This is the final step in the review of the parenting book written by Danny Silk- Loving Our Kids On Purpose.
Step 3- Protecting and Building a Heart Connection
This step does what it says on the tin! It teaches parents the importance of building a 'connection' or relationship with their children. When you communicate to children that their needs matter and are valuable your developing a healthy self-concept within them. If you give them no choices your communicating the only needs that matter are your own. However, to some adults children used to choices can come over as disrespectful (in their tone). Danny Silk advocates that this is not the case. They are assertive!
So training your child to handle freedom and choices is a top priority.
As a parent you wear many 'hats'! If your wearing your 'tax collector' (think back to last weeks post about consequences) hat you are showing and enforcing practical consequences- you chose not to clean up so this is the consequence. If your child show's you disrespect you must introduce relational consequences- a consequence that makes them reflect on how their behaviour effects others.
Danny explains the method he calls the 'Think-it-over-chair'. This is a space/chair/rug/mat etc and time for your child to think over an issue and how it has effected others and themselves. While the child is thinking it over it is your role to ask questions to facilitate the thinking. Unlike other 'time out' methods I have read about in which the parent is expected to leave the child the think for themselves. These methods have the problem that some children need help unpicking their behaviour or some children left alone become more and more angry! So questions like 'So, what's the problem here?' and 'How's that worked/working out for you?' can help. Danny states 'Asking good questions is a far more powerful tool in leading children to a solution than telling them what you think.'
Your goal, as parent, is not to figure out the answers, assign blame or antagonise the situation. Your trying to teach them to solve their own issues and take ownership of the problem.
Discipline V Punishment-
When a child is involved in making a decision is is 'discipline'. When an adult makes all the decisions in the situation it's 'punishment'. The nature of punishment is fear and control. But as we have discovered throughout this series 'Love casts out fear'. We want to love our children without the need for fear and control.
Three important things, as a parent, you want your children to learn from their mistakes/choices is-
1- choices on the outside can create pain on the inside.
2-Learn to create solutions to their problems themselves.
3-Parents are a source of wisdom and help, not punisher's!
Many parents fear their child becoming an adolescent. What with all the hormones, peer pressures and culture raging against you! But in reality, they just need the protection of your heart. If your relationship has been damaged it's going to be difficult to withstand these outside and hormonal pressures. So in many ways it's worth taking the time to ensure you have that heart connection with your child from early on. They need to know how the choices they make can cause you pain and how this pain can have consequences for them.
I hope you have enjoyed this review as much as I have enjoyed reading the book! I urge you to take the time to read the book in it's entirety. It has really changed the way I parent my son. It has taught me to value building a foundation of love and honesty, not fear and control.
Let me know how you get on.........................................
Follow this link to purchase the book from amazon Loving our kids on purpose by Danny Silk