Friday, March 21, 2008

Parenting 101

Hey, hey, It's Parenting Day.

Not sure what that means exactly yet in terms of what happens here at A Rural Rube on Fridays. That part's still under construction in my mind.

I have a lot of experience working with kids and youth. My university background in psychology and education provided a good backbone and, for the last 2 decades, I've managed to compile a good deal of knowledge and practical tools and ideas. I put together a 150 page manual with two colleagues a couple of years ago based on our philosophy of working with youth (and children).
It involves developing a strength-based home in order to maximize a child's potential. It is packed full of great recommendations and new ways of thinking.

One of my friends in my online group - the Chawbacons (or Chaws, for short) - suggested that I have a Parenting Day here. I guess I always seem to have advice for them whenever we are talking about our children and their issues. Sometimes I tend to go off on a bit of a spiel, I admit. I just want to pass on the good word.
So, I hope that on Fridays, you'll see some of that.

I also want, on Fridays, to talk about my kids and what's happening here at home. Or to discuss parenting issues in the news. If any of you have ideas or suggestions you'd like to see on Parenting 101 Day, please add a comment here or email me. If you have any actual questions of your own regarding a parenting issue, please feel free to ask, too. I'd love to be able to help answer it.
(same goes for Hump Day....)



Here's an overview of what I believe:

So much of a person's potential comes from the power of our thoughts and feelings. A successful parent is one who truly believes in their children so much that the children believe it themselves. By actively focusing on the positive qualities that the child possesses, rather than solely focusing on a current presenting problem or behaviour, the incidence of the positive qualities will increase. What are their strengths? What gifts lie behind the behaviours? What potentials do you see?
I invite you to step back from your children's lives and get CURIOUS about them and their behaviours. Begin to see them as the experts in their own lives. To be curious without judgment is a very powerful way to engage your children in conversations about who they are and what they see for themselves. When we take off our 'judge hats' and let go of what we think our children NEED to learn, we can discover from them what they WANT to learn. Once they feel confident and successful in one area, you can skillfully help them move those skills over to the next area of achievement.

Notice what is positive in your home and the young people who live in it. Ask yourself when was the last time you made a 'value' statement to each one of your kids?
"I value you because......"

Then, make an effort to notice and comment on the many ways that your child demonstrates their value. Find subtle ways to do this on a daily basis. When they achieve acceptance and success, they will be willing to risk more to move forward. It is our jobs, then, to create the opportunities for achieving acceptance and success.

Create a positive culture in your home by focusing your attention, and your child's attention, on what is being done well. When conflicts and challenges arise, validate what they are experiencing and then invite them to be curious about possible solutions.
Respect their intelligence and you will get intelligent ideas. Hold them accountable and they will develop pride with every goal attained.
Join your children in their exploration of themselves - of their dreams, of their goals and of their challenges. And enjoy every single minute. It doesn't last long.

1 comment:

Magnolia said...

From a professional point of view...what do you suggest ?

I am on vacation to see one of my best friends in the world. She opens her home to me and my family..and after a beautiful trip to the mountains...on our way home in the van...my kid states very clearly and articulately..."Mom...do you know what I hate about Aunty J.Rubes house?" LOL

I'll never forget it. And I'm sure no other in the van will either.

I assumed the worst of my poor child and yelled "That's enough!" Scaring the shit out of every passenger..including the little Rubes.

As it turned out...all he wanted to say was that " her house could get blown a way in a Tornado cause it's made out of wood". My poor boy.

I'll never forget it. And now try not to assume the worst.

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