I worked for a short time at a local daycare center. During my interview, I was asked if I knew anything about conscious discipline. I had never heard of it before, so as soon as I was home, I began looking it up on the internet. What I found was so exciting! These were many of the principles that I had tried to use with my own children. With conscious discipline it is more about getting down to your child’s level and understanding the whole picture, then teaching them how to better manage their behavior by also being able to better manage their emotions. It’s about teaching empathy and self-control. It also gives them a sense of ownership in their decisions by giving them choices. But this was just the tip of the ice berg. The real power behind this program is the focus on changing ourselves and the way that we view our child’s behavior. Through research and child development studies, they explain where your child is developmentally at any given age. It’s about becoming aware of our own triggers and learning to manage ourselves. And let’s face it there are days that we lack the self-control that we want our children to maintain. Imagine being able to identify your own triggers in order to circumvent them all together. Conscious discipline also teaches us mindfulness techniques to pass along to our kids. No matter your view on punishment vs. discipline, who doesn’t want to be calmer and teach those skills to your own children? This would give us more peaceful moments of connection with our children. I don’t know about you, but those moments of being fully present and having heartfelt connections are the best moments for me. If you have any interest in learning more about the amazing program, follow the link below. I hope you find it as enthralling as I did. I wish I had known about this when my children were growing up.
#parenting #child development #discipline
Published by Parenting For Good Mental Health
My name is Tricia. I am the proud mom of two amazing young men.
My youngest son was always a very energetic and highly reactive child. Life with him was often like a roller coaster ride. He had to work very hard to learn how to manage his emotions and behaviors. By the time he turned 10, he had learned to manage them fairly well. But one night while watching the movie The Mummy, his anxiety was triggered. Night after night, he just could not get the scary images out of his head. This went on for almost a year where he would cry in bed at night. Nothing we tried seemed to help. So we decided to take him to see a psychiatrist where he was diagnosed with an anxiety disorder, depression, OCD, and bipolar disorder.
Unfortunately, the care and medications that he received from various professionals did not really help. By educating myself, I began to learn that there were many more options that had not been provided or suggested. I believe that had I had more information sooner; his care could have been better tailored to his needs. This was a very difficult time not only for my son but for our entire family. We had to develop new ways of interacting that did not cause fights over the littlest things. We had to learn the hard way what not to do in a crisis. My husband had to learn that you don’t have to have a reason to be depressed or anxious. Sometimes you just are. And that it is not helpful to say to a depressed person, that they have no reason to be depressed. Having never experienced these feelings himself, my husband really struggled with understanding these things. But now that he gets it, he wishes he would have understood sooner so he could have been more supportive to our son in the beginning.
Thankfully, our son has found his own way through the darkness. And he has developed some skills and tools for managing his mental illness. His path could have been easier and less painful for him had we known about these other options sooner.
As parents and caregivers we need to educate ourselves on their illnesses and the evidence based care options that are out there. We have a limited number of clinicians that treat children and teens, so we sometimes only get to see them once a month. What kind of impact do you think you could have on your child if you only saw him once a month? We need to bring as much to the table as possible. The clinicians can only work with the information they are given. The more you can tell them the better they will be able to tailor your child’s care to his needs. We also need to know how to be the parents our child needs because what works for other kids does not always work for ours.
I would like to help educate others so that their path to recovery might be made shorter. There is a lot of support out there, but sometimes we do not hear about it. NAMI is the first support that I will recommend.
NAMI the National Alliance on Mental Illness is the largest grassroots mental health organization in America. Through NAMI you will find support and education that can help you to better facilitate the care your child needs. https://www.nami.org/
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