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Tips on Nonviolent Parenting
Written by Pat Eber (A former instructor of mine at Indiana Purdue University Fort Wayne)
Planned ignoring is when an adult ignores certain acting up or silliness in a child because the behavior will run its own end. It requires that the adult determine which behavior will stop on its own and which behavior needs interference, taking into consideration the emotional needs of the child that day. An example is when a child does a clown dance before sitting down to lunch.
Signal interference is the art of stopping behavior before it really starts or before it gets out of hand. This is done by using familiar signals, telling the child to stop the particular behavior which could lead to a problem. Examples are: calling the child's name, shaking head no, snapping fingers, saying stop, get the child's attention and frown. Many times a child who is doing something he knows is wrong will questioningly look up at the adult, in a sense asking for help in controlling the situation.
Proximity control means that upon seeing a possible problem situation the adult moves close to the child, thus helping the child to control herself.
Sometimes proximity control is not enough to stop undesired behavior. When this happens, touch control may be the answer. Touch control is when a child is behaving in an undesirable way, the adult goes to the child and puts her hand on the child. *Caution* If done too much to one child the children may get jealous. Touching may serve to meet the needs of affection for the child, who is always in trouble. The child will sometimes continue to get into trouble, just to get touched.
Hypodermic affection is the deliberate act by an adult giving special doses of love and affection to a child or group of children, when they seem to be reacting to an increase of jealousy or worrying about being accepted by the adult. Hypodermic love is just like a hypodermic needle, it gets under the skin.
Tension Decontamination Through Humor
One day you may observe a child on the verge of a temper tantrum, or a group of children whose activity level is raising to a point of getting out of hand. In such cases it may be wise to joke with the child and "kid the youngsters out of it." The kidding, if done with real humor and not sarcasm, may relieve the child of his growing tension and the trouble you saw approaching.
A child may be involved in a problem solving activity like putting together a model airplane or doing an assignment, when he runs into a step which seems impossible to solve. His frustration grows and if left unattended, may end in a grand show of anger. This can be avoided by giving the child a little help at the point where he's about to explode, thus helping him over the hurdle. *Caution* If done too often a child can become dependent on your help and unable to meet conflicts on his own.
Interpretation as Interference
Children and teens sometimes interpret a situation or a statement in an unrealistic way. The child then reacts to the situation as she sees it. If the adult sees that giving the child a different view of things will change her reactions, the adult should try to correct the child's misunderstandings.
For many reasons there are times when two personalities clash and come into conflict with each other, or when two or three particular children are extremely noisy or disturbing in their behavior. Often the problem can be solved by separating the involved persons, forming new groups, by physical separation, or by reshuffling a seating arrangement.
Children have varied attention spans and abilities to sit for long periods of time. Often a planned activity will be just fine for awhile but soon the children lose interest and the trouble begins. That is the time for the adult to suggest new activities which will take care of the children's new needs and prevent potential frustration and hostility.
When one child's behavior continually interferes with the group or the teacher, it is wise to remove the trouble maker from the group by having her go to a safe place. It should be made clear that the child is being asked to leave because her behavior does not fit in with the rest of the group.
The first step is to observe the child and find out what acts as a reinforcer and use it as a logical consequence to desired behavior.
When a child or teen enjoys an activity and performs it frequently, a person may make this high frequency behavior, contingent on performing a low frequency behavior.
Token economy is when a child or teen receives some type of token for performing desired behavior. Stars placed on a board or an allowance from parents are common examples.
When a child misbehaves, overcorrection can sometimes be used. *Caution* The adult should be careful not to go to extremes in the overcorrection.
Restitution involves having a child or teen fix or repair something if they have ruined or damaged it!
A natural consequence is a natural event that happens when we go against the natural order of events that exist in life.
A logical consequence is a violation of the social order.
Ways to Increase Self Esteem
1. mutual respect
1. sharing time with other parents