Wednesday, July 15, 2009

ProActive Parenting Review! Two Thumbs Up!!!

A while back I introduced to you ProActive Parenting. ProActive Parenting provides audio seminars for you to download onto your computer, to your iPod, MP3 player or to burn on a CD. There are several seminars available to help you become a better parent and better understand your child. Sharon Silver, the creator of ProActive Parenting sent me the Everyday Solutions Series. This Series included each of the 10 seminars which include whining, siblings, interrupting, yelling and more.

I think I am like most moms, where I wonder, "What am I doing wrong?". I have struggled the past while trying to get my children to listen to me, not interrupt me and stop doing something they shouldn't be doing. I thought maybe I needed to be more strict with them and that if I used a stern tone they would stop and listen to me. This has not worked. In fact this has only made them use the same tone towards me or towards each other. I on the other hand have only gotten loader with my voice and at times I am find myself yelling. Well, I finally made the time to listen to these wonderful seminars. I now wonder what made it so difficult for me to just turn them on. It was so easy to listen to these as I was cleaning in the house or making dinner. So let me tell you a bit of what I learned.

I loved these seminars. I have only gotten through three of them as of now, but have listened to two of them twice. There is so much wonderful information and great ideas on correcting your approach when it comes to dealing with your toddler. I have learned that my stern (yelling) approach is only preparing my children to treat me that same way as they become older. If I handle situations by reacting with a load voice, they are going to do the same towards me, which I am already starting to see (I know I am not the only parent who loses my cool). Another discipline tactic I and others overuse is "Time Out". I use timeout daily and I have used it as part of my disciplining. The truth is "Time out" was originally made to help the child and the parent calm down so that they could discuss the problem and have the right mind to do so. Now a days we are threatening with time outs left and right and not really giving the child or your self the chance to calm down before discussing the situation. With this knowledge and other wonderful techniques taught in ProActive seminars, "Time Out" is not a daily routine. If "time out" is used, I inform my child that they need to calm down and ask them to sit and take deep breaths until they feel calm. In the mean time, I do the same and inform them when I am ready to talk as well. This approach has really helped us communicate a lot better. My little boy also feels like I am understanding his needs more and am listening to his frustrations and needs. Again, "Time Out" is now rarely used in my house now because of how I view "time outs" and because of the other techniques used from ProActive Parenting.

Just from the 3 seminars I have listened to, I have learned so much. I have only shared with you just a small portion of what I have learned. Before I close I would like to share one of my favorite techniques I learned from the ProActive Parenting seminar "Interrupting- Not Now I'm Talking". Sometimes I feel like my children are just waiting for me to pick up that phone. They can be being angels at the moment, but as soon as I pick up that phone they attack. Especially my 4 year old. He tries to come up with every question possible while I'm on the phone to see if he can get my attention. I have never known what to do during this except to either hang up with the other person on the line or to threaten my son by taking a special toy away if he doesn't stop. These have never solved the problem. Now I use the touch approach. With this you teach the child that if they have something to say to you while you are on the phone, they need to use the touch approach. Here they will touch your arm and wait for you to make eye contact with them. Touching your arm while you are busy, allows them to know that you are aware they are there. I also like to touch my sons hand at this time so he knows I will get to him when I am ready. When the parent is ready to talk, they will give the child eye contact and depending on the situation they can ask them to whisper in their ear what they need or ask them out load. This really works! My son loves it and thinks it is a game. We will sometimes practice it to refresh his mind on how he needs approach this situation.

I love the Proactive Parenting seminars because they give you the calm way to approach common parenting situations. These approaches also are made to correct the problem and not just a way to deal with them temporarily. Too often parents use forms of discipline to handle a situation the quickest way possible. If you have anything with your toddler that you are particularly struggling with, I recommend you head over to ProActive Parenting. Here you will learn how to get rid of threats and timeouts and solve the problem in a more permanent way.

Sharon Silver is a mom, an educator, and a powerful speaker. Her mission has always been to create programs that help parents focus on what else can be done instead of going straight to punishment. Her commitment to children and families has even resulted in her appearance on an episode of the Oprah Winfrey Show called “Hitting, Spanking, Smacking: Should it happen to your child?”