POSITIVE PARENTING

Here are 10 fundamental coaching skills you can use to coach yourself

and your children:

  1. Listen
  2. Support
  3. Focus on the important issues
  4. Motivate and encourage
  5. Guide
  6. Collaborate
  7. Evolve
  8. Ask powerful questions
  9. Strategize

10.     Understand

All of these coaching skills allow you to bring out the best in your children. They allow you to assume the best about your children, to trust that your children are capable, and to unconditionally support your them.

 

FORGET YELLING AND NAGGING.

 

Focus on positive discipline to bring out the best in your kids and create a more harmonious household.

Positive discipline, based on love and limits, is common sense. It's often the simple, sensible choices we tend to overlook as options, especially when we're in the heat of a kid battle. Unlike punishment, positive discipline works to maintain the dignity of both child and parent by helping the child want to cooperate because he knows it's the right thing to do, not because he feels he has to comply "or else." It has three main objectives:

To put a stop to misbehavior (such as whining, lying, hitting, tantrums).

To encourage good behaviors (i.e., cleaning up, healthy eating, using manners).

To strengthen the relationship between parent and child.

The starting place for positive discipline is with you as a parent which involves modeling of good behavior  the kind you'd like from your child. As you have already discovered, children will do as you do, not necessarily as you say. To review the kind of behavior you expect, schedule private discussions and family meetings to revisit a situation without blame, shame, fear, or guilt. When the child has input into solving the problem, he is more inclined to want to cooperate as planned when a similar situation arises. The process helps him feel important. But keep in mind that you have full veto power. Over time, a well-disciplined child learns to control his impulses, take responsibility, solve problems, and empathize with others.

In truth, changing your ways and your children's isn't easy, and it can be especially difficult to hold it together on crazy mornings like Alice had. But even if you find that what comes out of your mouth is not what you had practiced, don't worry. Your child will give you another chance - sooner than you think - to say it better.

Get Your Kids to Cooperate

  1. Acknowledge strong feelings. A child who feels understood sees you as on his side rather than on his back and is more likely to cooperate. Say, "I noticed how angry you get when you're having fun and have to leave your friend's house. Let's practice a happy goodbye for tomorrow. How would that look and sound?"
  2. Talk less. Say what needs to be done in a single word if you can. "Coat." "Breakfast." "Teeth." Children hate long explanations, which often turn into a screaming tirade of reasons it must be done. You're also modeling self-control.
  3. Tell your child what he can do, rather than what he cannot do. For example, "We pet the cat" works better than, "Don't pull the cat's tail like you did last week." This serves as a reminder of an acceptable action rather than of what your child did wrong.
  4. Give limited choices. Say to your child, "You can get in your car seat all by yourself or Mommy will help you do it. Do you need my help? It's your choice." Most toddlers will say, "Self, self . . . I do it." The more you do this, the more you'll get "self" cooperation.
  5. Lighten up. Make inanimate objects do the talking for you. If you want your child to put on his shoes, for instance, make the shoes say, "Please put your feet in my tummy." Toddlers will usually happily comply, at least once.
  6. Rewind! This announcement means that your child will "take back" her words and actions and start anew with good behavior. Silly babble and walking backwards indicate the bad behavior has been "erased." In order for this to be effective, it must be introduced, demonstrated, and talked about repeatedly, outside the heat of the moment.
  7. Take a break. To calm a frustrated child, stop and breathe together. Say, "Looks like you need a break; let's breathe together." Sitting across from each other, holding hands, inhale slowly and deeply three times. Say, "I'm feeling relaxed now."
  8. Take a silly break. A sense of humor is very positive and often works well to stop misbehavior. When things are out of control, consider declaring, "We need to get silly!" Dance, sing the "silly song," tell a joke, talk in a silly voice or a foreign language. The children will join right in - or at least stop misbehaving long enough to watch the show!

 

PLAY WITH YOUR CHILDREN

Use humor with your children

Lightness and humor can help ease the pain. By creating emotional distance from the upsetting event, humor can diffuse a conflict or relieve a tense moment. Humor can also ease the stress of parenting. The act of laughing triggers the release of our bodies' natural painkillers, endorphins. These chemicals help to block pain and create a general sense of well-being. Active amusement can also improve the immune system by raising levels of T- and B-cells, which produce disease-destroying antibodies. And because laughter increases oxygen intake, it can also stimulate the circulatory system and temporarily lower blood pressure. Laughing with others is also one of the best ways to build closeness.
 
How to Use Humor
Try these tips to bring more laughter, joy, and fun into your family. If your child is giggling, laughing, howling, falling out of his chair, or begging you to do it again, you can be sure that you are on the right track.
 
Laugh at yourself. If you drop a plate, crack a joke: "I didn't like that plate anyway." Refrain from getting angry if your child makes a mistake or a mess. When he spills the milk on the kitchen table for the third time, make a joke about it: "Hope the table was thirsty."
 
Play. It doesn't matter what the game is; the important thing is to play with your child. And be prepared to repeat what you do. Try the staring game. One person tries to keep a straight face while the other tries to get her to crack up.
 
Ham it up. If playing tag, let your child catch you. When she does, scream, and try to escape. Repeat till worn out.
 
Create a funny gallery. Cut out comics from the newspaper, funny photos out of magazines, or jokes. Put them on the refrigerator or on a bulletin board. Reference them when your child needs a laugh.
 
Surprise him. Do something completely unexpected. Is morning wake-up a tense time? Walk into his room with a lampshade on your head.
 
Join children in their world. For kids, mattresses are deserted islands surrounded by shark-infested waters or molten lava. Dining room tables are fortresses. Closets are caves. Follow their lead.
 
Read joke books or funny poetry. Few kids can resist the hilarity of wordplay in books such as Shel Silverstein's Runny Babbit. Exchange jokes at dinnertime or when stuck in traffic.
 
Learn a magic trick. Just one. The sillier the better.
 
Tell funny stories from your own childhood. Your kids will love hearing them, and remember every one. They might even see you in a new light. Students I had 20 years ago still remember the raisin bread story.
 
Watch a funny movie together. For some old-fashioned belly laughs, try Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton, or the Three Stooges.
 
Give butterfly kisses. Or Eskimo kisses. Or make up your own silly kiss.
 
Loosen up. Dance. Sing funny songs. Get up from the park bench and play on the jungle gym. Slide down the slide. Swing on the swings. Throw your dignity out the window.
 
Use a funny voice. Instead of telling your child to feed the dog, sing it like an opera singer, or say it with an accent. Sing silly songs. Remember those goofy songs you learned at camp? Sing them.
 
Arm wrestle. Try hard, but never win.
 

Have Fun with Your Kids

Try these fun activities.

1. Rate the Parks in Your Area.

Your local phone book probably includes a list of free parks in your area. Together, map out the parks you plan to visit and create a system for raking them. Then, create a schedule for visiting each park this summer. This is a great activity because it costs nothing and gives your child something to look forward to each week. Plus, participating in raking each park will make your child feel important and valued.

2. Read books together.

Kids of all ages love being read to! It's an activity that requires our attention and our time - two of the things our kids crave! Depending on your child's age and interests, you might pick a certain theme or author to focus on this summer. This is also a great way to get to know your child better and share one another's interests.

3. Take Regular Walks.

Or bike rides...or scooter rides...This is another great way to spend time together. It allows you to take in the scenery, set aside the concerns of the day, and be present with one another. Again, it requires you to invest time with your kids, which makes them feel valued and important.

4. Play in the Water Together.

Whether you're playing in the sprinkler or your community pool, being in the water feels great. It reduces tension and provides a great opportunity to laugh and play together. On one hand, this seems like a simple activity, but your willingness to play together says "I love you" to your child in a language he or she understands.

5. Visit a Museum Together.

At least once this summer, visit a local museum. Why? First, taking the time to visit a place of learning together demonstrates the value you place on education. And, second, it gives your child a wonderful opportunity to tell you what he or she knows about history and the arts!

6. Visit a Petting Zoo Together

Most children enjoy visiting a petting zoo and touching the animals. It's a special activity for you to enjoy together because it gives your child an opportunity to "be brave" in your presence! Just remember to use the antibacterial hand gel or good old soap and water on your way out!

7. Share an Ice Cream Treat!

Summer is a great time to enjoy ice cream! Did you know that you can even make your own ice cream in a coffee can? The kids will have a blast rolling the can around the backyard while the ice cream freezes!

8. Share Your Artistic Talents.

Art is a wonderful way to express our feelings and have fun at the same time. Whether you're simply drawing outdoors with sidewalk chalk or creating a family collage of your favorite things, sharing yourself through art is a great way to deepen your relationship with your children. Another artistic option to consider is creating a picture journal - with drawings or photographs - of your summer fun activities! This will help your child preserve these memories all year long.

9. Cook Together.

Cooking is a fun and simple way to spend time with one another. Whether you're making spaghetti sauce with fresh tomatoes or mixing up a box of brownies, time together in the kitchen is a collection of moments your child will recall fondly. It's time to talk, to share, and to simply be together.

10. Write to One Another

Is there a time this summer when you'll be apart from one another? Maybe it's for a day or a month. In any case, use the opportunity to write a short letter to your child about how much fun you're having and how much this time together means to you. Even a few short sentences will be a sacred treasure to your child!

11. Play Together.

Just play cricket, football, doll house with them and revive your child back and understand your children through play.