I was recently talking with my emotional coach about my Healthy Parenting Resources business. This conversation began with the expression of my frustrations around another business that I started, but have been feeling stagnant in. When talking about the work I do with children and families, he pointed out the passion and excitement he saw in me. I think he actually said that I "light up!" This was not the case for my other business, and he challenged my thinking about both. During the process of his helping me think about both businesses differently, he suggested that I capture on paper the benefits that families receive for themselves and for their children from the coaching that I provide. It never occurred to me to do this, but when he suggested it, I decided to give it a go! So here I am, capturing the benefits on virtual paper, hoping to clearly share with others what I see as the life-long benefits of learning and practicing Respectful Parenting.
Does it really matter if we understand a child's behavior? Or should we just try to change or get rid of a so-called "bad" behavior? There are many differing opinions on this, but what I've learned firsthand in my work with children and families, is that when we don't listen to the communication behind a concerning behavior, we can miss a profoundly important message that can have long-term negative effects on that child.
Copyright © 2000 by Aletha Solter Reprinted from the Aware Parenting Institute website: www.awareparenting.com
Confusion about crying
Many parents find it hard to understand and accept their children's tears and tantrums, and are confused by contradictory advice they have read. On one hand, much of the advice in parenting books is based on the assumption that crying and temper tantrums are behaviors that should be discouraged. Some people assume that these are indications of a "spoiled" child who is used to getting her own way, while others think of them more as immature behaviors that children must learn to control. It is generally believed that as soon as children are old enough to talk, the job of parents is to help them express their wants and feelings using words rather than tears or outbursts of rage. Even people who recognize crying as a sign of stress and frustration sometimes consider crying to be an unnecessary byproduct of stress. They assume that children will feel better once they stop crying. This belief may lead to efforts to distract children from their crying.