The Danger of Taking Your Child’s Behaviour Personally.

Larissa Dann

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.

My most recent 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?

Larissa Dann blog post 26 April 2016    Image courtesy Shutterstock

“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.

Parenting Children, Caring for Parents: A Job Description.

Larissa Dann

‘Sandwich generation’ refers to people who are bringing up children (typically adolescents) while also caring for their aging parents. At the moment I’m the vegemite in that sandwich, my time and energy thinly spread between my parents, my children, and occasionally my long-suffering partner.

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.

The Lighter Side of Living with a Mum who Teaches Parenting

Larissa Dann        

So – I’m a Mum. Interestingly (for my family), not only am I a Mum, but I’m a parent who happens to teach parenting. I have children and a partner. They live with my passionate advocacy for, and (sometimes not so good) practice of, a deliberately chosen approach to parenting. This leads to some entertaining conversations, where my convictions become the source of much amusement for my family.  This post is a glimpse into the humorous side of living with a parent educator.

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

Larissa Dann                                                                                

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’.

The Trouble with Time-Out

Larissa Dann                           

Discipline - the perennial parenting problem. Discipline (the verb) can mean either ‘to teach’, or ‘to control’ (Gordon, T. 1989). In our quest to parent effectively, to do the best by our children, ourselves and our family, we think carefully about the best way to discipline our child.

If we use discipline to control, then we rely on reward and punishment to change our children’s behaviour. 

This article questions the use of one of the most commonly used punishments - time-out. The majority of the parenting books we read, parenting websites, parenting courses, or parents we know, suggest time-out as a benign punishment.  Most schools and childcare centres rely on time-out to discipline children. 

During the years my daughter attended childcare we had several discussions around her fear of punitive time-out. Her distress, and my experience as a parent educator, drove me to investigate the effects of time-out.

Three Ways our Assumptions Affect Relationships with Children

Larissa Dann.                      

Here is a challenging idea: the way we think about children, and the assumptions we make about their intentions, will shape our response to them.  Ultimately, our presumptions influence our relationships. 

Secrets to Sorting Sibling Squabbles

by Larissa Dann                                                                                                  

Is sibling conflict and rivalry one of the constant stressors of your life as a parent? Do you tear your hair out with frustration as you hear your children yell at each other, yet again?  Are you overwhelmed by the thought of holidays, and the seemingly inevitable squabbling siblings?  Or perhaps you simply wish to enhance the relationship your children already have, to enable them to love and support each other throughout their lives?

Read on to see how you can assist your children to resolve their own conflicts, and help them develop a sibling relationship of respect and empathy, using effective communication skills. The article includes an example to help illustrate the steps being put into practice.

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