickest, most Effective way to increase your Child’s Self-Esteem

The quickest, most effective way to increase your child’s self-esteem?



If you find what your child is proud of and encourage that, it will help them navigate through life with higher self-esteem and self-confidence.  Those qualities will make them bully proof and also make them strive for greater things in life.

Children are not necessarily proud of things they’re good at.  You may have a son who’s brilliant at math but what he’s really proud of is his ability to make people laugh (that was my son).

I worked with teens who had very little to be proud of yet when I found something that I could see they were proud of, that instantly become my #1.  Once they were given permission to not be good in academics, but to be great at drawing or whatever, everything else fell into place.  Their grades improved right along with their self-esteem.

Pride is a funny thing.  Sometimes you have to work to encourage and nurture it in your children.  Don’t focus on what’s important to you, but rather what’s important to them.  It may be the same thing, but maybe not.

All the other stuff like school, chores, etc. are important too, but they’re not everything.

Think about this, what is your child proud of, and are you complimenting and encouraging them with this?

Lisa Bunnage, Parenting Coach

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Parents, What Keeps You Up At Night?

Parenting can be fun, rewarding, beautiful and all those good things.  But it can also be really stressful.




The parents who complain the most about sleepless nights due to worrying are parents of teenagers.  Worries revolve around:

  • sex
  • drugs
  • eating disorders
  • suicide attempts
  • belligerence
  • aggression
  • depression
  • bullying
  • grades
  • etc.

I’ve worked with parents who are up nights worrying their teens are no longer interested in family vacations to parents with teens who have attempted suicide on several occasions.  Some parents are so worried about their teen they’ll sleep outside their room on the floor.  I’ve had several clients who’ve done this so it’s not uncommon.  They all think they’re the only ones going through this, but of course they’re not.

If you’re worried your teens aren’t as connected to their family as they once were, don’t worry, they’ll come back into the family fold once those hormones settle down.  But if you’re worried about the crisis stuff then stop trying to do this on your own.  There is tons of free help out there in the form of school counselors, police, youth groups.  Or you can hire someone like me to guide you through the minefield.  Just make sure they specialize in teens as dealing with a 12 year old is very different from dealing with a 17 year old.

The worst thing you can do is nothing.  

If you’re up all night worrying about your kids, get help.  Reach out to other parents who you know are also struggling, talk to trusted friends and family, or get professional help.  Sometimes just getting your worries out in the open can help.

Call me (604-349-8044, Vancouver, Canada) if you think I can help you.

Lisa Bunnage, Parenting Coach

More teen reading:  


How to Deal with Tantrums, Meltdowns, Flipouts, Freakouts, Scenes, etc.

Some of us are prone to tantrums, others aren’t.  My son had tantrums whereas my daughter never had one.  Tantrums in children can turn into adults with bad tempers.  But if handled correctly, they’ll not only stop having tantrums as children, but they’ll be less likely to have bad tempers as adults.  You’ll have taught them self-control.

“I just don’t understand why parents can’t control their kids.”  … said person with no kids.

I totally understand why parents can’t control their children, they just haven’t learned the skills required.  There’s a huge learning curve to parenting.  Few parents say they’d do it all the same if given a second change.  Lucky for me I’d practiced on tons of other people’s kids before having my own which gave me an edge.  I probably left a trail of destruction behind me but no one ever complained, not to my face anyway :).

So, how do you deal with someone having a tantrum?  It’s the same with toddlers right through to adults for the most part.  You just stay calm and wait for the storm to pass then you can have a calm discussion about what lead them into the tantrum but be careful with your wording.  I told this to a mom and after her husband flipped out over something so she calmly said to him, “Now can we discuss why you went mental?”  We all had a good chuckle over that one as it’s so passive aggressive and not going to get you anywhere, but it feels good to say of course :).

Myth: A tantrum is frustration due to not being able to communicate.

MythBuster: A tantrum is anger at things not going their way. If it was just about not being able to communicate then children who are 3+ wouldn’t have tantrums, they’d be able to verbally express what’s on their mind.

I explain exactly how to handle tantrums in my Tantrum Busting Manual but the most important thing to remember is to stay calm.  The last thing you need to do is to be dragged into the scene.  If your child goes off the emotional cliff and you go with them, who’s at the top to pull you back up?

Lisa Bunnage, Parenting Coach

More on tantrums:



“I’m just trying to manage the damage I’m going to do to my Children”

I avoid perfect people like the plague.  I’m drawn to people to laugh at their foibles, see mistakes as stepping stones and laugh freely.  Perfect people are boring boring boring.

There’s real pressure among parents to be perfect.  Talk about putting pressure where it’s least needed.

I joined a ton of mommy and baby groups with my 1st child and during introductions I’d say something like, “I’m Lisa and I’m just trying to manage the damage I’m going to do to my son.”  It was the quickest way to weed out moms I was never going to connect with and find the ones that were going to become my friends.  

There’s way too much shame attached to parenting mistakes.  We’re only human, we’re going to make mistakes here, there and everywhere.  We can either learn from them or go down the denial/shame path.

So many of my parents feel shame at their past mistakes.  Okay, go down the pity path for a moment to get it out of your system, then get over it and move forward.  

Life is about NOW.  Too many of us live according to our past but that’s our own baggage, no one else of value sees us that way.  You can be whatever you want to be.  You can be a self-obsessed perfectionist type of parent or an open-minded learner.  

For my regular readers this is repetitive but if you’re new to BratBusters here was my parenting slap in the face:

My son was 15 and said, “You’ve been a really difficult mother to have.”  I was shocked and said, “Why?”  He said, “Because I never had anything to rebel against, you’re too understanding and easy to talk to.”  Maybe I haven’t explained this before, but he was upset when he said it.  It was at that moment that I realized I hadn’t been meeting his needs so I said, “Go clean your room”.  And he never did.  Rebellion … check.  

I know that’s small potatoes in the parenting realm but I’d had so much experience with other kids that there wasn’t much I hadn’t learned to deal with so that really threw me for a loop.

I use humour in everything I do in life.  It’s a great stabilizer.  I use it when dealing with new moms with postpartum to suicidal teens.  It’s very carefully placed during life and death situations but ultimately the best medicine.  It takes the pressure off, it lightens the need to be perfect.

Are you aiming to be the perfect parent?  I sure hope not.

If you want me to help you “manage the damage”, check out my private coaching sessions.  One session is good for general parenting guidance, 3 for managing problems and 5 for managing bigger problems.  Call me to discuss if you’d like (604-349-8044, Vancouver, CANADA).

Lisa Bunnage, Parenting Coach


Parents: “No Yelling Challenge”

Hi Parents,

I have a challenge for you if you are prone to yelling at your kids.  I challenge you to not yell or even raise your voice for 3 whole days.  The only exceptions are if your kids are in danger and you have to yell to stop them from walking out onto a busy road, etc.

I can hear you asking, “Yelling is all that works, what am I supposed to do instead?”   Just keep calm and say what you want them to do or not do in a quiet voice, even a whisper.  Say it once, then twice but no more.  If you need to physically stop them from doing something then go ahead but stay calm and no eye contact or conversation.  They already know what you wanted, they’re just ignoring you.

I’ve used this challenge with clients and the results have been fascinating.  Once they learn how to control themselves, they’re on the fast track to controlling their children.

Please contact me and let me know how it went.

Good luck!  You can do it!!!

Warmly, Lisa.


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