Examples of Cards

Each one of the Parent Coaching Cards features a full color illustration on one side and a concise, self-help message on the other. Topics include raising flexible children, helping children manage their impulses, making and keeping friends, self-esteem, and building resilience in children. The twenty 4"x 6" cards are held together with a key ring for easy use. Here are three examples of Parent Coaching Cards, with illustrations on one side and text on the other:

Educational Cards

Our brains help us think about the things we do every day-like how to do homework, when to ask for something, and other stuff like that. This "thinking side" is what "thinks" us through problems and helps us learn how to succeed at life. There's also a part that "reacts" to the world around us - like when we shriek with excitement on a roller coaster ride or yell with anger if things don't go our way. This "reacting side" lets us have many kinds of feelings, good as well as bad. Usually, our "thinking side" and "reacting side" work together just fine.

But sometimes our "reacting side" grabs control over our "thinking side." When this happens, anger, stubbornness, jealousy, and other funky feelings can cause us to say and do stuff that creates all sorts of hassles. This is why it's much better to let your "thinking side" stay in charge and to keep your "reacting side" under control.

These cards will help you do this by teaching you how to think your way through problems you may face at home, school, and with friends. First, each card will teach you about when to use it. Then, it will suggest a talk-to-yourself message that you can read, or have someone read to you. As you read these messages, try repeating them in your own mind so your "thinking side" can learn them.

Most times in life you expect things to happen the way they happened before. For example, when you go to the movies you expect to get there on time, buy tickets, and enjoy watching the show. But, things don't always work out. You might get there late, or discover the tickets are sold out. This situation can make you feel very disappointed. Your "reacting side" may take control, making you feel like this is the worst thing in the world. It can very hard to be flexible when you feel that way. Being flexible means using your "thinking side"to handle disappointments so that you can feel better sooner.

Read this talk-to-yourself message to become more flexible:

I must accept that I don't have control over a lot of things in life. I'm going to be disappointed sometimes. I can prepare for this by telling myself to be flexible, especially when I'm really looking forward to something. When I do get disappointed, I can tell myself, "Maybe it will work out better for me next time." Even though I can't stop bad things from happening, I can stop myself from reacting so badly to them. I can be flexible.

Be Flexible

Educational Cards

Life is filled with all sorts of situations that may lead to trouble. Things may happen at a friend's house, when you're playing outside with a group, while watching TV with a brother or sister, or even at school. Maybe someone calls you a name or dares you to follow them into bad behavior. Maybe you see some dangerous fun that's hard to resist. If you let them, these situations will bait you-just like a hooked worm baits a fish. Before you even know it, you've been baited into wrong action or a bad decision.

You may not even know you've taken the bait until it's too late, so it's a good idea to review this talk-to-yourself message from time to time:
I have to be on the look out so I don't get baited into behaving badly. Getting baited can happen anytime, anywhere-and with anybody. One way to prevent this from happening is to stop and ask myself, "Am I being baited right now?" If the answer is "yes," or even "maybe," stop. Do not follow the other person's lead. Don't let yourself react to whatever is happening at that moment. Give yourself time to think it through some more, or to talk the situation over with someone you trust. Don't take the bait!