JACKSON HOLE NEWS & GUIDE: In my last column I talked about the simplicity of being present with our kids. Simple, yet not so simple.
Simple when there is ease in the situation and our interaction. Simple when we are having fun together, sharing an activity or cooperating on responsibilities.
Not so simple when there is a power struggle, whining, talking back, not doing what we ask, dilly-dallying, or any other hair-raising behavior from our child. So what do we do in those times when it is not so simple?
Many of the problems we have in our parenting lives involve what we might call “discipline issues,” in which we feel we need to correct or change our children’s “bad” or challenging behavior. When I ask parents in my classes what they think of when we talk about discipline, the two most popular responses are timeouts and punishment, but the root of the word means to teach.
Read more in the Jackson Hole News and Guide.
JACKSON HOLE NEWS & GUIDE: I have a folder in my computer files titled “What kids need.”
In it I file articles and research papers that talk about children’s outcomes given certain experiences. Along with the linear part of my brain that so wants a formula for parenting, some day I might dig through and synthesize those files to create the “Manifesto on Parenting.”
Obviously I haven’t quite let go of my desire for a formula, despite my Oct. 10 column, “There is no formula you can use to parent.”... Read more here.
I will admit: my kids’ use of digital media is a trigger for me. I’m not sure why – there were periods in my childhood where I watched 4 hours of TV a day. Still, I see my kids walking around the house or sitting on the couch plugged into their devices and it’s all I can do to hold back my judgment and nagging. What I’ve come to realize with much practice and patience is twofold: 1) our children’s use of technology affords them many learning experiences beyond what is immediately at hand, and 2) having clear and firm boundaries around their use preserves the relationship I have with my kids. Ok… there’s a third: I have to keep my use of digital media in check too... Read the full article published in Getting Smart and Education Week.
JACKSON HOLE NEWS & GUIDE: Ask yourself these questions: When was the last time you took a risk or tried something that was beyond your comfort zone? Did you dive right in, start by testing the waters, precisely measure all the angles or shy away from it altogether? What was the outcome of how you approached that challenge, and how did you feel about yourself after?
The level of confidence we feel determines how we answer such questions.
Confidence is a belief in our ability to take risks, overcome challenges, and find mastery or success - even, and especially, after failure. While this article in the JH Woman's section of Jackson Hole News & Guide focuses on girls, many of the ideas about confidence apply to boys as well.... Read more here.
JACKSON HOLE NEWS & GUIDE: When I became a parent and my firstborn hit the age of having a will of his own, I wanted a formula on how to parent.
I had been a wildlife research biologist. I took calculus in high school and college. My mind likes linear rules. Formulas are nice and easy. A+B=C. Parenting books and research articles on child development talk this way: Certain ways of parenting are correlated with certain positive outcomes in children. The science was there, so give me the formula. I soon realized two things: Children don’t know the formula and parenting is messy.... Read more here
Parent Talk - a new monthly column in Jackson Hole News & Guide exploring what it's like to raise a child in today's world. My intention for this column is to discuss the joys and challenges of raising kids and to normalize our parenting experience. Two things can be true: we love our kids, and parenting can be hard. We readily talk about the successes, antics and fun we have with our kids. However, we rarely talk about the challenges, and our strong (and normal) reactions to our children’s challenging behaviors, except behind closed doors or with close friends. We all want the best for our kids, and we all do the best we can to raise them. Living with another being who has desires, and ideas about how to go about getting them, that are different from ours can throw us curve balls. Especially when that being is still developing capabilities for emotional regulation, impulse control, and social-emotional skills.
My hope is to provide guidance to parents and caregivers when those challenging times seem overwhelming - or so they don’t become that way. My hope is to elevate and empower families so they can feel harmony in their relationship with their kids and to help kids grow up to be the best version of themselves. I do this through teaching classes, leading workshops customized to individual groups, and offering individual family consultations/ coaching.
Join the community by commenting when it feels right. Send me your thoughts! Let me know what topics you would like to see covered and how I can better serve families in the greater Jackson Hole area. Join in the conversation and leave comments or message me about your thoughts and topics you would like to see covered. You can also email me at GrowingGreatFamilies@gmail.com.
Many thanks to Jackson Hole News & Guide and Melissa Cassutt for giving me this opportunity! You can find more at www.GrowingGreatFamilies.org or find me on Facebook.