Jun 16, 2011

Parenting Responsively For Connection ~ Book Tour ~ Day 9

Day 9 ~ 
Parenting Responsively For Connection Book Tour

Today we have the great pleasure of being the hosts of the Virtual Book Tour for the E-Book Parenting Responsively for Connection Written by ACPI Parenting Coaches for parents to deal with the most difficult task of maintaining connection with the growing child whose behavior changes and shifts.

Yesterday, the book tour stopped by our wonderful friend Leigh Harris's awesome blog Metaphysical Mom and Dad. Feel free to stop by and read the excerpt, The Intention to Connect.

Visit now if you haven’t had the opportunity to meet all the authors.

In the meantime enjoy this book excerpt written by Alan Carson.

Parents as Leaders

Many parents are familiar with Dr. Dorothy Law Nolte's inspirational poem, 

Children Learn What They Live.  The first few lines begin with:

If children live with criticism, They learn to condemn. 

If children live with hostility, They learn to fight.  

If children live with ridicule, They learn to be shy. 

If children live with shame,They learn to feel guilty.

Regardless of which of the three parenting courses I am facilitating, 
I always begin by emphasizing that parents are leaders. As parent leaders we:
                • Influence our children to do what we want them to do
                • Realize that we cannot influence our children unless we are in a connected                                                    relationship with them.
                • Have a vision
                • Focus on what we want, not what we do not want; we are positive
                • Listen
As a parent, I can most influence my child's self-esteem by realizing that I do shape my child's self-concept and self-worth because my child becomes what I believe she can become. Self-concept refers to all of those traits and abilities that my child believes she possesses. Praise and recognition play a major role in shaping my child's self-concept because I am constantly sending messages to my child. Since kids largely spend the first four years of their lives with us, our children internalize our verbalized observations:
"You are such a hard worker."
"You are a very unselfish friend."
"When something is difficult for you, you really become determined."
"I always enjoy asking for your opinion because you have lots of good ideas."
"You are a very thoughtful girl."
When we see behaviors that concern us, parent leaders focus on what they want:
Instead of saying "You're lazy," they say, "You need to work harder."
Instead of saying, "You won't be able to do that," they say, "If anyone can do it, it is you."
Instead of saying, "Boy, were you lucky," they say, "You worked hard for that."
Instead of saying, "Are you ever going to learn? " they say, "I trust you won't make that mistake again."
Instead of saying, "You are very selfish," they say, "You are a more considerate person than this."
Leaders encourage, motivate, communicate, bring out the best in people and give them hope. I will share with you a true story from my days as a guidance counselor. Mrs. White asked me to help her 7th grade daughter Anna with her schoolwork, as Anna's grades had been on a serious decline. Within two weeks of beginning to work with Anna, Mrs. White emailed me:
                "I think I know what is causing Anna's stress—my mother. She moved into our neighborhood recently and has been giving Anna a hard time ever since. She has been criticizing her—asking her if she is stupid because she forgets things, and asking her if she is on drugs, etc."
                This is not only an example of poor leadership, but also an example of how an influential adult can severely hurt a child's self-concept. How are kids going to believe in themselves if their loved ones don't have faith in them? We want our kids to feel they are very capable and possess a multitude of abilities. They will develop a strong self-concept if we love leaders and role models.
                Parents are also crucial to the formation of their child's self-worth.  Self-worth refers to the extent to which the child sees herself as being worthy— worthy of love, success, friendship, and respect. If we want our children to make good decisions in life, we better instill in them a strong sense of self-worth. As actor Christian Slater said, "It doesn't matter how famous you are if your head is telling you, 'You stink.' All you ever do is try to escape from that."
                A scene from the movie about Johnny Cash's life, Walk the Line, will forever be imprinted in my brain.
Johnny's older brother was sawing wood on a massive table saw. Johnny, about eight years of age at the time, was to keep an eye on his brother. Johnny was in the barn with his brother, but got distracted by something insignificant— typical for a boy his age. The large timber Johnny's brother was trying to cut got jammed in the saw, kicked back, and the blunt force trauma to his chest killed Johnny's brother.
                While the family was grieving in silence in their modest country home, Johnny's dad picked up an empty coffee can, shook it in Johnny's face and said,  "What's this---what is this?"  Being a young, petrified child, Johnny had no answer for his dad's mind game.  Johnny's dad then responded, "You know what this is? It is nothing, just like you—nothing."
                This tragedy and his father's method of coping scarred Johnny for the better part of his life, and caused him to attempt to do whatever it took to win his father's love and approval. It is our responsibility to raise our children to see themselves as winners. Winners find ways to win; losers find ways to lose.
                We would all love our children to have great self-esteem and conclude that they are special; but the truth is that our children have to earn their own self-esteem. However, we play an integral role in the formation of our child's self-concept and self-worth. To effectively do this requires that we be influential, positive leaders. We adore our children and have to demonstrate this love by accepting the responsibility of significantly and optimistically shaping the people they become. 

Alan Carson

Parent Educator and ACPI Trainer

Email: parentslead@mac.com                                                                                                                                                                   

Alan Carson is an award-winning author of the book, Before They Know It All: Talking to Tweens and Teens About Sexuality.  Alan is an ACPI Certified Coach for Parents specializing in adolescence.

 Alan was a high school health education teacher for 21 years before serving as a middle school guidance counselor. During his time in the school system he developed a comprehensive sexuality education curriculum for his students at a time in which addressing sexuality in the public schools was not widely supported.

After leaving the school system, he wrote Before They Know It All: Talking to Tweens and Teens About Sexuality which recently the prestigious Parent Tested Parent Approved award.

Alan values honesty, respect and truthfulness in 
relationships with children and enjoys making presentations to parents and educators about adolescent sexuality.

Don't forget to follow the rest of the book tour as it stops by the blog İlkiz Özcan Sönmezat  for Day 10 http://annebabaokulum.blogspot.com  in English and Turkish.

Please share your comments and retweet this article! Sharing is caring. Together we can connect great authors to incredible parents doing their best along their intentional conscious parenting path!


Leigh Harris said...

What a valuable lesson. It is like the old saying, "do what I say, not as I do." That is outdated, and doesn't serve to enhance a child's self concept.

If we want this world to grow into a better place, we must constantly strive to increase our child's feeling of self worth.

Thank you, Carol and Stacy, for posting this great excerpt from a great author, Alan Carson.

Sherri said...

Thanks for posting Alan's excerpt. It has made me even more mindful of what I say to my children.

Unknown said...

Thanks for posting Carol and Stacy. One thing I learned from Mr. Carson's writings is to notice the behavior, notice the moods, notice is a key word to me. Like intenitonal-conscious parenting, we bring a mindful attitude into our relationships with children. I think my new motto is Love Wins!

Carol Lawrence And Stacy Toten said...

Thank you ladies for visiting our blog. Thank you for being present within yourselves and for speaking your thoughts so brilliantly.