Better than Frozen

Last Sunday around 2:00, my son’s naptime, I had a choice.  I could get “stuff done” and do errands with my daughter or I could stay home with her and find something for us to do.  I thought of a project that I wanted to get done.  I wanted to dig a trench on the perimeter of a patch a land and fill it with rocks so that the rocks would be flush with the patio.  My husband thought the project was a big hassle and that my daughter’s interest would be fleeting and that the family would be better served having our landscaper do it.  Game on!

I gave my daughter specific tasks.  She was super into it and was way more detail-oriented than I was.  She especially loved being the water girl and making sure we were adequately hydrated.  I especially loved when she went inside to get me a hair tie when she noticed how my hair kept getting in my way!

The project took about 2.5 hours which means my daughter had my attention for 2.5 hours and, for 2.5 hours, we worked on something TOGETHER.  About an hour in, I said, “This is better than doing errands, huh?”  Hand to G-d, she said, “This is better than Frozen!”

It goes to show, that one-on-one time is magical for our children.  So magical that shoveling dirt can make our girls feel like princesses!

Learn 10 invaluable phrases based on 10 principles and see the life changing results immediately

Where: Sprout San Francisco
1828 Union Street @ Octavia
San Francisco, CA 94123
(415) 359-9205

Date: April 3, 2014
Time: 6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Who: All parents
(Best suited for parents of children 10 and younger)
This event is free with advance registration. Please RSVP to

Encouraging vs. Discouraging statements
Your words as well as your tone can discourage your child.
One of the first things you can do to encourage your child is to make a shift in what you say and your tone of voice.

Child is throwing a ball in the house
Parent “Stop that! You could break something!” Don’t you remember the rule?”
A Better Way If you want to throw the ball, you can do that outside.

Parent is annoyed and distracted as his four-year-old twins fight in the backseat of the car.
“Stop that please!”
A Better Way Parent pulls the car over w/o saying anything. When the boys quiet down, he continues driving. He repeats this a few times until the boys stop their disruptive behavior.

Deborah Mitchell, Ph.D and Cheryl Jacobs, MFT from Parent Inc. have helped countless parents win their child’s cooperation. Join them at Sprout for an hour presentation.

Parent Inc. is committed to providing straightforward, results-oriented principles that guide parents and easily translate to significant change. By focusing on principles, we have moved away from one-size-fits-all recommendations that often leave parents feeling frustrated and discouraged. The principles we teach empower families to gain children’s cooperation by stimulating independence and creating a sense of belonging and respect for each unique child.

To learn more visit SFPARENTINC.COM

Five Parenting Phrases That Every Parent Needs to Know

As excited as I was to be pregnant with my second child, I was also really scared about the prospect of managing two children.  My first child was the center of my universe and as much as friends with multiple children reassured me that it would all work out, I still had some genuine fears.  As my due date approached, testing limits, tantrums and power struggles became a part of my daily routine with my almost 3 year old.  I knew I needed some tools and strategies to help me.  Luckily, my son’s day care provider with over 30 years’ experience, Denise Cooper, gave me simple-to-use techniques to curb my son’s meltdowns.  She coached me on how to win my son’s cooperation with a loving approach.  It worked like magic and I wanted to learn more.

Denise introduced me to the seminal work of child psychiatrist, Rudolf Dreikurs, MD.  Through Dr. Dreikurs’ writing, I discovered that to be successful it takes more than just a few techniques. Dreikurs teaches that a child’s primary goal is to feel a sense of belonging and significance. When children do not feel a sense of belonging they turn to one of four “mistaken goals” of misbehavior: to gain undue attention, to gain power, to gain revenge or to show inadequacy.

The greatest tool I found from my research was learning to use my own reaction as a guide.  I realized that when I felt annoyed by my son’s misbehavior, he was seeking undue attention.    When I felt angry, we were involved in a power struggle. I could then use this information to find the most effective tool to win his cooperation.  When I cooked dinner, and my son pulled at my pant legs stating, “mommy, mommy, mommy”, I kindly turned to him and suggested, “Now that you are a big four year old, I wonder if you could help set the table all by yourself?  Would you like to try?” He beamed with pride, and eagerly assisted.  Therefore, instead of seeking undue attention, he felt like an integral part of our family unit, and he felt encouraged. We were shifting from self-centered to family-centered. As a licensed therapist, I felt inspired to share my findings with other families; and as a parent, I was relieved that I was making positive changes in my family.

From the onset, I found it helpful to have a support network to discuss the challenges of raising cooperative and happy children.  In addition to my collaboration with Denise Cooper, I am grateful for my friend and colleague, Deborah Mitchell, Ph.D, a clinical psychologist and mother of two.   As we shared and practiced our new parenting techniques, it was clear that we were on to something that needed to be shared with other parents. This conviction inspired us to create, Parent Inc.  Denise, Deborah and I combined our passion and resources to create a 6-week skills-based curriculum that teaches parents to better understand their children’s misbehavior and to encourage a sense of belonging that naturally leads to cooperative behavior.  We also offer individual consultations.

Some Parent Inc. Helpful Phrases:

1.  Show me…

Commanding your child to, “put on your shoes”, could invoke a power struggle. Instead, in a friendly and engaging tone say, “Show me how you can put your shoes on all by yourself.”

2.  It’s time to: “It’s time to get ready.” Versus “Go get ready.”

3. Do you want to do it all by yourself or would you like to do it together? Versus “Come over here and I will do it for you.”

4.  I wonder if you can remember all by yourself.  This phrase is helpful when a child repeatedly asks about timing, the order of something or the agreed upon rules.

5. It is good manners to say thank you.  When said nonchalantly and seemingly without investment, this observation can work better than the usual command of “Say, thank you.”

Our upcoming 6-week series begins January 7, 2014 and meets on Tuesdays from 9:30-11am at 1702 Union Street. Contact Cheryl Jacobs, MFT at (415) 722-0638 or Deborah Mitchell, Ph. D  at (415) 271-6524 to sign up for our next class or to learn more about our other services.

Cheryl Jacobs, LMFT, has been a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist since 2009, and has been working with children and families in various setting for over 17 years.