Observe Your Child’s Behavior To Understand Them

You would look at your child’s tantrum with the same eyes if you knew that when a child goes through a tantrum what he is saying is: “Sorry, I do not do this to annoy you. I am frustrated that I can not do certain things because I am very small, help me to do it, please! ”

And what would you think if under your child’s challenging behavior when he says, “I will not do what you say and you can not force me!”, There is a real message that says, “I just want you to realize that I am here, pay attention to me and spend time with me “?

All human behavior is driven by an emotional need to feel connected and important (contribution) to the people who make up our social groups (family, school, friends, work) and everything we do is focused on establishing that connection to feel loved for whom we love or appreciate.

At birth, we humans have the same capacity as an adult (we have even more neurons), but our synaptic connections (bridges that connect neurons with others) are “virgin,” have no knowledge. We do not even know how to walk, talk, eat alone, know how to behave, reflect on what we do, bathe, write, read, etc., etc., etc. We learn in what we grow. Also, most of our behaviors are directed by our right hemisphere, that is, we are pure emotion, we are dominated by emotions! Hence, childhood goes through many cycles and moments like tantrums, sexual exploration, “rebellion,” denial and many others that we all pass through. But everything has a purpose and always,

The educational task of all parents and caregivers of children is precise to be sensitive to those hidden needs under the behaviors of their children or students to know how to accompany them and guide them in their growth to become safe, self-sufficient, emotionally stable adults and with full capacity to pursue their happiness and self-realization.

This is why it is so important and fundamental to acquire knowledge that helps us in the first instance to self-know ourselves as human beings, second, to know us in our individuality and to know our children to know how to guide them better on this path called healthy life!

We want to invite you to deepen this knowledge and much more by participating in our last workshop of the year of Positive Discipline “Communication, Knowledge and Autonomy.”

The purpose of the workshop is to learn and share experiences and reflections around our parenting, that is why the quota is limited to only 20 participants.

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Make A Positive Discipline Routine As Your Bestfriend

The following example describes how to put together a positive discipline routine for bedtime, but the procedure is applicable to any routine of the day. Tell your child that together they will do a bedtime routine and that this will help them to organize and avoid conflicts and delays.

Take a leaf and a pen and ask the child what he needs to do to get ready to go to sleep. Your little one will start to share things like: watching TV, putting on my pajamas, playing games for a while, brushing my teeth, drinking my milk, reading a story, etc, etc …

Without pretending to establish an order, the child is sharing you. If the little one says something inappropriate that at your discretion is not part of the routine, do not put it and briefly explain why that would not get into the routine.

Once you have all the steps (check that there are no more than 5 or 6 actions), you tell them that now they will put a logical order and together they begin to enumerate actions, eg: 1) watch a little TV, 2) take a bath, 3) dine or drink milk, 4) brush your teeth, 5) put on your pajamas, 6) read a story and sleep!

Now that they already have an ordered list, it is exported to a graphics format so that it can be viewed in a fun and useful way, such as a poster board. You can represent the steps of the routine through drawings, magazine clippings, pictures taken from the internet or printed photos of your own child doing the actions! But remember that whatever the medium, you must involve the child in creating his routine and ask him where he wants to put it to keep a healthy routine.

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Accompany Your Child In School With Love

School life is as important to a child as work and responsibilities for adults.
Vacation time is a time of leisure and fun and thinking about having to meet the demands of school routines can again bring some stress to the little ones. That is why we need to prepare our children in advance for a start or return to school.

The younger ones, when they start kindergarten, often express their anguish and bewilderment with crying and clinging tightly to their parents when they say goodbye at the school door. This is normal and is due to the activation of the alarm system of his mammalian brain called “separation anxiety.” Children become emotionally imbalanced when separated from their parents or attachment figures.

The uncertainty of a new environment, adults who are unknown to him and a lot of children he has not seen in his life, are factors that alter the child’s emotions. It is for all this that our support is very necessary and important since the loving responses that we give to this accompaniment will help the children to adapt quickly. Empathy, security, communication, and trust are the pillars of everyday life.

It is convenient to visit the school with our children before the beginning of classes. We also talk positively about school, perhaps mentioning what we liked most when we were kids. Involve them in the purchase of tools allowing them to choose some to their liking to arouse enthusiasm. Anticipate how the processes and the new routine will be; it would help to make a cardboard with drawings or photos of the steps in and place it in his sight.

The moment of the farewell at the door of the school should be serene, comfortable and affectionate but not too extensive. We must avoid hesitation when we leave because this would only cause more anxiety both the father and the child.

Take a moment to convey security with loving words such as “I know you’ll be fine and you’ll see how soon I’m back for you,” which will make the child feel calmer and when he enters school he will recover soon to start the journey.
It is also very helpful to give them some small personal object so that you can touch them when you feel anxious or distressed.

On the other hand, the transition from kindergarten to the school of our older children is also a process that we must accompany with love and respect.
Ignorance of the new educational system, wondering what teachers will be like, new classmates, etc., are often factors that can cause anxiety and stress to children. The way to support them in this transition is to maintain an open, affective and constant communication.

Motivation and support in a routine created together with the child are good allies. The method should include the preparation of the uniform, the accomplishment of tasks, search of materials, lunch and hours of falling asleep and getting up. It is good to talk to them (on a level of language that the child understands) about the importance of accessing education as one of the ways to achieve their goals.

It is also advisable to teach our children about the proper behaviors that children should have both in the classroom and at recess. Talk about the rights of children and how important it is to give as much as to ask for respect towards their person. Do not allow anyone to attack you (neither partners nor adults), teaching them to say “I DO NOT LIKE” and to ask for help in the event of an unpleasant situation.

Also, teach them to speak and express their feelings instead of hitting or assaulting. Undoubtedly, it will take some time to learn these social behavior skills, it is not something short-term, but consistency gives fantastic results.

Another important point to consider is to instruct them in sex education from a young age, teaching them according to their age what they are prepared to know. It is advisable to consult a reliable source to be informed and not to cause confusion. This is also to assure the healthy living of your child.

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Understanding My Teenager (And Myself)

We all want to belong and be recognized, but this desire changes with age. For example, children want to belong and be accepted in their families and their schools, the most important thing for them is the approval of their parents. But in adolescence this perception changes because for adolescents the most important thing is to be recognized by their peers, that is their friends.

In adults also happens, suddenly we are very interested to be important and recognized in our respective professions. In this way all human beings, we begin to walk our strategies to belong and to be recognized according to the perceptions that we have of ourselves, of the others and the world and this can make us fall into inadequate behaviors because we do not always know how to achieve it.

For children, entering into puberty and adolescence is significant because they will soon begin an accelerated process of changes at the physical, emotional and sexual levels. They will also begin to live their process of individualization to discover who are far from their parents. This easily invites rebellion and put to the test all that is said to them, because they question by seeking new answers or a reason for being to things that already established.

Added to this, the pre-frontal cortex of their brains undergoes rapid growth, causing some confusion. In this way, they may misinterpret the body language of parents or those around them as aggressive when in fact it is not. That is why it is so difficult to communicate with teenagers looking like we speak in different languages.

To achieve a more efficient and loving communication, this must be taken into account in order not to fall into power struggles with the children and to understand what is happening as a natural part of their growth.

Getting involved in controlling everything in a teenager’s life is a mistake in which parents often fall frequently. They try to prevent their children from getting into unfortunate situations like drugs, unwanted pregnancies, etc. However, this form of excessive control (even if it has a good faith root) only invites the adolescent into rebellion, because he understands his parents’ control as suffocation, a lack of confidence in his abilities and an invasion of his privacy.

For this reason (and although very difficult), it is essential to convey the message that parents are on their side, that they trust in their abilities, that they have the channel open to communication and that they will be with open arms for when they need your support.

Educate with love and respect to help them in the successful transition from their adolescence to their adulthood for them to live a wonderful and healthy life.

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On Bad Behavior: Teach Life Skills Instead Of Punishment

Punishment is a measure taken without respecting the person in front of you, without measuring the scope of the sanction and in an altered state of mind. A consequence is a measure taken calmly, thinking and warning the effect that is coming, without reproaches, cries, bad manners, and always about the action or behavior manifested, never about the feelings or emotions expressed by the child; these have to be validated and respected.

For example, a child who throws an object because he has been angry can be punished with anger, shouting, sending him to his room, etc., or you can say that we understand his anger but has as a consequence to pick up the spoiled and try to replace it. Punishment is a reactive measure, the child behaves badly, and the adult enters power struggle, there are a winner and a loser, does not take into account the child’s decision-making process, feelings, thoughts, nullifies the possibility of deciding, is denied the ability to understand.

The consequences are proactive, the child behaves badly, the adult takes the opportunity for the child to learn conflict resolution skills that serve in the future, calm, focus, recognize, repair, find solutions, think how it would be appropriate to do one next time. This is a better and healthier practice.

Punishment is a reactive measure, the child behaves badly and the adult enters power struggle, there is a winner and a loser, does not take into account the child’s decision-making process, feelings, thoughts, nullifies the possibility of deciding, is denied the ability to understand. The consequences are proactive, the child behaves badly, the adult takes the opportunity for the child to learn conflict resolution skills that serve in the future, calm, focus, recognize, repair, find solutions, think how it would be appropriate to do one next time.

Punishment does not enable, it is disrespectful with the capacity of children as well as not recognizing the right to a dignified treatment. The consequence encourages assessment, analysis, decision-making, training!

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Positive Discipline Workshop

As we already know “children do not come with the manual” and what we think would be easy to solve, it becomes a challenge when we decide to raise in love and respect because parents must re-educate us and learn new ways to guide our children.

Positive Discipline is a philosophy of parenting based on mutual respect between parents and children and based on the balance between kindness and firmness as an educational pillar.

Through our methodology of experiential exercises, you can enter the world of your child, which will allow you to discover many answers to the questions you ask yourself daily: Why does it behave like this? How many times must I repeat something to you to understand? Why does he love to do just what he knows he can not do?

Our workshops are fun and practical because you learn through experience and what other parents share, just like you have the same challenges. Parenting puts the dads in the same boat, let’s never forget!

The goal of this workshop is to teach effective, practical and respectful skills to educate healthy, happy, safe, cooperative and empathetic children, and in turn, enjoy this task in your role as a parent or caretaker.

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Cultivate Self-esteem To Your Child

What is self-esteem? Why is it so important? How can parents help in building a healthy self-esteem?

Self-esteem is what each person feels about themselves. The feeling of own value. The valuation we make about ourselves, based on thoughts, feelings, and experiences that we collect throughout our lives. In this way we believe that we are clever or stupid, we feel nice or unfriendly, we like it or not. The thousands of impressions that we are recording, experiences, so gathered can be grouped into a positive feeling towards ourselves or an uncomfortable feeling of not being what we expected.

Self-esteem is not something that comes from birth but is being formed and consolidated from our relationships with others and the image that others project us in those interactions. Then we can conclude: “that self-esteem depends to a great extent on the quality of the relationships that exist between the child and those who play important roles in their life.”

A positive self-esteem is a solid self-respect that is based on two main convictions: I am valuable, and I am worthy of being loved. These statements are, in essence, the primordial needs of every human being since birth, on the one hand to feel loved, accepted and secure with a strong sense of belonging to a social group, family, and on the other hand to develop a strong sense of capacity, to be able to handle itself with efficiency and to offer its contribution to the others.

Why is the subject of self-esteem so important?

Because people who feel good about themselves tend to feel comfortable in life, they can face and resolve with certainty the challenges and responsibilities that arise. On the contrary, low self-esteem is a permanent source of insecurity and personal dissatisfaction. Intimately, they believe they have to change to be good and have difficulty perceiving their abilities. And this personal feeling affects everything. Feeling, thinking and behaviors are intimately related, when we feel good we can act better.

How can parents help in building a healthy self-esteem?

We parents are for our children, from birth and for many years, those almighty gods whom they admire, we are their first mirrors in which they look at themselves, and they begin to know each other through the reflection that we are giving them.

In the workshops for parents, we pause to reflect on concrete actions that help strengthen the family bond and thus promote a healthy self-concept based on some fundamental principles: unconditional love, limit or correct without hurting and increasingly promote their autonomy. A brief explanation below:

Unconditional Love: A child’s self-esteem blossoms with the unconditional love of their parents. Every child will feel better if he is accepted as he is, no matter what his strengths, difficulties, temperament or dexterity. We offer you, unconditional love, when you can perceive that you want it beyond your behaviors. When we make them feel that their mistakes and obstacles are part of their growth and therefore do not obscure the pride and love we feel for them.

Limiting without hurting: we want our children to learn to live in a world that has demands and rules, and know how to adjust to them. But the end does not justify the means; it should not interest us to “behave well” if they do it out of fear of punishment or through threats and cries that corrode their self-esteem. What we want is that, through the acceptance and gradual understanding of the limits, be stronger and own themselves every day. We can develop a way to communicate that takes care of the feelings and orient the behavior. A warm, affectionate and emotional support family climate can be achieved, without forgetting the importance of firmly establishing reasonable limits.

Promoting autonomy: Dreukurs, a reference in matters of upbringing, said: “Do not do for a child anything that he can do for himself.” The reason for his commentary is to make us reflect on the danger of overprotection when educating. Let us not deprive children of opportunities to develop through their own experiences, the belief that they are capable. They need daily experiences where they can put into play and develop skills. Motivate your independence by allowing you to make and solve your problems, without waiting for perfection, valuing your effort and energy.

We can never know with certainty what decisions the child is going about himself or herself, but as parents, the best we can do is to provide a family climate of respect, acceptance, trust and good communication that fosters the development of healthy self-esteem. Parents, we can nourish you with positive experiences, which nourish your inner feeling of courage and ability.

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The Truth About “Time Out” Or “Thinking Chair”

The “thinking chair” is not something we use in Positive Discipline because it is a behavioral practice that from our philosophy does not teach long-term skills, i.e., for life.

Some books and foster counselors say that it is appropriate to place the child in a boring and solitary place – in a relationship of one minute for years you have – to reflect on what he did wrong. But it turns out that neurosciences tell us that a young child by himself does not have the ability to “reflect” on his behavior. That is, because of his young age, he does not have the cognitive ability to be self-critical about his behavior, the environment, and how he is supposed to behave properly in that environment.

Many parents are in favor of “time out” and think that it works because children effectively stop their behavior (some eye, others make it worse). What happens is that they stop because they know that if they continue “doing that” they will be left alone in a corner and that causes them pain or sadness, among other feelings that children do not know how to process.

Who would like to stay isolated in a corner by “messing up” while learning something?

Imagine that you are coming to a new job and that it is the first time you have faced something or that your training to do it has been low or null. You “kick it” and you throw the work according to your impulses or ideas, but you water it because you are effectively learning and that takes time like everything in life. Then your boss arrives and when you see such a panorama with an angry face and without giving you much explanation he sends you to “reflect” on what you did to a lonely and boring corner of the office.

How would you feel? Would you do the same thing again? Many will choose not to repeat that behavior (they will have “learned their lesson” is what is styled) and others driven by resentment will choose to seek the return of their boss to get their way or to revenge for how he made them feel, because rage that they treat us in a disrespectful way and that is valid for both adults and children.
With this practice (time out) the child stops his behavior under a “cause-effect” teaching, but in reality, he has not internalized at a conscious level, and according to his cerebral maturation level, what he did is wrong or is inadequate.

The message the child perceives is: “If I do something that my parents or caregivers do not think, they leave me alone.”  Of course, we have to set limits and teach them appropriate rules and behaviors – because we live in society and can not go through life doing what we like without measuring consequences -, however, the human being when going through childhood is facing a stage of acquisition of skills and learning and the task of adults in charge should be to help them in acquiring those skills with the least possible emotional cost.
As Jane Nelsen puts it: “Let’s leave behind the crazy idea that to make children behave better, we must first make them feel worse.” This leads to a healthy growth of children.

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