Introverted parents

The benefits of being an introverted parent, by Kristen Howerton. Rather than seeing her introversion as a parental flaw, the author looked at her skillset as a parent, and recognised many areas in which her introversion was an asset. She may not invite all the neighbourhood kids over for afternoon tea, or play with all of her kids at once, but her overthinking/analysis helps her to stay in tune with them, she helps her kids process their feelings, enjoys one-on-one times with each of them etc.

Trouble with Bright Girls

The Trouble With Bright Girls, by Heidi Grant Halvorson (Psychology Today).

Bright girls believe that their abilities are innate and unchangeable, while bright boys believe that they can develop ability through effort and practice.

How do girls and boys develop these different views? Most likely, it has to do with the kinds of feedback we get from parents and teachers as young children. Girls, who develop self-control earlier and are better able to follow instructions, are often praised for their “goodness.” When we do well in school, we are told that we are “so smart,” “so clever, ” or ” such a good student.” This kind of praise implies that traits like smartness, cleverness, and goodness are qualities you either have or you don’t.

Boys, on the other hand, are a handful. Just trying to get boys to sit still and pay attention is a real challenge for any parent or teacher. As a result, boys are given a lot more feedback that emphasizes effort (e.g., “If you would just pay attention you could learn this,” “If you would just try a little harder you could get it right.”) The net result: When learning something new is truly difficult, girls take it as sign that they aren’t “good” and “smart”, and boys take it as a sign to pay attention and try harder.

Positive parenting

One of the things we struggled with when we received the first autism diagnosis, was what expectations we should have about our child’s behaviour.  We didn’t want to expect behaviours she was incapable of, which would be unfair, but neither did we want to use autism to excuse everything.  Many traditional parenting methods were ineffective for us, so we’ve just figured it out as we’ve gone along!  Some of the links below contain strategies we’ve found effective (not autism-specific), plus a few that we’re interested in trying!  They may not (and probably won’t!) work for everyone, but it’s definitely worth reading the links to glean whatever may be useful for your family.

Positive Parent Consequences Guide (SkinNurse blog).

What’s the deal with consequences (Positive Parents).

SkinNurse links to the Positive Parents article at the bottom of the post, but I thought both articles were good enough to share.

Throw the word “consequence” entirely out of your vocabulary and replace it with the term “problem-solving.”

Do you see how this changes the whole concept in your mind? Now it’s not about coming up with something to do to your child, but it’s about working with your child to find a solution. Having your child involved in the problem-solving process will not only teach him valuable lessons and instil self-discipline, but it will leave his dignity intact, and he’ll feel good about himself and his relationship with you.

A better way to say sorry (EsteticNurer blog).

The four part apology (EsteticNurer blog).

Both of these posts are from the same author, and cover the same four points (I’m sorry for…, This is wrong because…, In the future, I will…, Will you forgive me?), but the first post gives examples from the classroom, and the second from the home- both are very good.

Seven steps to encourage honesty in our kids and put an end to lying (EsteticNurer blog).

How to deal with lying in children and teens (Empowering Parents).

I believe that with kids, lying is a faulty problem–solving skill. It’s our job as parents to teach our children how to solve those problems in more constructive ways. Here are a few of the reasons why kids lie.

Beyond Anger Management: What’s behind the mask? (Free Spirit Publishing).

Many students used anger to mask other emotions. It was easier to say they felt mad than to admit feeling hurt, abandoned, disappointed, lonely, or betrayed.

A neat activity involving drawing on both sides of a paper plate to unpack the emotions involved.

Tattling vs reporting (EsteticNurer blog).

Am I Tattling or Reporting? Tattling is when I get someone in trouble. Reporting is when I get someone out of trouble.

Plus an acronym for “Before you speak, THINK”. 

Getting rid of “It’s not fair!” (EsteticNurer blog).

A great example of how a teacher demonstrates fairness to her class. She asks everyone where their boo-boo is, then puts a bandaid on the same spot for every student. Fair doesn’t mean the same. We are all different so what we need is not always the same.

10 things NOT to say to your kids

10 things NOT to say to your kids (SkinNurse blog). I know this stuff.  I just need to remember to do it! Use positive statements instead of negative (eg say “walk please” rather than “no running”), be specific with encouragement, don’t say can’t (because they may then want to show you that they can), don’t finish statements with the word “okay?”, and several more!

Baby Bridges and a Developmental Tracker

Baby Bridges is a free program for 0-5’s with disabilities and/or developmental delays, and their parents/carers. The standard program consists of two components: children’s play and specialised therapy sessions with qualified therapists; and parent information and training sessions. It is offered at several locations throughout Queensland, however, the location at Auchenflower (Developing Foundation) incorporates the Developing Childhood program and Funtastic Creations.

The Developing Childhood program designed by child development experts (which is available independently of Baby Bridges) is a fantastic opportunity for parents of children to track and enhance milestones from birth to a functional age of 3 – and there are 342 of them in the first three years of a child’s life!  This detailed record-keeping is invaluable for parents who may be concerned about developmental delays, to track and to share with their paediatrician or therapists.  In addition to charting milestones, the program offers a personalised program ofactivities to help stimulate and encourage your child towards their next milestones.  The site offers a one month free trial (which I highly recommend checking out!), and the full cost of the program is $95 (total).  

Mercy’s Goodna courses

Mercy Community Services provide many different kinds of family and disability support. I particularly noticed the quality programs they offer at minimal cost or free- here are the programs they’re running from Goodna in terms 3 and 4:

123 Magic and Emotion Coaching flyer Term 3 2015 (Learn to manage big emotions and challenging behaviours in children 2-12 years old)

123 Magic and Emotion Coaching flyer Term 4 2015 (Learn to manage big emotions and challenging behaviours in children 2-12 years old)

Fun Friends Flyer Term 3 2015 (Building Resilience in 4-7 year olds through play)

Fun Friends Flyer Term 4 2015 (Building Resilience in 4-7 year olds through play)

Friends for Life Term 4 2015 (Help build resilience and prevent anxiety and depression in 7-12 year olds)

Engaging Adolescents Term 3 2015 (Learn to manage big emotions and challenging behaviours in adolescents)

CoSTermFour 2015 (Circle of Security parenting series)

Available to people who live within the Ipswich City Council geographical region (but still worth enquiring if you don’t!). For further information, contact the Family Matters Team at Mercy Community Services, Goodna on (07) 3280 8000.