Saturday, May 27, 2017

Discipline vs Guidance

Discipline is a phrase that indicates enforcement of positive behavior through strict guidelines and control and is usually connected to punishment and rewards. Discipline is based on the expectation that children should have prior knowledge of acceptable behavior and punishment should occur if they don't follow the rules. Discipline, however, can be used in a different sense. Discipline can be used with a meaning that is more closely related to positive discipline which is guidance.

Guidance is probably the most common phrase defining what is expected of those who care for and teach children. When parents guide children, they show them how to behave appropriately through direction, suggestion, improvement and modeling. Ideas for appropriate guidance techniques are: observe when children are being good and express gladness when they've participated in appropriate behavior. For example, when a child is upset they had to come home from playing at a friends house because they were having fun, and the child come home anyway- a parent can express their gladness that the child came home anyway by saying, "I know you were having a lot of fun at your friends house. Thank you for coming home when I asked so I didn't have to get mad at you. I appreciate it.

A parent models acceptance, patience, courtesy, helpfulness and is sensitive  and supportive of children who are less experienced with emotional regulation or have specific behavior challenges. For example, when a child wants to pour the milk into their cereal bowl, accept that they want to try it and let them. Be patient with them while they try and help them by holding the bottom of if so the can turn it all the way over in order for it to pour out while maintaining control of the milk jug.

A third technique for appropriate guidance can be shown when children show pride in doing a task. A parent can join in with the child in being proud of them. A parent can use, use facial expressions and an acceptance voice to build a sense of acceptance and trust that they're there to support and understand a child's development of autonomy. Another technique parents can use to provide appropriate guidance is to tell children what you want them to do. "I want you to speak kindly to me please." A fifth technique is to physically hold a child who is out of control. This will help calm them and relax their bodies and allow them to give in to any emotion they may be feeling. An example of this is when a child is screaming and sometimes throwing things. Pick the child up, hold them close to your body and don't let go until they've exhausted all of the emotion they're feeling.

Holding a child when they're out of control works with most children, however, there are some children where it makes things worse. When dealing with a child whose upset but doesn't want to be touched respect that and stay where you can see what the child is doing so they don't cause harm to themselves or others and stay close enough to see what they're doing until they calm down. They will usually then come to you when they've calmed down and are ready for interaction again.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

The Balanced Approach

Two specific behaviors that develop between ages one and three are tantrums and biting. Children use them as a way to gain power and control. A parent needs to use sensitivity and warmly guide a child when these behaviors are shown. An approach that can be used to direct these behaviors is the balanced approach to guidance which helps young children become associated to the culture they live in. The balanced approach includes a parent showing respect for the child's emotional needs, respect for individual differences, respect for power of development and respect for self.

For example, if a child is mad because they didn't get ice cream while out running errands, a parent needs to show respect for the child's emotion of sadness and anger that they're feeling for not getting the ice cream and being angry at the parent for not getting the ice cream. A parent can say, "I understand it makes you sad that you can't have ice cream and I understand it makes you mad at mommy." The parent shows respect for the individual differences by saying, "I know you wanted ice cream but we have some at home you can have after dinner."

A parent shows respect for power of development by acknowledging the child is changing and growing. For example, a parent respects a child's power of development by letting them brush their teeth when they tell the parent they want to do it instead of insisting they as the parent do it. A parent helps a child have respect for self by showing the child unconditional love, listening to them and accepting their child's capabilities.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Nine Suggestions of How to Approach Conflict

Margaret Keyser works in conflict transformation and uses her experience to transform conflict in schools, churches and governments. Margaret calls conflict between family member's mutual conflicts because they take communication, participation and negotiation on the part of all family members to solve. Examples of conflicts could be a child wants to stay inside all day while the parent want the child to be outside or a child wants macaroni and cheese for dinner when spaghetti was made. Keyser mentions three areas conflicts fall under. Conflicting parent and child needs, differing views of how to do something or what to do, and poor communication.

Margaret Keyser gives nine suggestions of how to approach these conflicts. First, listen and ask open ended questions. Second, restate and reframe the child's ideas, third, find common ground, fourth state your position, ideas and feelings, fifth give appropriate information, sixth give the child time to respond, seventh outline the conflict as comprising  equally valid viewpoints, eighth invite, discuss and choose possible solutions, and ninth set up a time to check back in.

For example, if a child asks if they can go to a friends' house, the parent asks open ended questions such as, "what time are you going there, what time will you be home, how are you getting there and home?" To restate and reframe the situation the parent then says, "Okay, so you want to go to Sally's house and need me to take you to Sally's at two, but Sally's mom will drop you off at home when she takes Sally to tennis practice around 4." If this is okay you've found common ground, if not you need to find it by stating your position. "It's fine if you go over to Sally's house at two, but I need to pick you up at 3:30 because we have to pick up your sibling from friends house and get sibling to piano lessons and you to the library to volunteer at four." Give the child time to respond and invite their ideas and discuss any ideas they may have of how to get everyone where they need to be. They may have an idea that works better than yours. Sometimes children think of thing we haven't as we're hurrying around town trying to get our children everywhere they need to be.

To discuss problems and solve problems using these nine suggestions helps parents and children be able to solve problems without feelings being hurt. These suggestions also help find where common ground is in a situation and helps both perspectives be seen and heard. This will lead to parents and children having a healthy, warm relationship built on love and respect.

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Busy Day

Busy day and more to do. Enjoy this video. More next week.