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I have just finished part 1 of Parenting with Grace, The Catholic Parents' Guide to Raising Almost Perfect Kids written by Gregory K. Popcak and Lisa Popcak. This book has three parts:
- Catholic Parenting: Building a Community of Love
- The Five Fabulous Phases of Childhood
- A Parenting Potpourri
I just want to write the interesting parts of the book for me that I think every parents, especially Catholic parents need to keep in mind as a tools to maintain great relationship with their children range from infant to teen. Here are some list of them.
The most impressive thing for me on the first chapter is about obedience. There are two kinds of obedience which are discussed in the book. They are blind obedience which is the opposite of the other one, Christian obedience. Blind obedience happens between two unequal level of people. For example, children behave well or show good things because they are scared of their parents. This kind of obedience won't be everlasting. The other obedience, Christian Obedience, happens between equal level of people. There is a sense of understanding each other's need fulfillment. The Christian obedience is based on a scripture passage “You are my friends if you do what I command you” (John 15:14). One way to achieve Christian obedience is self donation of parents towards children. This obedience matter is very interesting as I found that my kids often do things right because they are worried about the consequence. I have to increase my self donation to get Christian obedience exist.
There are also ten ways to daily discipline tools for children and parents
- We need to make rapport of our relationship with children. It means that we need to know what kind of children that we have, what they like, their relationship with other, etc. We can maintain regular affection “show” habbit.
- Rather than shouting and yelling, written routine and rules can be used sensibly
- Redirection means that parents need to give other alternatives of things that kids should not do, rather just forbidding them doing something.
- Restating is dealing with verbal disrespect. Anytime kids say disrespect things, parents should direct them to repeat their sentences politely.
- Getting kids to do over their inappropriate behaviors will give them better habits
- Give kids choice of what they are doing will give them thought of what kinds of consequence they will get when they choose something.
- Having certain moments of reminding what kind of manners or habit we want the kids to have normally before the occasion.
- Parents need to be supermodels for their children in any kinds of life aspects. Parents need to self evaluate themselves before they expect certain things to their children
- Labeling is a regular family program to apply certain virtue in certain time which is great to train children character.
- Every family should have rituals and routines that bind them together as a family. Thus, children will get stronger influence from their families rather than outside negative ones.
- Storytelling will be a great way to make family members close to each other.
Another things regarding discipline training for children are corrective discipline techniques which are used as “emergencies”, not a routine ones.
- Cool down time means to stop when the emotion of both children and parents become high.
- Time out means to get kids calm down so that they are ready to be taught what to do.
- Parents should give logical consequence based on their misbehavior so that they are aware that they are wrong. As parents, we hope that they will not make the same misbehaviour next time.
- Positive intention is giving children understanding about the correct attitude or behaviour that parents expect from children
- Parents should give solution focused questions to solve their children's problems that make up their misbehaviour, rather than asking problem focused questions.
- Grounding children until they find their way to solve the problems they face that have made them misbehave.
- Restricting children privilege until they know how to use it properly (logical consequence)
- Give reward base on the ability of children showing general virtue.
- Practicing the routine expected in certain schedule like rehearsal so children know what to do to correct their improper habit.
- Physical redirection needs parents to hold children physically doing what they suppose to do.
I keep this as my note to remind me anytime that there are some things better to parent children with love than to spank and to yell. As what Charlotte Mason said, a child is a born person. He or she is a gift from God that we need to take care mentally and physically with the best parenting way. By parenting children properly, we show our grace to God.