Archive for July, 2007

Positive Parenting- Giving your children a reason to be good

I don’t know about you but as an addict of TV programmes like Supernanny, Little Angels, or House of Tiny Tearaways etc, I have always been amazed that parents have to be taught how to give their children praise and positive attention. It was therefore a bit of a rude awakening when I did an NSPCC positive parenting course last year and found out how little I too, give my kids postive attention.

The theory behind Positive Parenting is that the more attention you give to the good behaviour the less likely children are to try and get your attention through bad behaviour. Here’s how to introduce it in to your household.

Week 1

Think about the best time of day for your child. When are they easiest to deal with or in a good mood? This is usually the times we ignore our kids because they are not being troublesome.

Week 2

Start to spend time with your child at these “good times” and give them your full attention. Don’t use this time to get something else done.

Week 3

Carry on giving you child attention at a particular time of day but now try to think of something nice to say to the every hour that you are together. This may sound a bit false but if you have got into a cylce of bad behaviour and nagging you may go for sometime without saying anything positive to them.

Week 4

This is probably the hardest of all. Now your child knows he gets attention for good behaviour, you need to withdraw attention for the bad behaviour. You must still take your child back to bed when he gets out and and make sure that he is playing safely but try to act rather that react. Remove him firmly to “time out” or take away the toy with a firm “No!”. With a toddler tantrum , sometimes the best thing to do is just leave the room.

Let me know how you get on. Please don’t read this as a reason not to discipline your kids. Children need firm bounderies and to be taught the difference between right from wrong. What we are trying to ensure is that they are encouraged to be good by lavishing them with praise when they are.

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Attention deficit disorder or Parent deficit disorder?

I read an interesting book recently on my quest to become an ever better parent called Raising Boys by Steve Biddulph. In it he quotes a story about a dad whose son was diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder(ADD). On reading the diagnosis, and for want of better information, he decided it meant his son wasn’t getting enough attention. That surely was, what “attention deficit” meant?! He therefore set himself the task of spending more time with his son and the result was that his son was abMatthew’s 3rd birthdayle to come off his medication.

Dan and I were reminded of this the night before last at bedtime. I had spent most of the day  struggling through the ever growing ironing pile which meant my 3 year old son Matthew had played a lot on his own . On top of that, Danhad a lot to get through at work so arrived home just in time to put the kids to bed. I lost count how many times that evening, Matthew “popped” out of bed. The excuses varied from needing a wee, needing fresh water in his water bottle, his duvet was “all wrong” etc. etc. Now my children are not always angels about going to bed but this was extreme. Each time Dan took him back he tried to do as all good parenting books suggest of saying little and being firm about it being bedtime. But each time he said goodnight he was met by a beaming smile and a satisfied son, who only seemed to want a little attention.

In his book Steve Biddulph was not suggesting that all ADD was due to a lack of parental attention and neither am I saying it’s the prime reason that your children won’t go to bed. But it does give you something to think about.

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Growing Kids Gods Way/Babywise

On becoming babywise/ Along the infant way by Gary Ezzo and Robert BucknamThis used to be called Preparing for parenting. We introduce this at our expectant parent workshops as one of the most helpful books to cope with a new baby. We have five sets of tapes/CDs and workbooks that we lend out.

On becoming babywise two by Gary Ezzo and Robert BucknamFrom 5 months to 15 months. I would recommend reading before you start to wean as it gives some helpful tips. The discipline methods are probably not required until you have a crawler on your hands. I do have same copies to lend.

On becoming toddler wise by Gary EzzoThis reminds you of the principles of earlier books and where you may have gone wrong! Gives three different ideas on potty training.

On becoming child wise by Gary Ezzo and Robert Bucknam.An abridged version of the Growing Kids God’s way without the christianese and very readable. Aimed at parents of 3 to 7 year old it is part of the on becoming baby wise series and I think this one of the better books regarding discipline. Some of the wording used is a little too american/cheesey for me but the principles are fantastic. You can adapt it to suit your own family.

 I am currently reading on becoming preschool wise so I will let you know. All of the above books are on Amazon or we have a copy of each in the parent recourses. There is a series aimed at Christian families that run along side it called Growing Kids Gods Way. It is exactly the same except everything is back by biblical references. I have copies of all of these to lend. They can only be purchased directly from Christian Education Europe and I do have an account if you wish to order those.

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