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The Top Way to Foster a Well-Adjusted Child

| Admin

We are all STILL LEARNING…

Emotional Growth, Self-Respect, Respect for Others, Responsibility, Independence, Logical Thinking, Compassion, Trust, Social Competence, and Love of Self.

What is the easiest (and the hardest) way to teach the foundational skills of a happy, well-adjusted person?

Positive Discipline!

Early and consistent use of positive discipline at home and at child care or school creates well-rounded, confident children who are successful throughout life.  We all want to be treated well in the workplace or at home if we have made a mistake, so why is it hard for us to remain calm and positive with our own children?

Today, my daughter was holding the cat next to the kitchen table.  She was just playing with the cat but the cat jumped on the table and knocked over a vase of flowers and water poured everywhere.  Having had more than our fair share of spilled liquid in a house with two cats and two children, I was able to remain calm and the mess was mopped up without any fuss.  It was no one’s fault and all was well.

In the past though, there have been times I have not handled accidents so well or have been unable to comprehend (in the heat of the moment) why a child might think she can carry a cat, an open cup of milk and a loaded plate of food all at the same time.  Before I knew of the incredibly destructive power of negative words and tone of voice, I reacted badly to the silly mistakes kids make.

Why do children hit balls through windows, tip their chairs over, and drop things and create chaos wherever they go?  It’s simply because a child is STILL LEARNING—not because he or she is “bad” or trying to drive us insane.

As a teacher, my mantra has become, “He/She is still learning.”  It helps me calm down when a paint pot is dropped on the carpet or a block is thrown across the room.  It also helps the other children understand why another child might have done something that was not appropriate.   I spend a lot of time saying this at home now and it has changed the way I respond to most incidents in the home.

At the end of a long day, it is harder to remain positive and respectful when correcting my own children but the more I have become consistent with it, the more trusting and close my relationship with my children has become.  I have found that they don’t avoid me because I get angry and yell or tune me out when I blather on and on about why we don’t do this or that because I STOPPED DOING IT.  Well, I stopped 90% of the time….

I am STILL LEARNING TOO.  We don’t have training as parents about what to do when our child wipes boogers on the wall or makes mud pies on the carpet, we just have to figure it out along the way….  The one thing I can tell you is that early trust is formed in the first months of life but it can be lost along the way if we are inconsistent and irrational.  If we always yell when our children make mistakes, they know what to expect and have a level of trust in us but they do not gain the social skills and self-respect necessary to become truly well-adjusted.  If we are positive and respectful in our corrections of the actions our children make (yes, even when they fight), we create extremely well adjusted children who exude quiet confidence and are not taken down by life’s problems.

The reality though is that it is incredibly hard to remain positive ALL THE TIME.  Parents snap.  Parents yell and PARENTS HAVE FEELINGS TOO.  It is HARD to be a parent and impossible to be perfect!

Just remember that if we can take a deep breath, take a moment before responding and remain positive and respectful in our reprimands, redirections and corrections 75% OF THE TIME or more, we will still create wonderful well-adjusted little people.  If you snap and yell or do not handle something well, it’s okay as long as you can follow up when things are calm again with an apology or explanation of your feelings and reaction at the time.  Even a 3 year old can understand a little bit about how Mommy/Daddy felt when….  Letting your 4 or 5 year old child know that Mommy or Daddy is “still learning” is okay too.  It allows them to understand that we are all trying to make things work as a team and that they are part of the team too.

Go Team “Positive”

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