Parent's Notebook: Getting to the Root of the Matter

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Working to end the violence that’s killing our youth while sending others to die via incarceration is the focus of the Notebook this year.  We have work to do in healing our relationships with self, children, family and each other enabling us to recognize shared goals and increase our ability to forge an environment that sustains rather than destroys life. It’s going to take more than pointing the finger and it’ll require all adults to take a personal, intimate inventory and commit to healing.  The Notebook invites everyhone to share their experiences, resources and results.The goal is to heal the pain and anger that we’ve allowed to grow to the point that our children are killing us and each other.

A Warning

– While this may not sound as exciting as the debates, angry accusations and headlines, but as parents and grandparents, I think we want more for our children and our future.  You are invited to join parents who want more, starting with practicing some of PN suggestions and sharing your experience whether it met with success or failure.  This week’s assignment:

*Get to know what your child enjoys doing and schedule those activities to reward or for special occasions.

*Catch him doing something right often, look for opportunities to say “Great job” Find a way to correct that doesn’t attack or make wrong, perhaps maybe you could try another way, and suggest another, working with the child not ordering or judging”.

*Give individual attention….Find a pocket of time for each child.  A mere five minutes focused on that child sends a message: “With all my parents have to do, I am important.  Needless to say, special trips and activities always make a difference.

*Acknowledge your child’s feelings.  Children have feelings and they should be allowed to express them.  Emotions are transient as long as they can be    expressed.  Stifled emotions affect the child’s perception of people and things in a negative way. Instead of criticizing, help the child to get to the source by helping him identify the feeling that triggers the feeling of being capable. Older children will probably be challenging.  Remember to present rational reasons, never “because I said so”.

* Accept and honor your child’s uniqueness.  Our children come through us and it is our duty to nurture and give them wings.  If we are nurtured, we grow to express our uniqueness and contribute to the world.  If we’re not, we wander the world looking for it to provide us with a sense of well-being, competing with others.*Allow your child to contribute. Chores allow children to experience partnering and contributing to the household which will instill confidence.  Find the skills and talents your child possesses and create ways for them to be used. Be sure to acknowledge them.

*Allow your child to choose.  Find opportunities for child to choose from a selection of sanctioned options.  We need to stop the attacks, blame and criticisms.  Simply state the facts so that constructive action can happen.  Start listening to yourself to hear what your child hears from you.  Know that it might not be easy since we’re generally repeating or reacting to what we grew up with.  We’re killing the self-esteem of our youth-our future and creating angry young people who kill.  All adults must get it…it simply has to stop.  The buck stops with each and every adult.  Share your results and questions.  Send to parentsnotebook@yahoo.com.