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Ask Dr. Bing Podcast #11: How Can I Help My Children Calm Down?  Interview with Brandon Wall, M.A.

We live in a day where parents seem to tremble at the feet of their children.  Unfortunately, we are not helping our children at all when we continually let them get their way or we let their mood determine the overall mood of the family.  No.  Mom and Dad are to set the tone, not the children.  We instinctively know this, yet so many of us have a difficult time knowing what to do or how to follow through consistently. When we fail to do this the mood in our household tumbles and many couples end up struggling in their own relationships.  It is difficult for the rest of the members of the family to relax when a child is too often out of control.

In addition, we do a disservice to our children when we let them get away with being out of control.  We all know adults who have no consideration of others and demand to get their way and make everyone around them miserable. We certainly don’t want our children to be in that number!  You can help nurture and shape your childrens’ future adult personality NOW by the consistency with which you parent your children.

That means you need self-control, too!  YIKES!  We can’t hardly teach our children self-control if we don’t have it.  You teach self-control mostly, not by fancy techniques, but by being consistent in your leadership with your children.

For this podcast I interview my son, Brandon Wall, who is our Staff Researcher and a regular blog writer for our thrivingcouples website (Check out his research summaries here and his blogs here), about some creative ways he and his wife, Philly, have  developed to help their two children (Alyas – 3 and 1/2 and Lydia 1 and 1/2) learn self-control and self-comfort.

This interview addresses how to teach your children what they are going to need to succeed in life, how to calm themselves down, and that the parent is in control.

Briefly put, Brandon took some cues from research he alludes to in the podcast from the University of Stanford (here) on how to help children delay gratification.  He’s tried these same techniques with his own children with good results.  In addition, Brandon has invented a technique he refers to as The Cry Corner, which he’s shared in a previous blog (available here). This is an effective way to help children learn self-control and self-comfort and to establish the parent as the authority in the home.  He also discusses a gentle, but firm way to help parents re-establish their authority when a child is absolutely out of control.

As one of the grandparents of these beautiful children, I can vouch that being in their presence is an absolute delight and that Brandon and Philly have figured out how to have a joyful home without anyone feeling dominated or short-changed.  Having a peaceful home is a wonderful gift to your spouse and to your children.  You’d do well to heed Brandon and Philly’s example.

This podcast is our first attempt using an interview style.  We hope to do more of this in the future.  We think having two generations (father and son) involved in our Blogs and Podcasts may be an effective tool to helping a greater number of couples of all ages improve in their relationships and develop stronger, happier families.

We welcome your input and further questions about this topic and other issues you are facing in your marriage (fill out the form you can find here.).  In these podcasts we are trying to answer questions you might find helpful in making your marriage and family a safe refuge in a cruel world.

Podcast Outline:

How to help children learn delayed gratification (at minute 2:30) .

How to use the Cry Corner to help children calm down when they are crying for selfish reasons.  How to use the technique, when use it and some of the pitfalls (at minute 11:22).

Using embracing as a restraint when a child is out of control (at minute 24:11).



Brandon Wall is a counselor in Cedar Rapids, Iowa:



Reference to the book, Generation Me.

Reference to the Stanford study about delayed gratification (here).

Reference to Brandon’s blog on the Cry Corner

Reference to Brandon’s blogs on Character Development (here, here, here)

Reference to Consistent Parenting (here, here, here)

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