Kristen & Mark Howerton
Healthy people make healthy parents.
Foster a sense of empathy, compassion and understanding.
Discipline ideas that foster attachment.
Kids need nurture, love, structure and guidance. We need to foster their God-given strengths.
Attachment is a surfacey enjoyment, appreciation but there is also a deeper connection on a brain level.
Behaviors – manipulation, lying, pretending they don’t know how to do something. They will try to pull an adult into drama.
We need to constantly monitor ourselves so that we don’t reward them with the adrenalin hit. That shows them they are not in control.
#1 thing – don’t be emotionally reactive to your children. Nothing is changing, nothing is learned in the midst of that adrenalin rush. Need calm, consistent approach to discipline.
The first three seconds after a behavior is the most vulnerable and ready for learning (so if you’re not calm, wait).
A child from a hard place will test YOUR hardest places.
“Let’s try that again.”
“What usually happens when you do that? Is that really what you want to do?” “How is that working for you.”
When a kid pretends to forget something – “that’s a real bummer but I’m only taking kids who know how to put their shoes on to the park.” identify and give language to what the real need is. (sometimes this may need to happen later and that’s ok.)
Use empathy when disciplining “that’s a bummer that you made that decision and have this consequence”. Next time remind them and give them a positive “i know you’re going to make a good choice”
Always state what you DO want, not what you don’t want.
Spanking is not recommended – it puts them in that adrenalin cycle, they could have past abuse, etc.
Consequences – Loss of privileges (tv, playing outside, computer time)
“Correction does much, encouragement does more.”
Empathetic, authoritative parenting – “I see you’re not putting your shoes on, why is that? … Ok, great I hear you but you need to get in the car.”
Balance of making yourself emotionally available to attach but not emotionally available to be manipulated and drawn into the battle. A lot of their behavior is “noise” they are putting out to engage you in a power struggle.
Be gracious to yourselves and remember that your kids are on a healing path. Get support that you need.