Why Positive Discipline Classes?
When I walked into my first Positive Discipline parenting class, along with a dozen other parents, I thought I already had enough knowledge (thanks to various parenting books and blogs) to "deal" with the tantrums and the range of behaviors. I thought if I just copied my parents, my kids would turn out fine. After all, my brother and me turned out okay! This class was going to be just the icing on the cake - something extra to compliment my already 'just fine' parenting. How naïve!
Over the course of the 6 weeks that followed, I found out that the very same inter personal skills (my idea of icing on the cake) I wanted to imbibe in my kids, could be taught through the everyday parenting challenges. What I labelled as an unpleasant quality of my child, could be used as an advantage to redirect towards becoming a positive and unique personality trait. This was just the tip of the iceberg. I discovered experientially about winning children over instead of winning over children. I found out experientially about what's happening in the child's world. I participated in experiential activities that made me get into the shoes of my little ones. It was uncomfortable, literally and emotionally!
Notice the word "experiential"? Why have I emphasized it so many times? Because experiencing what it is to be a child is different from having been a child long time back.
The Positive Discipline class framework is so full of activities for parents to experience being the child. Moreover, the solution focused approach of the classes, makes it possible for parents to take home a bag of tools, to try out what works for their unique family. If some tool doesn't seem to make sense at the moment, combining with another tool might be suitable.
Another aha moment was w.r.t behavior - we learnt every behavior is goal oriented and the primary goal is to belong. And most often, a misbehaving child is a discouraged child. Understanding this concept (again experientially) encouraged the adults in the room to learn how to implement effective solutions to help the misbehaving child. YES! We all changed from 'dealing' with tantrums to 'helping' the child having the tantrum - the child isn't giving me a hard time; he is having a hard time!
We all make mistakes - as humans, as parents. These classes taught us all how to deal with mistakes as parents as well as normal human beings. The design of the activities kept us all encouraged to be ourselves, and also learn possible healthy, respectful ways to deal with mistakes, thus helping us to be good role models for our children.
Talking of encouragement to ourselves, we learnt subtle differences in using Encouraging vs Praise, towards our kids. My 2 cents on this topic under Musings.
When we all had had a chance to practice every tool presented and also to experience the child's world with/ without the tool, we noticed the difference and the impact. All these tools, when practiced at home, serve as training for cultivating essential life skills. So, I did get to learn about the "icing on the cake" too :-) Curious about these tools? Head onto the CLASSES section to find out details about upcoming classes!