As the leaves begin to turn vibrant colors and then fall we enter the season of short days and longer nights. It is also, for many of us, a season of holidays and traditions. It can be both exciting and stressful for families. Now, before things start moving really quickly is a time to pause and think about what you might want to remember.
Have you ever tried talking with your children only to be frustrated by one word, unenthusiastic, totally bored responses? Many parents become discouraged when they ask their children, “How was your day?” and their children say, “Fine.” Then they ask, “What did you do today?” The response is, “Nothing.” Try closet listening.
Goal disclosure can be a powerful tool. When the teacher’s empathy is genuine, the student experiences a connection with the teacher that is deeply caring. Goal disclosure will help you better understand your student, and your student will gain valuable insights about his or her deeper needs and motivations.
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.
"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.
Too often students (and adults) blame others for their feelings by saying, “You make me feel _____.” This is not true. No one can make anyone else feel something. They might invite you to feel something, but you always have a choice. One way to help your students take responsibility for their feelings is by teaching the skill of using “I” messages.
There was once a segment on Oprah in which families where challenged to give up electronics for a week, including TV. It was interesting to watch how difficult it was for parents, as well as their children, to give up all of their screens. One scene was particularly difficult to watch. A five-year-old boy could hardly stand it to give up playing video games. His temper tantrums were quite dramatic. His mother shared that she was embarrassed when she realized he had been playing video games for five hours a day. The good news was that after the whole family went through “media withdrawal,” they discovered how to replace screen time with family activities that increased their family closeness and enjoyment.
No one ever said parenting had to be boring or unpleasant. Laughter is often the best way to approach a situation. Try saying, “Here comes the tickle monster to get children who don’t pick up their toys.” Learn to laugh together and to create games to get unpleasant jobs done quickly. Humor is one of the best—and most enjoyable— parenting tools.