Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Value Your Children Workshop

I've promised a few of my friends & colleagues to share with them what I've learnt during the 2-day parenting workshop last Thu/Fri... so here it is... I'm not listing them all out as it's just too much info...but I'll briefly give you an idea what was done during the workshop...for more info, you could always drop me a message on my msg board or write me an email... ;) Hope it's of some valuable use to all of you...

Our presenter, Mrs Kirby Worthington, who's actively involved in child and family studies and has taught Child and Developmental Psychology at universities & colleges. She is a mother of 3 and a grandma of's amazing to see the amount of energy she has... we simply love her, she's very approachable and very willing to share her experiences and knowledge with us...

The workshop comprise of - Physical & Social-Emotional Development as well as Mental & Spiritual Development (including tools for discipline). This is a workshop design for all who love children (and I'm one of them...hehehe) ;)

1) Tools for communicating love in ways others can receive
- One of the ideas shared for communicating love was to place an "I did this because I love you doll" on top of the gift of service. This helps to develop a heart to serve and gratitude in the children.
- Eg. a mother packs the room or tidy up the bed of the child and place a doll with a label "I did this because I love you" on the bed.
- Presenting a pleasant surprise to the one we love.

2) Children Need at least 5 or 6 positives to every 1 negative interaction
- Research done by Dr. John Gottman showed that marriages needed a ratio of at least 5 positives to every one negative interaction to keep love alive. This ratio also holds true in raising children.
- Yes, we need to correct and give appropriate consequences to help stop harmful behaviours and attitudes. However there will be far less need for punishment and correction if we spend effort setting up a safe and happy learning environment, and give encouragement and attention for positive behaviours and attitudes.
- Children do more of what they get attention for. They will continue to do inappropriate behaviours if that gets attention. They would rather receive praise and hugs. But they prefer punishment to no attention at all. That means they will sometimes act out just to get your attention.
- So, if you train yourself to notice and praise (encourage, reinforce) the positive behaviours and heart attitudes at least 5 times as often as you correct the inappropriate behaviours, that bad will begin to disappear, and the good will show up more.

3) How to stop temper tantrums, whining and screeching
- A true tantrum carries the attitude, "I want my way and I'm going to get it or you'll be sorry" - a deliberate attempt to manipulate you. Eg. rather than the whine of being hungry, this is wanting a cookie instead of dinner and screeching until they get their way. Do NOT let them have what they want in such cases. It may temporarily quiet them, but they'll learn to tantrum more and more and life will get worse in the long run.
- Children respect and feel loved by adults who stick to the rules and set firm, loving limits. Speak with respect, not anger. Kindly but firmly say, "We'll have lunch when the timer goes 'bing'. When you're ready to use your pleasant (inside, kind) voice, I'd love to let you help me stir." (Distract or redirect their energy).

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