SITE: Toddler’s Food pyramid
♦ MOTHER & CHILD’S NEEDS
ANNIE (mother of 2) at “PhD in Parenting” points out that “No (wo)man is an island”. For mothers, this means they can’t thrive if they’re isolated, & that they can’t selfishly pursue their own needs all the time.
Women are often in a position to have to help others meet their needs, whether directly (feeding an infant) or providing someone with the space to do so (a quiet space to study, a car ride to the doctor….).
But if women feel pressured to meet all their responsibilities by themselves (to spouse, elders, children, work), they’ll end up neglect their own needs and/or those of their child(ren).
Mothers need help too, like being freed up to have a quiet bath, or get away for a few hours. That takes ‘a village’ & ideally, women have to develop support systems before they’re needed, before they’re desperate.
Annie notes that it’s more important for a parent to meet their child’s physiological, safety & security needs (levels 1-3), than to meet their own esteem & self actualization needs (4-5).
It’s also more important for the parent to meet their own physiological, safety & security needs (1-3) than to provide esteem or self-actualization needs of their children (4-5)
After all – she’s unlikely to provide the support & energy required to fulfill the child’s esteem & self-actualization needs if she is hungry, exhausted & insecure.
♦ GOOD PARENTING
1. Feeling Supported & Connected
Brain systems have two settings: Responsive and Reactive.
😨 When support in Times of Need is not available or utilized, we React with worry, frustration, anxiety & anger. Then we turn INWARD – isolating.
😄 When each level of needs is met, the system tends to be Responsive. This is provided during Tough Times by turning OUTWARD, to get whatever help is required.
2. Positive Happy Parents
Healthy parents have positive self-regard. And they take care of themselves when they’re in H.A.L.T. When parents have positive connections, they’re more caring toward their children, who learn about building & keeping friendships by watching how adults interact.
• Performed better (a study) = happy people solved 20% more word puzzles
• Brain is 31% more productive = Creativity, energy & intelligence rises
• Happiness chemicals turn on all learning centers in the brain, allowing better adaptation to the world by seeing possibilities & practical options
3. CONNECTION: Everyone benefits when parents spend more time developing a strong, loving relationship with their children. After all, teaching & disciplining (levels 4-5) won’t work if the child doesn’t like the parent!
KEYS to healthy parenting:
a. Loving = affection, compassion, involvement, positivity, understanding, warmth…..
b. Guiding = discipline, setting limits, structure, supervision, teaching….
4. TEACHING: Too much focus is on what to do when things go wrong – on discipline strategies & consequences. However, if the goal is to be effective, parents need to lovingly, patiently teach children what is expected, how to behave, & what the consequences are of disobedience – rather than seeing them as ungrateful, disobedient burdens!
So, effective correction will depend on the quality of the parent’s teaching, & the quality of teaching will depend on the quality of the relationship with their children. (More….) CONNECTION first, correction last.
♦ PARENTING SkILLS & STRATEGIES
In order of importance & effort:
1. Base activities lay the foundations for a positive parent-child relationship, making all parts of parenting, even discipline & consequences, easier & more effective.
PARENTS give attention, empathy, involvement, listening, play, problem-solving, taking
BENEFITS to child: better attachment, co-operation, self-esteem, problem-solving
2. PARENTS: celebrate, coach, encourage, praise, reward
BENEFITS: Improved motivation, thinking & social skills
3. PARENTS: Clear limits, consistent follow-thru & household rules
BENEFITS : Increased obedience, predictability & responsibility
4. PARENTS: Distract, ignore, redirect – child’s demands, noise, tantrums….
BENEFITS : Reduces annoying behavior (don’t get a rise out of parent)
5. PARENTS: Provide consequences (time out, loss of privileges….)
BENEFITS : Less aggression (From “The Incredible Years” Series)
IF parents overuse consequences & forget to make time for play & positive time, children will become discouraged, & will stop trying to behave properly – because they feel unable to get any attention other than when they’re ‘bad’.
NEXT: MBTI Preference stacks #1