Third Episode Summary
On the third podcast in my series titled “TEACHING HUMANITY REMOTELY,” we go into detail about strategies for parenting with the theme of FOLLOW THROUGH and CONSISTENCY.
For adults, being consistent when responding to children when they make certain requests or behave a certain way is essential, and that’s something I experienced in my many years in the classroom with children ages 4 to 8. My teaching assistant and I worked hard to remain unified in our responses whenever a child presented us with a challenging situation. The same is true for parental interaction outside of school. If the adults who are guiding our children and modeling for them do not remain unified in their points of view, a child will learn to manipulate the adults. How many times have we seen a child get one response from one parent and then try to get a different response from the other parent?
The children that I taught in Kindergarten and First Grade saw me as the most playful adult they ever encountered, but I also balanced that by being the most serious adult they ever dealt with. My students would describe me as silly, funny and friendly, but they would also describe me as smart, serious and strict. That combination always led to respect, and the respectful relationship I had with my students was also a two-way street.
I know that parents want to be friends with their children. I had my first child at the age of 22, so I completely understand that concept. I also believe strongly in the BALANCE of being a child’s friend and being their parent.
Children need AND WANT boundaries. For that reason, it is appropriate and necessary to be firm at the right time. Everything is a learning lesson, and we all learn from each other. When a child misbehaves, that child needs to be given the appropriate consequence in order to learn the lesson. It is also critical, as it is said, that “the punishment fit the crime.” When that phrase is really true, it isn’t a punishment but rather a natural consequence of the child’s “mis-take,” and therein lies the learning lesson.
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