Blog

SCHEDULE SPECIAL TIME FOR CONNECTION

One of the most encouraging things parents can do for their children is to spend regular, scheduled special time with them. You may already spend lots of time with your children. However there is a difference between have to time, casual time, and scheduled special time.

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Listening Tool Card

Many parents complain that their children don’t listen, yet few parents really listen to their children. Children will listen to you AFTER they feel listened to.

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Listening Skills for Teachers

We have heard students say that it doesn't do any good to talk because adults don't listen—they just lecture? Could this be true? And if so, why? We will make some guesses.

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Teach Children What to Do

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.

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The Importance of Connection

"You have to reach the heart before you can reach the head." I first heard this statement while reading an article about Carter Bayton in a September, 1991 issue of Life Magazine. Carter Bayton was asked to work with thirteen 2nd grade boys who were considered so disruptive that they couldn't make in it a "regular" classroom. After six months of working with these boys they were doing so well that they challenged the "regular" class to a math contest and won. Carter found many ways to be effective with his students, but said the foundation was to reach their hearts before he could reach their minds.

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Encouragement vs Praise for Teachers

So, what is the difference between encouragement and praise? Praise teaches dependency on external feedback (I'm “okay” if you like what I do, and I feel badly if you don't like what I do), while encouragement teaches internal validation, (I use self-evaluation to determine how I feel about what I do).

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Encouragement vs Praise

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 what encouragement means and how to do it. Let’s start with the difference between praise and encouragement. It would be helpful to download the file "Differences Between Praise and Encouragement".

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Things Often Get Worse Before They Get Better

Remember this point so that you won’t become discouraged. Children quite often don’t trust that adults are really willing to listen to them and take them seriously. It may take some time for them to get used to this. At first they may try to use this new power to be hurtful and punishing, because this is the model they have been used to.

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One Word

Avoid lecturing and nagging. Use one word as a kind reminder.

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The Power of Nonverbal Communication

Adults and children express emotional energy on their faces, in their voices, and in the way they move or stand. Because children are still developing their language skills, they trust the message of this nonverbal communication far more than they do mere words.

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