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Allison LaTona, M.F.T.
Psychotherapist | Parenting Coach + Educator
628118406

Private Consultation | Westwood CA | Allison LaTona, M.F.T.

Allison provides simple terms to illustrate how important it is to take care of yourself as a parent and how to communicate with your child in a mindful way.

 
 

words to live by

for parents on...

Mindful Parenting — Respectful Parenting — Purposeful Parenting

A sampling of guiding principles on this journey:

 


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Like life and marriage,
parenting holds transformative lessons



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If you want to change your child,
change yourself



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You must not personalize what your
child says or does

 


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Be willing to explore what your child is triggering in you
 

 
 


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A healthy, connected marriage is a gift to your kids



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Self-care is one of your most important parenting tools

 


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When you make sense of your life with a coherent narrative,
you can be free to parent how you choose
 

 
 


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Children grow you up
 

 
 


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You are building a new parenting ‘muscle’:
Practice choosing mindful language
in order to raise children who thrive rather than just survive
 

 
 


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Aspire to be family-centered, not just child-centered



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You are raising adults, not just children

 


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Become the parent your child needs you to be…this often requires growth
 

 
 


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Trust your child so they can trust themselves



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Accept your child as is, not as you imagined



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There is no such thing as a perfect parent

 


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If you expect yourself to be perfect,
you give your child the message that they need to be perfect too,
which is way too great a burden to bear
 

 
 


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Accept your child’s ordinariness
 

 
 


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Rather than striving for your child’s happiness, strive for their authenticity



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Think about what you want to teach your child in each moment

 


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Parent as they are, not as you wish them to be
 

 
 


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Model embracing and celebrating mistakes to foster a “growth mindset” vs. a “fixed mindset”
 

 
 


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There is power in the
pause...



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Before intervening: Watch, Wait, and Wonder…



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It takes two to argue…consider: stop talking

 


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The art of parenting is in creating a "win-win moment"…helping your child feel powerful while cooperating with you



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Rather than so many directives in your communication, use questions to engage their thinking to invite your child’s engagement, power and cooperation

 


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Ask yourself:
How can I help my child feel
powerful in this transition or limit?
 

 
 


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Give limited choices only when there is one



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Discipline is teaching…it is never about punishment

 


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So as not to negate the validation of feelings,
use “and” instead of “but”
 

 
 


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Having appropriate expectations is essential to understanding behavior and being an effective a parent



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Limits are part of the loving experience…an essential ingredient to your child’s growth and development

 


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Take time to have teachable moments
 

 
 


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Don’t parent to avoid the tantrum…give your child regular practice and demonstration of accepting and co-regulating their feelings so they learn self-soothing, delayed gratification and frustration-tolerance

 


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When children have too much power they feel unsafe



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Give children an appropriate amount of limited power



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Find a balance between structure and flexibility

 


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Kids thrive on knowing what to expect



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The most powerful teacher is modeling

 


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Always connect with feelings first, then redirect into appropriate action
 

 
 


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Count to 10
before you say “no”,
so you feel clear on your limit
and hold firm on it
 

 
 


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Focus on “what can you say “yes” to”?



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Before considering a time-out, consider a time-in



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Inattention can be a valuable parenting tool

 


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Stay out of the power struggle… come along-side your child,
connect and creatively invite cooperation
 

 
 


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Use creativity, playfulness and laughter to facilitate transitions



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Sometimes it is most effective to unhook from your child



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Integrating limits is a slow, cumulative integration process



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Kids need a calm authority in order to feel safe and learn

 


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Be present with neutrality vs. reactivity



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There is no learning in the anger

 


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Children sense your guilt or ambivalence...
effectiveness as a parent requires clear resolve
 

 
 


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What works in the short-term often won’t create long-lasting learning and development



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Focus on fostering your child’s intrinsic motivation, rather than using extrinsic motivation

 


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Commit to the more fruitful road of the long-game in parenting



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To deepen the learning, consequences should be relatable, reasonable and logical



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Catch children being “good” to reinforce positive behavior

 


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Use descriptive, concrete praise, rather than general, evaluative praise
 

 
 


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Expect repetition, repetition, repetition



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Be the container for your child’s feelings



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You are your child’s regulator

 


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A tantrum can be a “gift” for development… giving your child the experience of their inner collapse, along with your support and containment, discovering they can put themselves back together again, without getting what they wanted, and be okay…this is a critical life skill

 


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When children feel heard they will listen



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When kids feel right they act right

 


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Let the emotional ‘storm’ move through their bodies…
model that you can tolerate their feelings,
so that they can learn to tolerate their own
 

 
 


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Kids do well when they can
 

 
 


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Beneath misbehavior is usually a child’s goal to gain attention,
gain power, revenge, or avoid failure
 

 
 


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To foster empathy, you must model it



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Honor their wish with acknowledgment

 


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You can’t always give your child what they want, but you can always give them acknowledgment

 


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Children need 2 things to build self-esteem: To feel felt, and to feel competent



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You can always "revisit and repair" your less than ideal parenting moments

 


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When you "revisit and repair" with your child you:
model taking responsibility,
demonstrate you are not perfect,
and walk your child through the process of forgiveness to heal connection
 

 
 


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Being present fosters connection



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When kids feel connected to you, they are more likely to cooperate



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In the midst of a tantrum, connection soothes your child’s brain



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Let your child fill up on you

 


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Carve out “one on one time” with your children daily…let them lead the play and join their world with presence and engagement

 


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Create rituals and make memories to foster family relationships,
a sense of togetherness, and stability
 

 
 


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Enjoy family dinners as an opportunity to share about your day and appreciations of one another



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Have regular family meetings to share what’s working in the family, and what’s not

 


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Create a family mission statement
 

 
 


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Out of boredom comes creativity, problem solving, and critical thinking skills



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When raising children in affluence, the antidote to overindulgence is doing service



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Learn to say “no”, even when you can afford to say “yes”

 


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If your child can do it, they should do it



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Struggle fuels development

 


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If you want to foster responsibility in your child, you have to step back and let them fail

 


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Focus on process, not outcome



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Mistakes foster learning…celebrate them!



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Focus on love of learning

 


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In order to be present and effective as a parent...
you must fill up your own gas tanks
 

 
 


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Be patient. It takes 25 years to develop the executive functioning part of the brain



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This is a long-term construction process…you are building a skyscraper

 


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A structure is only as strong as its foundation