Posted on Leave a comment

Parenting Plans – Cultivating Morals & Character in Your Child

PARENTING PLANS…

banner-parenting-issues

… help you to create a vision that guides your decisions and behavior as you raise your child. This is essential to a healthy parent-child relationship. Have you taken the time to think about the values you want to cultivate and the family experiences you want to create? In this article, I’ll ask you to look deep into your heart and think about what it really means to be a parent, what your child needs from you and how you can provide it. I’ll also ask you to consider your own needs, as a parent and as an individual who seeks meaning and purpose in his or her life. By reading this and following my recommendations, you’ll be ready to create your own parenting plan and learn what it really takes to raise a child to maturity and what a delightful journey it is.

First, let’s explore the components of a healthy family

In a healthy family, parenting is a top priority. Discipline is fair, consistent and designed to teach, rather than blame, punish or humiliate. Parents establish firm limits, but allow children freedom of expression within boundaries that are in place not to keep children down, but to keep them safe. Expression of feelings is encouraged. Even negative emotions are okay. The family is a safe haven where the child can relax and be himself.

Parenting plans must respect each person’s individuality

Although each person is a member of this tribe which is your family, individual needs must be encouraged and respected. We’ll also explore what makes up a good parenting plan in this article.

Parents acknowledge that while togetherness is important, everyone has the need for solitude. Time for self-care is also essentially, especially for hard-working parents. Parents need to take time for themselves, so they can fill the cup that gives them the energy to take care of others.

Good parenting plans focus on togetherness and shared experiences, but also allow time for solitude and self-care.

Parents create rituals that make sense within the family and create deep and lasting bonds.

Focus on personal growth

Even as parents are raising their children to become mature adults, they realize that they need to work on their weaknesses and tendencies that are detrimental to a healthy, loving family (such as a tendency to overreact, to lash out when stressed, to drink to relieve tension, to avoid intimacy through workaholism, etc.)

Parenting Plans

Spend quality time with your children each day, but never be fooled into thinking that participating in an occasional fun activity is enough. You must also be there for the daily struggles and problems. This is what I refer to as quantity time.

Do activities together: preparing meals, cleaning the kitchen, riding bikes, walking the dog. Make your drive time to and from school, one-on-one time for sharing feelings, dreams and struggles.

Use what’s happening in the moment to teach self-discipline and cultivate awareness, compassion and a sense of diplomacy.

Create family rituals that have a sense of meaning and foster deep bonds. Don’t just blindly follow traditions. Use them to create your own.

Use the parenting plans on this page as a starting point for your own vision. If you have ideas to contribute, please use the box below. Be part of a caring community of parents around the world who weave their own thread into the tapestry of humanity by consciously raising their children.

Posted on Leave a comment

Parenting Tips: Giving Your Children the Gift of Time

time

Today’s parents talk quite a bit about spending quality time with their children. Some parents believe that if they’ve spent an hour of “quality” time with their children, they’ve done enough. This hour is usually focused on an enjoyable activity: watching t.v., going out to eat, going to the movies, etc.

Although today’s world turns at a frenetic pace and parents are often overwhelmed by all they have to do, our parenting tips will highlight the importance of spending both quality and what I call quantity time with your kids.

To illustrate the difference between the two, let me share a brief story.

The other day at the supermarket, I ran into an acquaintance. In order to protect his identity, we’ll call him Joe. After we exchanged greetings, I asked about his nine year old son, Sam. Joe is divorced and has custody of Sam every other weekend. He told me: “Let me give you a parenting tip. Every time I do something with Sam, I make sure it’s something fun. Last weekend, I took him to Disneyland. I’m spending quality time with him all right … yeah, that’s what I’m doing.” When I asked how Sam was doing in school, Joe stammered for a moment, then waved me off, “That kid’s got the world by the tail.”

Let’s begin by recognizing Joe’s efforts to spend time with his son. Given his situation, time constraints and his understanding of what Sam needs from him, he’s trying to be a decent father. It seems, though, that his need to make sure that Sam is always entertained might stem from feelings of guilt over spending little time with him. It’s a modus operandi that I refer to as “guilty parenting.” Here’s the first of my parenting tips: when you feel bad about your inability to do something for your child and try to make up for it through some compensatory action, you can create an ill affect.

Instead of being honest, we overcompensate and act like peers, rather than parents. It’s important to note that this phenomenon isn’t unique to men, even though traditionally they have had less time to spend with children. Suffice it to say that guilty parenting overcompensates and causes children to view themselves as victims. This happens because children model our behavior and point their fingers at the parent who points the finger at himself.

That said, let’s talk about the concept of time. From my bag of parenting tips comes this quote: “Time is the most precious thing you own.” Because our lives are so full of hurry, worry and activity, we often stress the importance of spending “quality time” with our children. But this may stem from the guilt of knowing that we often push our kids to the bottom of the list. Yes, we assure them, I’ll spend some time with you, but only after I finish this and that. Spending time with our kids becomes another item on our laundry list, as if they were a “thing to do.”

Some years back, I saw an interview with actor, Paul Sorvino, who talked about how proud he was that his daughter, Mira, had recently won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress. He remarked that he had been a hands-on father who had always been there for his children. He ended by saying that there’s no such thing as “quality time.”

Parenting tips: The quantity of time that you spend with your children matters just as much as the quality of that time.

While I understood what he meant, I think that we shouldn’t alienate parents who have less time because of jobs or circumstances beyond their control.

The point is that quantity time matters just as much, if not more, than quality time.

While it’s okay to take your kids to Disneyland, it isn’t a substitute for good parenting.

Parents need to be there–they need to be a witness to their children’s lives. That means creating good times, but more importantly, it means being there when things are tough. It means being an active participant in your child’s everyday struggles.

For example: working with a child who is dyslexic to help him sort out his letters, helping a child who gives up much too easily to learn to try again, teaching a child who is quick to anger how to channel his intensity into something positive. Helping a troubled kid or troubled teen learn how to correct maladaptive behaviors. This, of course, requires time, patience and a willingness to participate in a long-term process. This is quantity time. Quantity time requires that we be there. Quality time ends once the weekend trip is over and Sunday evening rolls around.

We speak in terms of quality time because we live in a society where money and things have come to rule our lives. The solution to this is simple: make a decision that family matters. Once you’ve made family your priority, it’s fairly easy to weed out the activities that take up too much time and create parenting plans that serve the interests of the entire family. Maybe when you were single and had no children, you could do it all, but having a family has changed all that. As parents, we have to make hard choices. This means saying “no” more often to the people and activities that aren’t central to our lives. As always, it’s a balancing act, but the more we choose, the clearer our priorities become.

In our fast-paced society, we often forget that relationships take care and time. Spending time with your children shouldn’t be seen as “doing time”—it shouldn’t feel like a prison sentence. (If it does, then playing with your child will be your greatest medicine because it will teach you to relax.)

Parenting tips for creating more time with your children:

  • Parenting Tips 1:

Rethink your life: one day each week, squeeze your schedule into your family life, rather than your family into your schedule. Find things that you can do together as a family. Make sure that you give each child individualized attention. Talk to your child; find out how he’s doing. Make yourself responsible for having a finger on his pulse. Be accessible, even when you’re busy.

  • Parenting Tips 2:

Spending time doesn’t mean you have to do anything special. All it means is that you give your interest and attention. If you’re overwhelmed with chores, ask your kids to help. There’s something about engaging with others in rote activity that invites conversation and connection. Above all, check yourself before you use candy, money, toys or trips to make up for being unavailable. Remind yourself that this is often a clever defense to assuage a sense of guilt.

  •  Parenting Tips 3:

Unscheduled time–time spent spontaneously and given freely— is a great healer of relationship. Learn to make time for the people in your life. Have days or at least moments when you freely give your time. Don’t worry that the laundry isn’t folded or that you have a million things to do. Put all that aside and give your children time. By doing so, you’ll be giving them the most valuable thing you own.

If you found this article informative, please share it with your friends. 

Posted on Leave a comment

How Parenting Child Development Helps Make You Closer to Your Kids

Parenting is important to you because your children matter more than anyone in the world. As a caring adult, you want to give your kids the best. So you strive to understand child development and child discipline and become a better parent. You work hard for your family and give them more than you had as a child. You read magazines, books, parenting sites to improve yourself. But have you ever asked yourself what you want from this relationship? And have you asked yourself what your children really NEED aside from physical comfort and security?

children

In your heart of hearts, if you imagined the best possible outcome for yourself and your family, what would you foresee?

Would you feel fulfilled if your children grew up to honor, cherish and respect you?

Every parents would.

But how do you create this, especially if you don’t enjoy a healthy relationship with your mom and dad?

And how do you change your parenting style, if you’re flying blind and making it up as you go along?

Where did you learn how to raise kids anyway? Did you go to school and get a masters in child development?

Probably not. (Don’t worry … you don’t need one.)

If you’re like most of us, you learned child discipline from your folks, who learned from theirs.

While there’s nothing wrong with this, especially if you had wise and loving role models, times have changed. Parenting strategies have evolved and our understanding of child development, child behavior and child discipline has led us to become more insightful and humane.

Have your beliefs changed with new findings and understandings or are you still operating from old assumptions?

Are you “parenting in the present” or using child discipline strategies that were passed on to you by your folks and are at least a quarter of a century old?

Much of what you know about raising children you have probably learned unconsciously by watching your mom and dad. For example, while most parents claim they do not buy into their grandparent’s children-should-be-seen-and-not-heard ethic, they have no idea how to communicate with their kids.

If you don’t know how to talk with your children, how can you create a close relationship? 

You can’t. 

But don’t worry. There’s a reason you’ve found this web site.

Within these pages, you will discover compelling insights on child parenting, child development, child behavior, child discipline and more that will help you understand where to start and how to create and maintain a lifetime closeness with your kids that is based on love and mutual respect.

IMG_0762

Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Suhailah Attamimi and that’s a photo of my 9 year old boy and I above. I am the author of this web site and a parenting ebook, How to Rise A Healthy & Positive Child. If the words on this page have touched you, then I can help. I can tell you from experience that there is nothing more fulfilling than creating a close relationship with your kids and raising them to be people of integrity who make good choices on their own.

I walk my talk and share what has worked for me in my relationship with my child. In addition, I have been involve in child education and development for more than 13 years and has a specialized MathsExCEL Center to back me up. I won’t use my knowledge to lecture you, but to gently lead you to insights of your own.

Please accompany me on this journey to learn what your kids really need from you and how to become a parent you can be proud of. Sign up for my periodic newsletter, MathsExCEL (the subscription box appears below), so you’ll know as soon as I post a new article on my site.

Since the newsletters costs nothing, you have nothing to lose and everything to gain. Sign up for MathsExCEL! Newsletters today because your child matters! more than anything in the world.

To subscribe to MathsExCEL!, type in your full name, email address and contact number below. Please note: You must enter your first and last name in the subscription box in order to be added to our list. Your email address will be kept private and confidential.

Subscribe to MathsExCEL!

Posted on Leave a comment

How to Discipline Your Child Without Yelling or Spanking

spanking-childMany desperate parents resort to yelling or spanking to control their children’s unruly behavior. However, Barbara Unell and Jerry Wyckoff, Ph.D., authors of “Discipline without Shouting or Spanking,” say that these forms of discipline can reinforce the kind of behavior parents seek to correct. Shouting or smacking reflects a lack of control and teaches children that aggression is an appropriate means of expressing frustration. Parents should remember that discipline isn’t to merely punish but to teach children appropriate behavior. Effective discipline begins with acting in a manner consistent with the values you want to impart.

Step 1

Set clear rules. Give your child a fair opportunity to follow your rules by stating the rules clearly and making sure that your child understands them. Be sure to explain to your child why these rules are important. You may find that you have less need for discipline when your child understands why certain behaviors are appropriate or inappropriate.

Inform child of consequences of misbehavior. Your child also should understand what happens if he breaks your rules. This way, he will learn that his choices and actions bring consequences. The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP) notes that consequences should be reasonable and relate to the rule that is broken. For example, if the rule is “no television before finishing your homework,” the consequence of a child for an infraction might be a 1-day suspension of television privileges. You should calmly and clearly state the consequences for misbehavior before an infraction occurs. The AACAP suggests that when children are old enough, you can decide on the consequences for inappropriate behavior–or rewards for good behavior–together.

Step 3

Enforce consequences immediately. When a child doesn’t follow the rules, you should enforce the consequences immediately. If there is too much of a lag time between the act and the consequence, children will fail to associate the consequence with the misbehavior. Moreover, if you wait to execute the consequences, you may be more likely to lose your temper and be tempted to yell and spank if the infraction occurs a second time.

Step 4

Be consistent. Once you set these rules and consequences, be consistent in enforcing them. HealthyPlace.com advises parents not to be swayed by crying or pleading on the child’s part when an infraction occurs. Inconsistent behavior on your part will simply confuse the child or she won’t take the rules seriously. When she has no doubt that you will enforce the consequences, she will be more likely to follow the rules.

Step 5

Praise good behavior. Kids should be praised, thanked or otherwise encouraged for good behavior. Unell and Dr. Wyckoff say that you should praise the child’s behavior more than the child himself. For example, you might say, “That’s really great that you finished your homework before turning on the television. Good job.” This type of encouragement is a positive way of restating the rule and reminding children of your expectations for them.

Source: http://www.livestrong.com

Posted on Leave a comment

5 Disciplinary Mistakes Parents Make

Everyone has different styles when it comes to disciplining their children. However, there are certain methods that parents should definitely steer clear of. Read on to find out the top mistakes that parents make in disciplining their children.

shutterstock 70210417 e1362549086272 5 disciplinary mistakes parents make

Disciplining your children can seem easy for some parents because they have found seemingly easy ways to get their children to do what they want. What these parents do not realize, is that their methods can have long-term damaging effects on their children’s characters and attitudes.

1.    Backing down

Arguing with children is not easy. Parents often opt to take the easy way out by letting their children win arguments, or simply keeping quiet until the child is done with his say. It takes two hands to clap so logically the argument ends when one party remains silent.

However, silence implies consent and this makes for dangerous parenting. The child will believe that he is indeed in the right just because the parent is too tired to engage in an argument. Back down too often, and you will have a child with a distorted perception and a massive ego to boot.

2.    Bribing

Sometimes a little bribery is needed when dealing with noisy, restless or disobedient kids. A mother could promise her son some candy if he sat silent through a school meeting. The problem arises when the child begins to expect the treat. The child puts a price on good behaviour and will put on a show because of the reward at the end. Whatever lessons you want to teach about behaving well in public will be thrown out the proverbial window.

Experts instead suggest reinforcing good behaviour over small bribery. Encouragement wins out in the end and the right signals are sent out.

3.    White Lies

A little white lie every now and then is acceptable right? Wrong. The problem with white lies is that they are still lies. Hypothetically, a father could tell his kid to wake up early in the morning for school because any later, and the monsters would come out from under the bed. While the strategy probably results in a child waking up early every morning, the father eventually has to come to terms with the truth. When children find out the lie, they will believe that lying is acceptable, because their parents do it.

Worse still, as in the scenario mentioned above, that little white lie could instigate fears of the dark, or imaginary monsters, resulting in a child who is not as bold as he should have been.

4.    Breaking your own rules

The problem with parents implementing too many rules is that they too must adhere to them. These parents must take care not to argue with family members, not to wear their shoes in the bedroom, not hit other people, etc.

If they do break these rules, they lose their moral authority to discipline their children. A child would think that it is right to shout in class because his parents shout at each other at home. Parents become powerless because they too are culprits.

5.    Losing your temper

Children will test your patience and it is often difficult to keep that anger from boiling over the top. When parents lose their temper, they tend to ignore reasoning and focus on putting the child down. As such the child does not receive an explanation on his wrongdoing.

Worse still, children emulate their parents and frequent temper losses will also start to appear when children deal with problems

 

– by Ellery Aruldoss