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Sunday, July 19, 2009

What I need to do to be a better parent

Preschool teachers usually have a great relationship (mutual respect) with the children. At home my child has been known to test my patience and I have been know to loose my patience.

I took a Child Development class called "Positive Behavior Management" at Foothill College.
Here's what I need to do to become a better parent:
  1. Take the time to use the Democratic parenting style. Use Authoritarian parenting when safety is a concern. Avoid using permisive parenting. Children like clearly defined rules.
  2. Use logical consequences and avoid punishing. Remember that I am building a positive (mutual respect) relationship with my child for the long term and do not want to build a relationship of animosity and resentment.
  3. Avoid time outs. Instead, remove the child from the area where the problem occurred and take time to explain to the child what they could have done differently to avoid the issue. Offer them alternatives. My child is not trying to annoy me. My child is learning. My child learns behavior from my example, and learns by my response to her behavior.
  4. Reserve the word "No" for danger. For non-dangerous scenarios, instead of saying "No! don't do that!", say "Why don't you try (alternative) instead".
  5. Treat every situation as a learning experience and teaching opportunity.
  6. Instead of only saying "Good Job", succinctly explain why their behavior or task turned out good. Alternatively I can simply let them have their own satisfaction from their good job without conditioning them to rely on constant parental acknowledgement. -Alfie Kohn
  7. Instead of saying "You are so smart", recognize the effort they put in, the concentration they had, and the persistence they maintained. -Dr. Carol Dweck
  8. I will remember to be sensitive to the different temperments of my child
    a. active vs quite
    b. likes regularity vs likes change
    c. adapts quickly vs. slow to adapt
    d. outgoing vs. introverted
    e. not sensitive vs. very sensitive
    f. intense reactios vs mild reactions
    g. distractible vs. not distractible
    h. positive mood vs. negative mood
    i. long attention sspan vs. short attention span
    -Elixabeth Crary, from Without Spanking or Spoiling
  9. I will remember that I have a continuum of responses to my child's behavior
    1. Ignore if the issue is of minor concern and they child can resolve it themself.
    2. Listen and watch. Just an adult presence can be enough to cause them to act right.
    3. Act as reporter to them. Narate the situation so they can see it in logical terms.
    4. Step in / Set limits. If necessary set limits to the conflict.
    5. Ask questions for everyone to better understand the issue.
    6. Brainstorm: Encourage child to say what to do
    7. Offer ideas
    8. Offer a choice
    9. Take action alongide
    10. Do it yourself
    - Gordon & Brown, Guiding Young Children in a Diverse Society