Parents

THE ART OF ACTIVE LISTENING

Active (or reflective) listening is an effective tool of communication. One that will serve you well as you parent your child and (sooner than you may think) the adolescent that child will become. Active listening is the art of observing and listening to feelings, then reflecting them back. Active listening does not require that you agree with your child’s feelings, but it allows your child to feel connected and understood—something all people need—and provides an opportunity to explore and clarify those mysterious impulses known as emotions.

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I love you, AND the answer is, “No.”

Rudolf Dreikurs taught the importance of being both Kind and Firm in our relations with children. Kindness is important in order to show respect for the child. Firmness is important in order to show respect for ourselves and for the needs of the situation. Authoritarian methods usually lack kindness. Permissive methods lack firmness. Kindness and firmness are essential for Positive Discipline.

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18 WAYS TO AVOID POWER STRUGGLES

Power struggles create distance and hostility instead of closeness and trust. Distance and hostility create resentment, resistance, rebellion (or compliance with lowered self-esteem). Closeness and trust create a safe learning environment. You have a positive influence only in an atmosphere of closeness and trust where there is no fear of blame, shame or pain.

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Teaching Responsibility: When Does it Happen?

I have been hearing questions such as, “How can I get my two-year-old to pick up his toys by himself?” (You can’t.) “Why does my teenager say she’ll empty the garbage and then avoid doing it unless I nag?” (She has a gazillion other life questions plaguing her.) “Why won’t my kids be responsible and just do what they know they should do?” (Do you always do what you know you should do—especially when someone else demands it of you?)

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2018 in Review

I am excited (and a bit overwhelmed) with all of the progress we made in 2018, and the many projects we have planned for 2019. I’ll be turning 82 this year and I am more energetic than ever about Positive Discipline!

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Distract and Redirect

Children under the age of three do not understand “no” in the way most parents think they do. (And a full understanding of “no” doesn’t occur magically when the child turns three. It is a developmental process.) “No” is an abstract concept that is in direct opposition to the developmental need of young children to explore their world and to develop their sense of autonomy and initiative.

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SILENT SIGNALS

Try a silent (secret) signal. (Kids love the secret part—especially when they have helped create it.) Creating silent signals can be part of “taking time for training” (another great tool card).

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Encouragement: What does it mean and how is it done?

Rudolf Dreikurs taught, “A child needs encouragement like a plant needs water.” In other words, encouragement is essential. Children may not die without encouragement, but they certainly wither. Since encouragement is so essential, it would be good for parents to know exactly what encouragement means and how to do it. Let’s start with what encouragement is not.

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Show Faith

One of the biggest mistakes some parents and teachers make, when they decide to do Positive Discipline, is becoming too permissive because they don’t want to be punitive. Some mistakenly believe they are being kind when they rescue their children, and protect them from all disappointment. This is not being kind; it is being permissive. Being kind means to be respectful of the child and of yourself.

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Letting Go: Morning Hassles and Responsibility

"Jimmy, time to get up! C'mon, Jimmy, get up now! This is the last time I'm going to call you!"

Sound familiar? Mornings in Jimmy's home are much like mornings in other homes around the world—hectic, argumentative, and full of hassles. Jimmy has not learned to be responsible because Mom is too busy being responsible for him. It gets worse as the morning continues.

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