Learning To Parent Is As Important As Preparing For Birth

Larissa Dann 

 

When I was pregnant I planned. I prepared for the birth by attending antenatal classes, where I learned about stages of labour, and how to breathe through pain. I thought I was ready . . . to have a baby. But was I ready to be a parent?

How A Parenting Course Helped Our Family. Stories from Parents Putting Parent Effectiveness Training (P.E.T.) into Practice.

Larissa Dann

As a parent educator, I find coaching parents, carers and grandparents an indescribable privilege.  I meet people who love their children deeply, who have compassion, curiosity, humility, self-awareness, an eagerness to learn, and a sense of humour.  I meet people who may, at times, struggle with their role as a parent or carer.

In My Ideal World, This is How I’d Like To Communicate With My Teenage Daughter.

Blog post Larissa Dann.  17 October 2016                                  Shutterstock

Parenting a teenager can be tricky. On the one hand, there is the excitement, humour, passion and freshness of the emerging adult living with you.  On the other hand, there are the eye rolls, the ‘go away’s, (followed immediately by the ‘come here’s), and the silences.  How do you guide your teen gently to adulthood, when inside you might just want to scream?  How do you maintain a relationship of mutual respect?

P.E.T on a Page: a Summary of the Skills and Principles of Parent Effectiveness Training (P.E.T.).

Larissa Dann

Parent Effectiveness Training (P.E.T.) is a gentle, peaceful parenting approach that helps develop a relationship of warmth and respect, between children and their parents or carers. Importantly, P.E.T does not use punishment and reward to change a child’s behaviour. In my opinion, the skills and philosophy of P.E.T underpin many modern parenting practices, including gentle, peaceful or attachment parenting.

The positive outcomes for children, parents and families who adopt the skills taught in P.E.T. are now, I believe, strongly backed by research and evidence. You can read more in ‘How the Evidence of Today Supports the Wisdom of Yesterday’, and read real stories from parents putting P.E.T into practice here.

My Day at an Election Booth: Why I Encourage My Kids to Vote. Democracy Rocks!

 

My weary eyes open to the dark of an early morning Saturday. Gulping a quick coffee, I douse the frosty car windows with warm water and leap in. Today is Election Day for the entire country, and I’m working at a voting booth.  I’m so excited!

I crunch across the gravel of the school driveway, in the crisp early light that only a winter’s morning can summon. Swinging open the wooden doors, I shiver into the school hall where others stand, waiting to begin the very long day.  

The Danger of Taking Your Child’s Behaviour Personally.

My journey as a parent has required openness to new ideas, learning from my best teachers (my children), and a lot of personal reflection. Sometimes, the most unlikely of situations can offer opportunities for discovery.

One light-bulb parenting moment was recognising the strong connection between me taking behaviour personally, and my anger.

The Moment I Missed My Son’s Graduation - Because I was Too Busy Recording It

Larissa Dann Blog post 6th May, 2016

Do you find yourself whipping out your phone or camera at every opportunity, ready to record those myriad of unique events in your child’s life?  I did. Now my child is a young adult, I look back and reflect. I love the memories that my photos evoke. At the same time, I am reminded of what I missed.

Fear or Regard – Why Do Our Children Respect Us?

 

“Shouldn’t we be teaching our children to respect us?” said a father in a session of my parenting class.  “I certainly respected my father – I always did what he said. How can you get a child to respect you if you don’t use punishment or rewards?”

Whoa. A parent was confronting me with a question that had hovered in my sub-conscious for years, but which I had not examined because it was too difficult, too challenging.  What was ‘respect’? How would I answer him?

I teach, and try to live by, an approach to parenting called Parent Effectiveness Training (P.E.T.).  When I write or speak about P.E.T., I summarise the course as ‘helping parents and children to develop a relationship of mutual respect’.  I emphasise that P.E.T. differentiates itself because it helps parents avoid the use of rewards and punishment.

Now I was faced with a vexed question: “Are there different types of respect, and why do I think it is important in parenting?” .  Read on for the full article.

Larissa Dann blog post 26 April 2016    Image courtesy Shutterstock

 

Avoiding the Phrase 'Makes Me', and What to Say Instead.

Blog post by Larissa Dann 17 November 2015, on Gordon Training International         Photo courtesy Shutterstock

We use the phrase “makes me” in situations where we are impacted by things our children do – by their actions, or their behaviour.  Often, we’ll say, “makes me” with the best of intentions – we just want our children to know how we feel.

My question is: does my child’s action make me feel something? Or do I feel an emotion in response to my child’s behaviour?  Am I a passive victim of their behaviour, or will I actively own my feelings about their behaviour?

I think there can be hidden consequences when we use “makes me” with our children. Read on for the full article.

Saying “I’m disappointed” can Damage Relationships: Children and Adults

                                                                          

Respectful communication is the life-blood of all relationships. A subtle choice of words may either enhance or diminish family connection.  In my efforts to improve my relationships, one word I’m trying to avoid is ‘disappointed’.

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