Saturday, February 27, 2016

Practical Strategies for Positive Parenting

Unfortunately, common sense parenting skills are rare to find these days, and it shows.  Many of us could benefit from programs like RIP, a Regional Intervention Program that teaches parents basic parenting skills.  That was the topic of our fifth parenting discussion, led by my friend who is a mother of four and who went through the RIP program herself.

Yes, I said "all" parents could benefit.  Even with 20 years of parenting six kids and extensive experience both teaching and learning HOW to teach, I learned quite a lot from this lecture.  Of course it's best if both Mom and Dad can come, but any help is better than none!
Luckily, she shared a handout.  Now you, too, can get back to basics!

RIP's Basic Strategies 

  • State Expectations in Advance:  Give one clear instruction.
  • Catch Your Child Being Good:  Give specific, positive attention to the behavior that you want to occur again.
  • Present Limited Reasonable Choices:  Learning to take personal responsibility takes support and practice.
  • Use "When…..Then":  Give a simple instruction that tells your child what he must do in order to earn a desired consequence.
  • Plan Ahead:  Hope for the best, plan for the worst.
  • Know What is Reasonable:  Keep your expectations realistic.  (Part of this is understanding child development, part is knowing your child.  If you suspect that your child may have special needs, seek the help of a qualified professional.)
  • Stay Calm:  The more out-of-control your child becomes, the more self control you need to use.  (If you have problems with anger management or depression, seek professional help.)
  • Use Neutral Time:  The best time to talk is when everyone is calm enough to listen.

Extra Stress

Not all couples are on the same page when it comes to parenting.  Understandably, problem behaviors can drive a wedge between you two and create terrible stress.  If you are struggling while your spouse/partner is oblivious, there are good books and websites that can get you started with parenting help, and you may want to seek help as a couple, as well.
  • Mayo Clinic  Has information on parenting a child with ADHD, Oppositional Defiance Disorder, etc.
I wish that all parents and teachers who struggle with problem behavior (um, I guess that's all of us!) would participate!



14 comments:

  1. I'd like to be in touch with Meredith. Could you pass me her info.?

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    1. Hi, Heather, I sent you a message via Google+ with my contact information.
      Meredith

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  2. The only thing I would clarify is that RIP is more of a behavioral therapy program than a parenting class. I was happy to share more about our experience when Sarah asked me to talk because it was such a life changer for us. Our hope was that by sharing a few of the principles behind positive reinforcement, parents who might be struggling would be encouraged that there are evidence-based alternatives and resources available.

    Meredith

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  3. This is a good post for young parent like us.
    Thank for share !

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  4. Look at you judging strangers in the aisles of Target and making them fodder for blog posts. Shame on you. You have no idea what that mother had been through that day or what was going on in her life. You heard one exasperated comment?

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    1. Thank you for your comment! In opening up a conversation about trends in American parenting, I try to steer clear of "shame" and focus on how we might improve our adult responses to children's behavior. I have been a people watcher all of my life! Anonymous vignettes can be helpful in "keeping it real" vis-a-vis current parenting practices, and the aisles of Target seem as good a place as any to observe parenting theory when the rubber hits the road.

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  5. I really appreciate your article.. Parenting is an important job and it’s key that we discipline in a way that teaches responsibility by motivating our children internally, to build their self-esteem and make them feel loved.

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  6. It's useful for the new parents like me. I appreciate it.
    Thanks for sharing it and look forward to seeing more article like this.

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  7. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  8. Give specific, positive attention to the behavior that you want to occur again.

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  9. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  10. In the past, children have been treated as the personal property of their parents. Under Roman law, the patria protestas doctrine gave fathers life and death power over their children. To this day, the popular presumption is that children belong to their parents.SMG

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