I’m Hiring a Nanny (a nurse, a gardener, a maid…)

hire-a-nanny-online… Do I need to give them a W-2 and withhold taxes?

By Matt Grodin

There are specific rules regarding whether a 1099 or a W-2 is needed, and it often comes down to the level of control you have over the individual. You to use the following factors to determine whether you have hired an employee or independent contractor. (more…)

Why Kids Reject Our Help

By Cynthia Klein

When I learned about communication blocks as an Active Parenting Course instructor, my life changed. I realized that if I didn’t take some responsibility for my daughter’s, husband’s, or other people’s negative reactions to what I said that I wouldn’t be able to improve my relationships. The more I took responsibility for learning how to build bridges to better understanding rather than barriers or blocks, the more I could create connected and close interactions. (more…)

You Should Be a Lawyer!

By Cynthia Klein

mother-and-teen“Why do you have to argue about everything I ask you to do? Why can’t you just cooperate nicely for once? You make everything so difficult.”

If your child has turned into a member of the debate team, then you are experiencing their prefrontal cortex, the logical brain, at work. Your “argumentative” child is exercising and practicing their reasoning and judgment skills. So next time your child doesn’t easily comply, try to think to yourself, “The brain is developing right now. How marvelous.”


Caught in the Middle

A growing number of individuals and couples are entering the ranks of the Sandwich Generation.  What they have in common is that they are “caught in the middle” between the competing needs and wants of their dependent children and aging parents.  In addition, they also need to consider and prepare for their own retirement years and potential long-term care needs.

For example, most members of the Sandwich Generation value higher education and feel compelled to provide that opportunity for their children.  Other “sandwichers” are pressed into service by providing financial resources to a divorcing adult child or helping raise a grandchild.  In addition, as life expectancy increases, their aging parents are likely to survive well into their 90’s and require monetary and caregiving assistance. (more…)

Special Needs Trust

The San Francisco Chronicle recently featured an excerpt of an article called “Onslaught of Autism: A Mom’s Crusade Could Help Unravel Scientific Mystery.” The full article by Jane Kay was published in the Environmental Health News and follows the fascinating journey of Jill Escher, a mother of two autistic children, as she tries to understand autism within her own family. (more…)

Does Your Teenager or Child Decide or Do You?

Determining Who Makes the Final Decision with Kids of All Ages

Before engaging in solving a problem involving your teen, it is very important to first determine who will be making the final decision on what solution to choose. Will it be you, your teen or the both of you together? Whoever owns the problem; the one who is most directly affected by the problem, will be the one who is responsible for deciding on the solution.

Teens get very upset when they own the problem and adults want to come up with the solution rather than letting them work through the problem solving process. When teens own the problem, your job is to lend support rather than give the solution. Often it isn’t clear who should make the final decision until you first gather information to clarify the problem. Michael Popkin, PhD. gives us three questions to answer to determine who should make the final decision.

We can usually determine who owns a problem by asking three questions.

1.Whom is the problem directly affecting?
Decide this by asking 1) who is most concerned or upset about the issue or 2) who brings up the problem and wants to find a solution to their unmet goals or needs?

2. Does the problem involve health, safety, family rules or values?
If so, the parent has the final decision on how to solve the problem. This involves parents setting the final limits.

3. Is the problem within reasonable limits for the teen’s age and level of maturity?
If it is, the parent supports the teen’s process of brainstorming possible solutions and the teen makes the final decision. Parents maintain an “it’s up to you” supportive attitude in order for the teen to learn how to self-reflect and build self-confidence to handle life’s struggles. If not, the parent steps in and decides how to solve it.

So, next time you want to tell your kids what to do and they get upset, stop to analyze who should make the final decision, you, your teenager, or both of you together

Cynthia Klein©2013 Cynthia Klein has been a Certified Parent Educator since 1994. She works with dads, moms and organizations who want more cooperation, mutual respect and understanding between adults and children of all ages. Cynthia presents her expertise through speaking, webinars, and private parent coaching sessions. She is a member of the National Speakers Association and writes the Middle School Mom column for the magazine Parenting on the Peninsula. Contact Cynthia at bridges 2 understanding, www.bridges2understanding.com or call 650.341.0779.