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Learning to be a Positive Parent

by Maxine
Posted August 19 2010 04:30pm
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There are two ways to help you become a Positive Parent:

  • Think about your own parents’ strengths and abilities as a parent. 
  • Reflect on your own and your partner’s skills for parenting.  Even if you are not living together, this is key information to help you support each other in becoming the parents you want to be.

Below are two worksheets to help you think this through.  One is about you and your partner’s parenting, and the other covers your own parents’ parenting.

Don’t worry—you don’t have to be perfect! Not every parent is terrific in every aspect of being a Positive Parent. But it is important for you to know your strengths, as well as the areas you hope to improve. The ideal situation is for parents to balance each other out in the areas that are the most challenging for them. If you are both a little short in the same area, it’s a good idea to bring other caring adults into your child’s life. People like grandparents, aunts and uncles, nannies and daycare providers can offer a wider base of positivity.

After you’ve completed the worksheets, discuss the ratings you gave yourselves, with each other.  Talk about the reasons why you gave the ratings you did. Share your hopes with each other for how you want to be a Positive Parent.
 

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Temperament Trait Strategies: Regularity

by Maxine
Posted July 30 2010 04:54pm
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Regularity : On The Temperament Wheel, is your child high or low? 

Low Regularity – this child is hard to predict.  It's difficult to tell when they're hungry or tired.

Comfort

  • allow your baby to graze and eat frequently throughout the day, instead of eating main meals. Being forced to eat at set times can become an area for conflict for this type of child.  This level of flexibility will help your child learn that eating time is a happy time for his family.

Play

  • at nighttime, allow your child to play by herself until she falls asleep. Some nights, she will fall asleep right away. Other nights, she will stay awake quite a while before falling asleep.  This will help her learn to entertain herself at the end of your long day.

Teach

  • keep your child in a regular bedtime routine. Even though he won't necessarily sleep at the end of the routine, it will help both of you have a regular end to your day.  This will help your child learn that nightime is for putting himself to sleep

 

High Regularity these children seem to have internal clocks that keep them on a predictable schedule, and they don't like to deviate!

Comfort

  • Comfort your baby when she's off her regular schedule.  This will help her to know you understand her—even if you can't make the world more regular for her.

Play

  • Use play to deviate from your baby's regular schedule—even if it's just a few minutes at first. Gradually lengthen the delays or changes in his schedule.  This will help your child learn to survive—and even like—more spontaneity in his life.

Teach

  • Put plans in place to help your baby de-stress if her schedule is thrown off. Carry a bag full of distractions in the car, such as food, favourite CDs or toys.  Eventually your child may learn how to de-stress himself on occasions when this happens.

 

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Mom and Dad Differences in Parenting

by Maxine
Posted August 20 2010 07:13pm
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He likes football; she likes dancing.
He sees the colour green; she sees chartreuse.
He goes to bed early; she stays up late.

Let’s face it! Men and women are different. And generally, moms and dads approach parenting differently—not better or worse, just differently. If these differences are used sensibly, they can be good for children.

Remember, you’re part of a parenting team. Just like any strong team, you need to understand each other’s differences.  Researchers have noted some very interesting differences between the way moms and dads tend to parent. If you’re aware of the different parenting tendencies between males and females, it may help you explain your partner’s parenting a bit more.  You can use your differences to your child’s advantage and to yours.

The experts at Invest in Kids have put together a short quiz to test you on the typical differences in parenting. You may, of course, find that in your particular family some or all of the gender roles are reversed.  No problem!  Children grow up just fine, as long as they experience positive parenting overall.

Download the Mom and Dad’s Parenting Tendencies Quiz (PDF).

 
Are these differences ones that you’ve experienced in your relationship with your partner? Do your parenting styles mesh well together? Leave a comment below and share your experience with parents just like you!
 

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Temperament Trait Strategies: Sensitivity

by Maxine
Posted July 30 2010 04:56pm
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Sensitivity : On The Temperament Wheel, is your child high or low? 

Low Sensitivity – this child is blissfully unaware of things that bother others.  These children don't easily pick up on interpersonal signals. They misread others obvious cues.

Comfort

  • Provide a secure place for your child to go to when she misreads others obvious cues.  This will help her feel safe enough to start to learn what went wrong.

Play

  • Use imaginary play to encourage your baby to label feelings and become more familiar with how others express emotions. (For example, tell him, "This is how a mad cat meows…and this is how a sleepy cat meows.")

Teach

  • Teach your child to recognize other people's feelings. For example, "Daddy is tired."
    Provide emotion coaching in empathy. For example, "Mommy hurts. Give her a kiss."  This helps your child become more sensitive to other people, and how to show her own emotions appropriately.

 

High Sensitivity these children react strongly to even mild lights, sounds, textures, tastes and pain.  They are super sensitive to even mild stimuli, and are profoundly distressed by thunderstorms or wet diapers.

Comfort

  • if you see emotional or threatening situations that may overwhelm your child, help to prepare him in advance. For example, if a thunderstorm is coming, stay close to your baby and talk about it calmly and soothingly. This will help him learn to stay calm when a scary situation arises.  It is also helpful if you can provide your child with a variety of relationships that are soothing and nurturing. This helps him find the world to be a safe place from which to explore.

Play

  • encourage your child to express her feelings—particularly when she's playing. (For example, tell him, "This is how a mad cat meows... This is how a sleepy cat meows.")  This helps her become more comfortable with and less threatened by other people's feelings.

Teach

  • Set limits very gently.  Highly sensitive children often just need "that look" to stop them in their tracks.   Being too stern can upset them way beyond what is needed to teach them.  By doing this your child will want to please you and learn from you.

 

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