Parenting Coach

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Archive for the month “July, 2012”

How to teach your child to express feelings

When we, as parents, are asked the question: Who is the most important person in our life? Most, if not all, say “its my children”.

And yet, why do I see a lot of parents spending much time on the cell or computer when they are at home, istead of being ‘with’ their child,experiencing her/his different moods, feelings and expressions?  

Most prents just teach the basic emotions of happy, sad, angry. A child needs to be familiar and recognize the different feelings in herself/himself. If a child is not familiar with other emotions life frustration, being envious, embarrassed, timid, worried, nervous, disgusted, impatient, she won’t learn to recognize these feelings in herself/himself  nor will she/ he understand that everyone experiences these different feelings sometimes.

Can you imagine what it would be like if  the only expression of  feelings your child knew is “You hurt my feelings!” She will be using this same expression whenever things do not go her way. Would it not be quite a relief  if you, as the parent, knew exactly what was bothering your child, because she/he is able to express her/his feelings?

In the book,’You’re Not the Boss of Me’ by Betsy Brown Braun, she states, ‘ Model your healthy expression of feelings.’ Label and discuss your own feelings,positive or negative with your child. Tell our child what she/he can do to express her/his feelings, instead of always saying how she/he should not express her/his feelings like hitting, pinching, etc. Take every opportunity to give your child new language for describing her/his feelings.Tell her/him about the physical signs of feelings, like blushing . Help her/him to see these different facial expressions and learn from them. These will help her/him greatly in the future. Compare, use books, pictures. Then ask, ” what would you feel if…”- this way she/he can picture the situations and accompanying feelings better in her/his mind.

Most of all, honor her/his feelings- no matter how invaluable it may seem to you. Because to her/him, these feelings are valid.



Barriers to Helping our Child in the Development of Her/His Systemic Skills

When we discipline our child, where do we draw the line between strictness and permissiveness?

In the book: ‘Raising Self-Reliant Children in a Self- Indulgent World’ by H. Stephen Glenn,PH.D and Jane Nelson,Ed.D, it states that both strictness and permissivness should be avaoided in child raising. Strictness usually involves some type of threat and requires childrent to comply or rebel rather than think and respond. Permissiveness teaches children to manipulate the parents into rescuing and protecting them from the consequences and results of their behavior.This can be devastating to the child when she/he learns that she/ he cannot manipulate other people the way they do their parents.

What can we do as parents? 1. Understand and acknowledge that each of our child differs in her/his perceptions, learning styles, and development levels.When we are able to understand, accept and acknowledge each of our children, we give them unqualifid positive regard, love and respect.2. We have to reinforce each of our child’s acceptable behavior and accomplishment with specific recognition and appreciation. In the same way, we have to provide them with feedback on their unacceptable behavior. 3. We follow up on the aggreements which we have set as a family, with firmness, dignity, and respect.

One of the biggest mistakes parents make is trying to disguise punishment by making their children ‘pay for the wrongdoing , or by  ‘grounding’ the child. When ‘grounding’ is used for revenge, this shows the child that ‘might is right’ and makes the child suffer. A good example is,” I don’t want to hear what you have to say. Just go to your room. I am disappointed in you.” Instead, ” We all make mistakes . Go to your room until you feel better and we can work out a solution so you would know how best to deal with this problem should it happen again in the future.”  However, it is recommended that we discuss the possible grounding process in advance, lettng our child know that the purpose is not to humiliate her/him or cause suffering, but rather to give everyone a chance to calm down and work on solutions  in a climate of respect, harmony and love. When we make our child feel worse, we only create a threatening environment and no constructive learning can take place.

As parents, we have to think seriously if the consequences we give our children will make them perceive these consequences as a life sentence or as a learning process. I believe that when we take the time to go through the learning process with our child, we are giving our child the best tools that will buffer, if not shield her/his from many of life’s challenges….it would be so good if we always remembered that we have been blessed by our children and that as guardians, we have the responsibility to treat them the way we,too, would like to be treated.

Should you spank your child?

I am currently reading the book ‘1-2-3 Magic: Effective Discipline for children 2-12’ by Thomas W. Phelan,PH.D. He says that its about time that people face up to the reality: the vast majority of spankings are parental  temper tantrums. They are no way attempts to train or educate a child.

Physical hurt, verbal abuse,threatening, coercing, put-downs, ridicules, isolation and all negative acts towards our child diminishes her/his self-esteem, degrade and humiliate her/him. 

Dr. Phelan further states that parents who have problems with anger management and self-control try to justify and rationalize spanking by saying that its for their child’s own good, or that this is a way of setting limits and “having to hit my kid hurts me more than it does her/him”.

However, even if so much research says that spanking may result to having aggressive children, generally speaking, adults who do spank do not care one bit about research.

In the book ‘Kids are Worth It’: ‘Character builds slowly,but it can be torn down with incredible switftness’.

‘Where did we ever get the crazy idea that in order to make our children do better, first we have to make them feel worst?’ by Jane Nelson

I have three wonderful daughters who I have never spanked and they are all successful and continue to be my wonderful daughters even when they have their own families now….many say that the children now are so different from the children of yesterday….i believe, one thing remains very basic:  Our children are given to us and it is our responsibility to act as ‘guardians’ . It is our job to C- champion our child to be the best of himself, H- Harness his abilities, talents and gifts, I- Instill the values that will make him a person that she/ he can be proud of, as well as you can be proud of, too, L- Love him, lift up his spirits to greatness, be the light of his world, and D- Discipline him with your devotion because she/ he is God’s divine masterpiece. Why, then, does it become such a challenge to see our child as who we are? Or to treat her/him the way we would like to be treated?

What is your parenting philosophy on this?

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