Oh No, They’re Back for the Summer

Did you enjoy Memorial Day Weekend a few weeks ago, or were you playing cruise director to the kids?

Yep, school’s over and your kids are home for the summer. Here come the “I’m bored” or “What are we doing today?” questions. Do you dread setting up play dates, packing the car, no rest for you?

When it comes to entertaining the kids over summer break, you may be panicking about what to plan — and how you’ll stay sane.

The kids are:

  • Home every day.
  • Looking to you for entertainment.
  • Aren’t going back to school for three months.

We’re made to feel like we’re not doing enough, that we’re bad parents if we don’t have an elaborate answer to, “What are your kids doing this summer?”

Imagine if you knew exactly how and what to plan this summer.

That’s how I can help.

  • Plan activities for your kids with confidence.
  • Give them a fun, healthy summer.
  • Make some time for yourself in the process.

You can do this. And I’ll show you how.

Here’s are a few tips that’ll get you from “Why are the dirty dishes still in the sink?” to “The kitchen is actually clean.”

1) Get them up and at ’em. Keeping kids active during the summer months means they’ll have more energy when they go back to school. Keep sedentary activities like playing video games to a minimum, opting for morning walks in the neighborhood and afternoons swimming in the pool. If you don’t have access to a pool, the tried and true sprinkler in the backyard is a favorite complete with frozen popsicles afterwards.

2) Ask what they want to do. Don’t make summer planning too easy for the kids; that’s how you stay in permanent cruise-director-mode. See what they’d like to do that’s active, fun and safe. They may surprise you with their proactive responses. Be ready with an activity in your arsenal so you’re not playing the “I don’t know, what do you think we should do?” game.

3) If all else fails, make chores into a rewards game. Even though it’s prime outside time, the dishwasher still needs to be emptied. Get the kids doing age-appropriate chores, from sweeping to cleaning countertops to emptying the garbage. Then, take them out for something small yet rewarding like ice cream.

With these steps, you’ll be on your way to a happier summer with the family!

We’ve Trained Our Kids Not To Listen

When I’m working with parents of teens or toddlers I hear the same thing over and over again. “My Kids Just Don’t Listen!”

I feel your pain. I’ve got two kids of my own. One of them only seems to hear the “Da-da-da – Da-da-da” of his ESPN Sports Center app.

A few weeks ago I got an e-mail from a client, a father of a 14 year old boy. His son didn’t listen and it had become a chronic problem, especially in the mornings.

He wouldn’t get out of bed for school, even after Dad had warned him over and over again. The warnings and reminders were never-ending. Get your shoes! Don’t forget your lunch! Get in the car!

Until Dad had enough. He just couldn’t get his son out of bed, so he pulled out the plans we had put together and decided that today was the day. He left the house without his son.

He drove to work enjoying his own music. Even put the windows down and smiled at other drivers.

But Dad was worried. What would happen when his son realized that he didn’t have a ride to school.

His son wasn’t worried at all, he couldn’t believe his luck! He didn’t think that Dad would follow through with consequences. He enjoyed his day off, caught up on Sports Center and practiced his video gaming skills for hours.

But Dad had a plan in place. When he arrived home from he was pretty empathetic. He was sad that his son couldn’t participate in any activities outside of the classroom until all of his make up work was completed, turned in and entered into Power School.

Additionally, Dad was pretty broken up that his son had a list of chores to complete as well. Dad handed him the list gently and told him to complete the tasks and that the same list would be available should he choose not to get out of bed and miss school again.

How did it END? The son asked Dad if they could order a better alarm clock. And now he actually uses it. That first week went really well. No hassles in the morning at all. Dad didn’t give any warnings or reminders.

But it wasn’t long before things started to slip. So Dad, being a smart father, placed the Chore List on top of his son’s new alarm clock. And that was a lot simpler than warning, reminding and cajoling a 14 year old boy!

Would YOU like to learn how to get your child to listen the first time?

I’ve put together an online parenting course designed to fit easily into your life and give you the confidence you need to start setting limits in a loving way. This course provides you with group learning AND private sessions with me. It’s all online so it’s easy-peasy to connect, no matter where you are.

  • You KNOW you want these skills at home!
  • You KNOW you want to have a solid plan!
  • You KNOW you want to make parenting easier!

You can even imagine how great it would be to have a more peaceful home!

I’d love to start a conversation with you to see how I can support you and your family. Just e-mail me and we’ll schedule a time to chat.

What are YOU waiting for?

Happy parenting,
Wendy Petricoff

Taming the Transitions

Transitions. It’s not only toddlers and young children who struggle with transitions. It’s adults as well. It can be very challenging when we rush home from work, only to find that we are stressed-out, still stuck at work in our mind, but our body is walking through the door, and we are being greeted by children who may be happy, falling apart or most likely, in need of our full attention.

How can we, as adults, learn to transition from work to home? It is our INTENTION to be present for our children. It is our intention to meet them where they are, whether it’s hungry, needy, happy…each day might bring a different scenario. We’ve got to be prepared!

Here are a few tips that might work for you:

Drive time = Downtime. Once you step into your car, don’t take work calls and don’t make calls that will stress you out (think mother in-law). Make your car into a less-stress zone. Concentrate on the road, turn on your favorite music, take a few deep breaths at each stop light. Start to move away from the workday and think about how you will focus on your family, come up with a story from the day that you want to share with everybody.

Meal Pre-Preparation. If you’ve got young children they are usually hungry between 5 – 6 pm. A little planning will go a long way. Work on some easy options that you can prep in advance and re-heat quickly. Have teenagers? Purchase all the ingredients and teach them how to assemble or cook a few meals. It’s great for you and good for them too! Be sure to sit down with your kids, even if you aren’t hungry!

Pack Your Favorite Snack. Will a coffee or your favorite snack help change your mood? Give it a try on the way home when you are feeling particularly stressed. Maybe you need breathing exercises or a workout? Take care of yourself first, so that you can care for your family.

Literally Change. Throw your favorite jeans and sneakers into a bag and change your clothes before you leave the office. Comfy clothes might be just the ticket to help you ease your transition from work to home.

Experiment with a few different techniques and see if they make a difference. I’d love to hear what works for you!

If you like this article and want to learn more about how to manage the everyday stresses of parenting CONTACT ME. I’d love to connect to see how I can help you…making parents’ lives easier is my passion!

Brownies or Chocolate Chip Cookies? You Guys Decide.

If you have more than one kid, you probably have sibling issues. Parents ask me all the time, how do we help create a loving, lasting relationship between siblings. My answer: “Brownies or chocolate chip cookies. You guys decide.”

What we want to do as parents is to create positive interactions between our children. It’s our job to help them find ways to work together and build their relationship. In my house that means sweets. I know my kids agree on sugar-filled treats. You can bet that they argue over WHICH sugar-filled treat to make…but they always seem to find a solution. Then we get to bake together. And everybody loves the end game.

Sibling relationships can be complex. We’ve got to lay the groundwork. Here’s a few steps in the right direction:

Share memories: Look back at old photos and videos. Talk about things they did when they were younger. Reminisce about family vacations and funny, sweet stories. Help them build on those positive memories.

Talk about your own siblings: Tell your kids what it was like growing up with Aunt Lisa. Did you get into scrapes together? Or try to trick the babysitter? Don’t forget to model good behavior when you are around your siblings. And if you do fight (I’m guilty!) show your kids that you can make up and move on.

Create positive interactions: Look for opportunities for ‘teambuilding’. Kids vs. parents in a fort building contest, tennis match or pillow fight. When they are old enough let them (safely) explore together whether it’s the woods behind the house or while you are on vacation.

Charge kids with compliments: Before things turn ugly nip it in the bud and ask kids to give their sibling a compliment. You may have to give them some prompts, but get in the practice of saying nice things about each other, even if they are funny or silly. A sense of humor goes a long way.

Teach problem solving skills: Model and teach children how to navigate through problem-solving. Show them that problems can be discussed and worked out. (I get really in depth when it comes to helping kids solve their own problems in my workshops and private sessions!)

Have fun with this! Building strong relationships comes through fun, modeling and lots of love.

I invite you to learn more about my workshops and private sessions. My passion is making your life easier! If you’d like to learn more let’s schedule a ten minute call just to chat. Please contact me requesting a time and we’ll figure out how I can support you in your parenting goals, whether it’s a workshop or private sessions! I can’t wait to hear from you!

“Can I just tell you how you have completely changed our life…FOR THE BEST!!! This week has been UNBELIEVABLE!!! For the 1st time in 3 years of preschool Ellie is happy ALL DAY!!! No more melt downs in the morning! No more phone calls to come get her! She goes right into class, no tears, and comes out smiling!! It is truly nothing short of a miracle lol!!” – Alicia

Happy parenting,

Help Your Kids by Helping Less

I know you want to help your kids have a great school year. But are you helping too much? Do your best intentions get in the way of your kids learning to take responsibility? Take this quick quiz and find out!

1. When my son leaves his lunch at home I:
A. Freak out, worry he’ll go hungry and re-arrange my day to take it by his school. B. Toss it back into the fridge for tomorrow.

2. When my daughter doesn’t have just the right jeans for school I: A. Scour the internet to locate the jeans and pay express shipping to ensure prompt arrival. B. Tell her you are happy to take her to mall when she has the money to purchase them.

3. When my child gets an assignment for a project I: A. Immediately get involved by organizing a timeline, shopping for supplies and assembling the project. B. Support my child in an age appropriate manner by asking questions and providing help only when necessary.

If you answered A, thanks for being honest. It’s time to take a look at how you act and re-act. If you answered B (or wanted desperately for B to be your answer) then you have given some thought to letting your children learn from their own experiences and mistakes.

How can we best help our children have a great school year? Give them the opportunity to learn from their own mistakes. This gets harder the older they get, so don’t be afraid to start young. Here are a few ways to get started…

Let the left-behind homework sit on the counter.
Stick the forgotten lunchbox back in the fridge.
Don’t go back home for the baseball glove.
Sit on your hands and bite your tounge when the science project is not up to snuff.
Let the teacher tell your child that their handwriting is illegible.
Refrain from checking your child’s online grades obsessively.
Stick to the clothing or back to school budget you have set.
Let your little one go to pre-school in his PJ’s.
Don’t sign the nightly reading (or band practice) log if your child doesn’t do the work.
Allow them to pay the fines on late library books.
And when your child is upset? Help lock in the learning by using empathy, not anger. Hard to do? YES! Worth the effort, absolutley.

Want to learn more about teaching kids to become responsible? Let’s schedule a ten minute call just to chat. Please e-mail me we’ll see how I can support you in your parenting goals, whether it’s a workshop or private sessions! I can’t wait to hear from you!


The final school bell will ring. Kids will jump for joy. And you, well, you’ll be thinking about survival.

I remember dreading summertime. I turned into full-time fun mom. Planning activities, lugging kids to the pool, making sandwiches and snacks and more snacks and then dinner.

It was exhausting. Mostly because I was totally clueless.

I was struggling to set limits. My kids were manipulating me at every turn. I was a didn’t-have-a-clue-what-to-do parent. And it was summer. There was NO preschool!

I did survive those summers, with the help of prilosec and a few close friends. Now I know

that it could have been so much easier and so much less stressful. And I want to share my hard-won knowledge with you! So read on for some great Summer Survival Tips.

And, if you’d like to dive in a little deeper, join me for my Early Childhood Parenting Crash Course on May 27th. I’ll fill you in on lots of little ways to make your daily life easier with young children.

Here are a few tips to get you started:

Chores. Kids can and should help. Even our little toddlers can wipe, dust and pick up toys. You do not have to shoulder the entire burden of housework. As kids age you can expect them help more and more. Setting the table, feeding the dog, vaccuming, folding the towels. Every little bit helps! Make it fun and engaging for young children.

Quiet Time. Even if your children don’t nap, they need to take some quiet time. Many young children don’t want to be away from Mom & Dad, making quiet time a struggle. It’s your job to set the limit and stick with it. I always recommend that parents use the Uh-Oh technique, the Love and Logic version of ‘time-out’ if children can’t adhere to your quiet time limits.

Get Their Input. Ask kids what activites, chores, outings, craft projects, etc. they would like to do this summer. Get crafty and put togehter a fun posterboard full of ideas. As the ideas become reality have the kids check it off. Kids are much more willing to ‘buy in’ if they came up with the idea in the first place.

Don’t Sweat It. When things really heat up be sure to take a break. Have your spouse take over for a few hours, switch off child care duty with a neighbor or a friend. As parents we can’t take care of others unless we take care of ourselves.

Set yourself up for a terrific Summer! Join me for a workshop or private coaching sessions.

Happy parenting,

Do You Give Your Spouse the Evil Eye?

I don’t know about you, but my husband and I entered into parenthood with different backgrounds and expectations. I’ve kicked him under the table or given him the evil eye plenty of times when I didn’t like how he was handling the kids.

What happens when parenting styles are different? In an ideal world, parents would be on the same page. It would certainly make life easier for you AND less confusing for the kids. Instead you are always the bad guy, and your laid-back spouse acts like every day is a trip to Disney World.

Getting on the Same Page
Take a quick look at your parenting styles. Are you a helicopter parent or do you bark orders like a military general? Does your spouse or partner lose their cool and holler at the kids? Does one of you avoid confrontation? Take stock of your likenesses and your differences. What are your strengths and weaknesses? How can you best complement one another?

Be Supportive. Supporting each other when it comes to discipline is imperative. Even if you don’t agree. Your kids need to know that you will back each other up. Create a unified front when possible. Save the disagreements about the kids for behind closed doors.

Agree On a Plan, When You Can. When you are faced with chronic issues it’s time to put your heads together and agree on how you want to handle a specific situation. If you can’t see eye to eye, experiment with one plan and see how it works. If it’s an ‘epic fail’ give the other spouse an opportunity to try their plan!

Many of my clients come to me because they want to find a parenting method that they can both agree on. Presenting a cohesive front will help make your home more peaceful. One client recently wrote to me, ” This course was invaluable to our family. We are not only better parents, our marriage has improved.” – Ellie, Charlotte

If You Can’t Agree. You’re not alone. Your kids will come into contact with all different types of teachers, bosses, friends, etc. during their lifetime. If your parenting styles are different kids will develop the tools to manage each parent in their own way. Think of it as a life skill. But one caveat…don’t undermine each other if possible. Once a parent lays down a decision, it should stick. This will keep kids from using the old divide and conqueor method.

Need help getting on the same page? Think it will help bring more peace to your home? I’m here for you! Join me for one of my upcoming workshops or sign up for private coaching! I can’t WAIT to work with you!


Do you ever wonder what happened to your brain cells since you’ve had kids? Are you amazed at how often your kids leave you dumbstruck? I know all about it…I’ve got two kids at home. They argue about things that are completely absurd (like who is stuck with more broccoli on their plate) in an illogical manner that would rival a bad lawyer in a B movie. They have mastered the art of (not-so-subtle) manipulation by utilizing all their natural resources…tears, whiney voices, stomping feet…and it actually works! Do you experience these and other behaviors? If so…

You need a Love & Logic® Parenting Workshop! Thankfully I discovered Love and Logic® parenting many years ago. It has saved me from so many ‘epic failures’ with my children that I want to share it with you! I KNOW firsthand that the simple tools presented by Love and Logic® make it easy to raise kids without raising our blood pressure.

I want YOU to have a wonderful relationship with your kids AND be able to actually get them to do chores, curb the arguing and dole out consequences with CONFIDENCE! OH! And I’ll even give you a SCRIPT for those situations that leave you completely speechless! It’s just two little lines that you’ll use over and over again. And believe me, it’s awesome to have a ‘go to’ line in your back pocket. We parents need a few mad skills!

SIGN UP TODAY and join me for a fun, funny & practical workshop. You’ll take home lots of amazing new tips and tricks to help you:

Get your kids to do chores without screaming and turning red
Put together consequences that you can actually follow through with
Work on a plan for time-outs that you feel good about
Learn how to stop getting pulled into ridiculous arguments
Get your kids to listen the first time (it can happen!)
Feel confident about the parenting choices you make
Lower your stress level (no, I’m not kidding!)
And by the way, I know what you’re thinking. You’re not yet a believer. You don’t have the time. You’re kids are ‘different’. Just think about it, even if you pick up one or two life-changing tips it will be WORTH IT.

SIGN UP TODAY!You’ll learn all the tools that Love and Logic® has to offer, participate in great discussions and take home customized plans, just for you! Perfect for parents with children birth-10.

Offered in two locations:

Wednesdays in October 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 pm at Myers Park Presbyterian Outreach Center, 1073 Providence Road Dates: October 1, 8, 15, 22 CLICK HERE TO REGISTER

Tuesday Nights 7:00 – 9:00 p.m. at Shalom Park (Levine Jewish Community Center), 5007 Providence Road Dates: October 28, November 4, 11, 18 The JCC course requires registration through Jewish Family Services.

Workshops are open to the public. Cost: $115 per person, $130 couple.

Happy Parenting!

Wendy Petricoff

Owner, Charlotte Parenting Solutions

P.S. Can’t make this workshop? E-mail me! I offer private sessions too! wendypetricoff@gmail.com

Thank You for the Terrific Tools!

In my first few years of parenting I read a book recommended to me by several friends, a pediatrician and one of my family members, all whom I deeply respect. The book promoted spanking (“spare the rod, spoil the child”) and taught that children should obey the first time, every time with out delay or complaining. This turned into a brutal cycle that has lasted several years. In the beginning I did spank and I felt so horrible about it that I stopped.

However, the expectations of a good child, reflective of a good parent, remained. You can imagine the pressure I put on myself and them. Unfortunately, as parents we are bombarded with opinions – time out alienates your child, spanking is abuse and yelling will damage them. I have felt powerless with giant expectations for both of us for years – which has turned into lots of anger and frustration. I would lie in bed each night feeling guilty and like a failure.
The Love and Logic approach has really provided a positive way for me to help my children learn and to continue to build our relationship. Luckily I am married to a man who naturally parents this way. I can’t tell you the freedom, peace and excitement I have now with the Love and Logic philosophy and principles. I still need lots of practice to be prepared rather than react, but I finally feel empowered with a great set of tools.

Thank you,
Mom of Three Great Kids

P.S. I have to add that the removing toys and clothes that are not put away and having them “pay” for them with chores is making me so happy. It’s a win-win – I’m getting our craft shelves organized and the playroom vacuumed!! I just told my oldest to get her things out of the car, when she ignored me I said “no problem, I can take care of that” – she sprinted out to the car.