By Kimberley Clayton Blaine
- Extreme Parenting: Adopting a Control-Based or Hands-Off Parenting Style
Parents generally feel they have only two choices when misbehavior occurs: the first is control-based parenting, which is to punish the child because he's acting in a completely unacceptable manner.
At the other extreme are hands-off parents. They're at their wits' end, so they just throw up their hands and give in, letting their child stay up late, skip the bath, eat what she pleases-whatever the issue may be.
- Discounting, Minimizing, and Denying Your Child's Feelings and Experiences
There are literally hundreds of everyday examples of discounting: "You're a big boy now. You should be able to walk all the way to the park.
Come on, keep moving!" Or how about a parent who tells his frightened child, "Just jump in the pool. Don't worry: I'll catch you. jump now or we're done swimming!" and then rejects her because she doesn't jump.
When a young child is balking at your request, putting your own needs before hers by refusing to acknowledge that she's tired, fearful, or just worn out is a form of denying her emotional state.
- Using External Motivation and Rewards
Using behavior or reward charts should not become the basis of your parenting strategy. Using treats and stickers to coax normal cooperative behavior from your child is not a good routine.
In school, in our careers, in life, we're all expected to be cooperative. It's our job as parents to guide and teach children the value of doing something without expecting to get something in return.
- Using Negative Consequences as Punishment
Rewards and consequences must come in the proper context. This is where many parents become confused. I often hear, "We don't punish our children; we use consequences."
My response is, "But are you doing it to make your child feel bad?" Natural, not negative (i.e. spanking, punishing, time-outs) consequences need to fit the context of the problem and are not intended to "teach a lesson" through punishment.
Children don't want stickers or a new toy; they want your attention. In the larger scheme, children are not going to become responsible when threatened, punished, or left to hang in the wind. All children need to be on the same social map when they grow up and leave their family to live their adult lives together in the community. Every child has a unique temperament.
Some children are quite sensitive or shy. Others may be extroverted or persistent. It's important to find the middle ground and implement new ways of parenting, so that parents don't continue to resort to extreme and ineffective styles.
About Kimberley Clayton Blaine, MA, MFT:
Kimberley Clayton Blaine is a national child development expert and a licensed Family and Child Therapist who specializes in working with children ages newborn to six years old. She has two children of her own and has been working with families and children for over 23 years.
Kimberley is currently the Social Marketing Director for a Los Angeles based Early Childhood Mental Health Campaign (Project ABC) funded by the US Department of Health and Human Services (SAMHSA).
Kimberley is the founder and executive producer of a grassroots webshow, called www.thegotomom.tv. Kimberley is a national speaker and teaches "Early Childhood Brain Development" and "Positive Discipline Strategies" at UCLA Extension Education Department. For over 20 years Kimberley has specialized in treating at-risk traumatized children.
Kimberley's main Go-To Mom campaign is to help American parents be all that they can be in order to give their children a healthy and fair start.
Kimberley is the executive producer of the online original series svmomblog.typepad.com sponsored by Yahoo! and Silicon Valley Moms Group.
Kimberley teamed up with Sony this September in LA. A small group of high profile mom bloggers spent three days at Sony Pictures to learn about the new products for families. She went behind-the-scenes and a shot a show on the red carpet movie premier of "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs."
Kimberley is the author of the following books:
>> Buy this book on Amazon: The Go-To Mom's Parents' Guide to Emotion Coaching Young Children
>> Buy this book on Amazon: What Smart Mothers Know: Affirmations For Women With Young Children
>> Buy this book on Amazon: Mommy Confidence: 8 Easy Steps to Reclaiming Balance, Motivation, and Your Inner Diva
>> Buy this book on Amazon: The Internet Mommy: Inspiring Interviews and Stories from Mother's Who Work and Play Online. How Social Networks Influence the Way Moms Make Money, View ... Friends, and Raise Kids (The Go-to Mom Book)