I miss writing for the Business of Parenting. While I’m taking a leave from my writing on this blog, I encourage you to check out the blog, Where Learning Comes in to Play! I am a regular writer for this blog for the DuPage Children’s Museum in Naperville IL. The blog is designed for parents, teachers and Museum colleagues about a variety of topics related to child development, play and learning.
In today’s tough economic times where every penny counts, here’s the financial and emotional investment it takes to raise a child, Well worth the investment! Happy Mother’s Day!
Welcome to the second installment of Wednesday Wit, where I share my favorite parenting blogs, websites or advice I have discovered during the previous week. Oh by the way, any comments on the new look for the blog?
10 Basic Principles of Good Parenting
I usually don’t recommend books before I read them. However, this book seems very appropriate for today’s parent. The author’s first principle, Be a Mindful Parent, reminds us parents to be intentional rather than reactionary! Good advice in any situation, including parenting. I plan to add this book to my parenting library.
Study finds parents should allow their children to see them fight
This study confirms what some of us parents have always believed – let your kids see you fight. A very wise young adult (my second born daughter) said to me that she was thankful we allowed her to see us, her parents, argue. She said it told her a lot about the ups and downs, and more importantly, the continuity of a relationship during good and bad times. It’s inevitable that in any relationship there will be conflict. When you model constructive criticism, working through conflicts, forgiving and moving on, you give your children valuable lessons in conflict resolution. It’s only in witnessing the extreme, nasty fighting where children tend to act out and act aggressively towards their peers. How do you model conflict resolution for your children?
The lighter side of parenting
Look to the comics for advice and humor in parenting. It helps not to take life so seriously. Here’s one I found last week that made me chuckle. Two of my favorite comic strips that really capture the ups and downs of parenting can be found in the Chicago Tribune. For Better or For Worse by Lynn Johnston captures parenting stages from “BC” (before conception) through parenting your parents. Be sure and check out some of her classic contents on her blog. My other favorite, Baby Blues by Rick Kirkman and Jerry Scott, shows us the trials, tribulations and triumphs in raising kids. A daily dose of Baby Blues will make you feel that you’re not alone with all the joys and challenges of parenting.
Welcome to Wednesday Wit!!! Each Wednesday, I will be sharing some of my favorite wisdom – filled and/or humorous posts I read on other parenting and educational blogs throughout the week.
- From one of my favorite blogs, Motherlode, Lisa Beklin from the New York Times Magazine asks the question, is parenting something we’re born with or do we have to learn it? Be sure and read the link to the Australian study where 5000 parents were asked how one learns to be a parent.
- How’s your portfolio? It’s not everyday I find someone else comparing business principles to parenting principles. This post looks at some business terms day traders use when talking about the stocks and bonds market and compares them to the “ups and downs” of parenting. For those of you who have parented through (or put your parents through) the challenging teen years, you’ll find some humorous comparisons.
- I’ve been overheard saying, my lip hurts, which usually translates that I’m choosing not to say or do anything to get overly involved in my children’s activites or events. Sometimes children need to shine, not their parent. Other times, learning from their mistakes were much better than a lecture from me. Here’s another idea to try when you find yourself doing too much for your children.
Due to a rather hectic schedule over the next few weeks, I have decided to post shorter entries and link you to some of my favorite blogs I’m currently tracking. In the meantime, I promise to get back to the “business of parenting” in the near future.
Speaking of business of parenting, I found Tammy Erikson’s post about successful parenting from Harvard Business. org to be intriguing. She points out that the shift in the way gen x parents are defining successful parenting today will affect business and manager decisions to retain good employees. Another example where business and parenting intersect! So all you baby boomer parents – how did you define successful parenting? Do you see a shift in the gen x parents today? If you’re a gen x parent, do you see your parenting style different than how you were raised?
The debate about T.V. and kids continues
In Parenting Principle # 2 we discussed the American Academy of Pediatrics recommendation of “no television prior to age 2. ” New research conducted at Children’s Hospital Boston and Harvard Medical school support this recommendation, suggesting that maternal and household characteristics are more beneficial to a child’s cognitive development. For a synopsis of this report read more here…..
The study showed that T.V. viewing does not increase brain development even though DVD and television marketers want us to believe it does. However, the report did conclude that television viewing, although not beneficial, is not necessarily harmful either. In light of these findings, the benefits of limiting television exposure , such as improved diet, lower risk of overweight, less exposure to violence and better sleep quality certainly needs to be considered.
So was does this mean for IT savvy parent? The New York Times parenting blog, Motherlode, suggests that parents should stop feeling guilty for the occasional TV viewing. “Certainly there are better things to do than plop a baby in front of a TV show or a (so called) educational DVD, suggests Lisa Belkin, Motherlode blogger, but parents don’t have to feel guilty about the occasional viewing.” Be sure and check out all the comments (pros and cons) to Lisa Belkin’s post, Babies and the Boob Tube.
So what do you think are the pros and cons of television and so called educational DVD viewing for young children? What’s your definition of occasional viewing?
Effective communication is essential in any team environment, including your family team! Think about a current or former work situation. How did your boss communicate to you? Did you want to share ideas with your boss or did it take courage to solicit your supervisor’s support. The way your boss talked to you may have influenced your ability to communicate within your work team. Suggestions from these two business online documents, The Importance of Effective Communication and Getting Things Done in Groups for people in organizations has some parallels for families, as well. Let’s take a look at a two of their communication suggestions:
Be an active listener
We spend a lot of time hearing what our children say, but are we actually listening? It’s natural to begin thinking about how we might respond before we’ve paid attention to what was being said. Being an active listener means paying attention to not only what’s being said, but what your child’s actions are saying and what she or he may not be saying. Active listening gives us a chance to mirror what we think we see our kids communicating. The concept of active listening comes from the psychologist Carl Jung, who encourages being the role of an observer rather than a judge. Take for example a four year old who is wants a doll that you can’t or won’t buy. Some typical reactions might be to drone on about why you can’t afford the toy or belittle your child for her greediness. Instead, active listening uses “I” messages. I know you really want the doll. I see you’re disappointed we can’t buy the doll today. The “I” message communicates your understanding of the situation. Active listening is not a quick fix, however, stating what you think you hear or see may change your child’s direction without anger.
Communicate your feelings not act out your feelings
Expressing feelings is part of being human. The way we express those feelings is what takes work! Screaming and yelling is scary and can be just as hurtful as physical violence. State your emotion – I’m really sad, (angry, happy) about….Facial expressions convey emotion too! Practice keeping your voice at an audible level. My children paid more attention to me if I was soft spoken in my emotions, then when I lost control by yelling. In fact, they often said they knew I was serious with my request when my voice got very quiet.
Want to become a better listener/talker with your kids? This book, How to Talk so Kids will Listen and Listen so Kids will Talk by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish, is a handy reference with simple and effective strategies to practice and use in common family situations.
Stay tuned! Conflict is a fact of life! As a leader of your team do you want your family members to fear you or look to you as an ally? In a future post we will look at cultivating an attitude of acceptance.