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:



What Parenting Style will Backfire in the Teen Years?

“New Age Parenting” (a.k.a. “Attachment Parenting”) is where you allow the child to be the boss.  Discipline is a no-no as is considered to be mean.

School principals complain about “New Age Parenting”as being one of the reasons schools are having to do so much of the parenting these days.  Teachers are having to spend more time dealing with bad behaviour and less time focused on academics.

Children not only need leadership, they crave it.  

Every single troubled teen I’ve worked with has said they wish their parents had been tougher on them when they were young.  Many have told me they’d get into trouble to test their parents, see if they loved them enough to discipline them.  They understood that discipline is love.  When they didn’t get leadership from their parents, they looked to their peers.

If you discipline children when they’re young they’re self-disciplined when they’re teenagers.  My son had a rebellious side but said (complained was more like it) that he could never exercise it as I was always sitting on his shoulder.  He was wrong, his conscience was always sitting on his shoulder.  I did all the work when my kids were little so we could sail through the teen years.

Friends who raised their children without discipline really struggled through the teen years.  They were imposing curfews that were constantly broken, taking away video games, threatening, yelling, picking up drunk teens from parties … just a mess.  The ones who struggled the most through the teen years were the ones most critical of discipline in the early years.  I could’ve written their future out for them but they wouldn’t have believed me.

Video on dangers of “New Age Parenting”.

If you want to be respected, you have to earn it.  You have to educate yourself on each child’s needs and wants.  All children need strong leadership.  If you don’t provide it, they’ll turn to their peers.  You want your kids turning to you, not their peers, when they need advice, guidance, etc.

Remember that discipline without fun doesn’t work either.  You have to meet all of your children’s needs and fun is a giant one.  Be the fun parent, be the house their friends come to, play games with them, goof around with them.  The relationship you build through fun mixed with discipline is wonderful.

To feel in control of parenting get started with my FREE “3 Step Parenting Plan” included in my Newsletter.  Sign up button at the top right of page. 


Lisa Bunnage, Parenting Coach

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Are you Afraid of your Kids?


Do you have a toddler you give candy to when out for fear of a public tantrum?

Do you bribe your 8 and 10 year olds with special privileges if they’re good at the restaurant?

Do you have a teenager who does absolutely nothing around the house as you just can’t handle another confrontation?

If you can relate to any of this, you’re not alone. Tons of parents are also afraid of their kids.  Afraid of a scene or a confrontation.  I say, “BRING IT ON!!!”  I encourage you to stop bribing and avoiding and take control.  The longer you wait the worse it’s going to get.

I encourage you to use my “3 Step Parenting Plan” (sign up above with newsletter). It’s the tool I use with all of my clients.  It’s not a magic pill, it’s just a tool to use to start getting respect and taking control.  It’s also a sign to the kids that changes are taking place.  It’s free and I guarantee results 100% if you set it up and follow through consistently.  Mistakes are even okay so long as you acknowledge same with the kids and accept your punishment for messing up.  The “3 Step Parenting Plan” has to be the family LAW.

The video in this article has a good story about a mom who was afraid of her 4 boys.  She used every trick in the book throughout the years:  bribery, threats, ignoring, hovering. She really struggled and the boys took over.  As a friend I don’t offer advice and she never asked as justified my relationship with my kids as “luck”.  Her struggle was completely unnecessary and avoidable.

If this article hits a nerve, please watch and follow my “3 Step Parenting Plan”(free in my newsletter, sign up top right).  There are so many lessons in there about how to get respect.