Being a parent is the hardest job that you will ever have. There is no training, no pension, you are on call 24/7, there is no salary and children do not come with a user’s guide. Your little bundles of joy can make you laugh, make you cry, frustrate you, keep you up all night, refuse to eat, answer back, behave badly [especially in public], break your treasured belongings and then give you the biggest cheesiest smile as if to say ‘sorry Mum, you love me really!’. What other job would you put up with these working conditions?
All is not lost! Mrs Docwra and Mrs Easty run the most amazing group for parents at Burlington Infant and Junior schools. The course is 10 weeks long and runs twice a year. It is a free, fun, nurturing course that gives you ways to make the most of your children and even more important helps you to enjoy your precious years with them.
We have a few places left on our next course that is due to start in November, if you are interested please see a member of the office staff.
Below is some feedback from parents who have attended the course:-
- I have come on such a huge journey and I feel so much has changed.
- I now understand that we all need help with parenting.
- I came away every week feeling supported and optimistic, I was not alone and change is possible.
- The course has taught me that kids are kids and not to expect too much of them.
- My confidence has grown massively, I no longer feel out of control.
- My relationship with my husband is back to what it used to be, lots of love and affection. We are not just ‘Mum and Dad', family life is so much calmer.
- The course turned me into a happy parent who now knows how to have fun with my child, I feel so sad that the course has now finished.
- We now talk, not shout and scream at each other.
- I now enjoy being with my children and feel blessed that I have them. I am determined to enjoy every minute of their childhood as time goes so quickly and they will be adults before I know it.
Week 1- Praise is Magic:
- Praise helps children feel good about themselves so they are more likely to behave well.
- Praise helps us to notice all the good things about our children, rather than focusing on their faults.
- Praise helps children to remember what we’d like them to do.
- Praise helps us feel good too – it’s no fun having to tell children off all the time
Week 2- Boundaries:
Boundaries are important; they should be consistent, safe, fair, age-appropriate, supportive, firm, clear and kind. A happy child is a child who knows and understands the rules. Life without rules would be impossible. A child feels safer when there are rules and boundaries in place as they know what is right, what is wrong, what is allowed and what is not. Without boundaries life is chaotic and children find this difficult to deal with.
Week 3 – Keep Calm:
When emotions run high, a cooling off time gives everyone a chance to calm down. If things are getting out of control, try to calm yourself down before dealing with it, take some deep breaths and count to 10, if you are calm it is easier to deal with the situation, if you go in screaming and shouting this will make the situation even worse as your children will match your behaviour. Children do need to release their frustration or anger safely so give them a chance to do this, it is OK for them to be angry, it is a natural emotion, not a bad thing.
Week 4 –Shopping is like Marmite:
You either love it or hate it. Children are the same and if they hate it you are in for trouble! There is a way around this; allow your child to do their own shopping list before you go, if they cannot write they can draw pictures, they are then in control of their own list, it only needs to have a maximum of 6 items on it. You can have a discussion about the items you are getting before you leave, even look around the house for things that you are running out of. Your child then has to look out for these things; put them in their own section of the trolley and then cross them off their list. If bananas are on the list let your child count them out and weigh them. Within reason let your child be responsible for the choices they make. BEWARE though; you do not want to come back with a trolley load of Haribo.
Week 5 – Respect:
Respect is a two way thing, you need to respect that your child is a little human who has the right to make choices and have opinions. Shouting at people is not respectful and neither is shouting at your child. Children are more likely to respond when they are spoken to respectfully, after all that is how you want them to speak to you. Shout at them and they will shout at you and others as this is all they know. Speak to them in a calm voice and they too will start to mimic this.
Week 6 – Children love rewards:
Children like to please us, but some ways that we want them to behave aren’t easy to learn. It is easier to learn a new behaviour if we are appreciated when we remember it. Every one, whatever their age likes to be appreciated and children are no different, young children can be rewarded with stickers, they can collect a certain amount [to be agreed in advance] and when they reach their goal they get a treat, the treat does not have to be huge or expensive, it can be as simple as feeding the ducks, a family game after dinner, an extra story at bedtime etc. A treat that involves you giving more time to your child.
Week 7 – Time out:
Time out is NOT dragging your child to a scary place kicking and screaming then forcing them to stay there. Time out can also be known as ‘Thinking space’. It’s a place for your child to go to think about what they have done, it should be a quiet, safe space with no distractions [TV, other people, toys etc]. Explain to your child why they are going there, how long they are going to stay there [30 seconds - 2 minutes is plenty] and what they need to think about when they are there. Time out should not be in their bedroom, bedrooms are full of toys and should be a safe haven for our children not somewhere they have to go when they behave badly. Time out does not start until your child is sitting quietly. You could give them a timer to hold for the allotted time so they know when it is finished. When ‘Time out’ has finished, praise your child for taking it well and invite him/her to do something with you, read a book, lay the table, help cook dinner etc. Don’t forget, you can have ‘Time out’ as well, if things get too much, remove yourself from the situation for a couple of minutes and give yourself some thinking time/breathing space. When you go back to the situation you will feel a whole lot better about things.
Week 8 – Time in:
How easy is it to ignore our children when they are quiet and occupied and react and give them attention when the undesirable behaviour rears its ugly head? How about rewarding our children for their positive behaviour, simple things like, play a game with them, bake a cake, read an extra story, go for a walk etc. Thank your children for playing quietly why you get on with what you are doing, let them know that when you have finished you will have some ‘Time in’ together. Children will soon learn that they do not have to misbehave to get your attention.
Week 9– Positive discipline:
The aim of positive discipline is to focus on the things that your child is doing well not what they are doing wrong. It makes allowances for the fact that children need to learn what behaviour is ok and what is not, they will make mistakes, we all do, we are only human. Discuss things when they go wrong, ask your child what made them do it. If they hurt someone ask them to think about how the other person feels