Trick Plays Enabling vs. Empowering Encouraging and Praise
Tonight’s Objectives • Recognize the balance of authority in the family • Develop tools to establish appropriate power in the family • Understand motivation • Recognize the symptoms of lack of motivation
Predictable Childhood Battlefields • Bedtime • Food • Toilet training • Homework • Morning routines • Public places • Having company in the home • “But everybody else…”
Establishing Authority Handout
Many child specialists claim that the balance of power between parent and child is established by the age of 3. If parents have been able to navigate through the toddler and 2-year old stages and are still clearly in charge, the balance of power may be pretty well predictable for the future.
Rule-Setting Guidelines • Make them reasonable and developmentally appropriate • Be selective, don’t set too many • Be united with other parent • Be sure you are able and willing to enforce it • Allow for occasional flexibility • Explanations should be brief, and very young children need little or no explanation
Make sure your expectations are clear…the parent perspective and child perspective sometimes are very different • Consequences should create discomfort for the child and be directly related to the behavior • Provide positive reinforcement for rules that are followed • Avoid enabling behaviors
Enabling vs. Empowering Enabling Empowering A process of unwittinglyallowing and encouraging irresponsible, inappropriate behavior in others Actions and behaviors that encourage responsibility and sensible choices in others
Enabling Parents: • Accept excuses from child • Make excuses for child • Rescue • Do for the child what he is capable of doing for himself • Take over the child’s responsibilities • Bail the child out of trouble • Feel sorry for the child • Protect the child from consequences • Give in to manipulations • Fail to work as team with other parent
Enabling patterns… • Teach child to be irresponsible • Set child up for unhappiness due to not learning from consequences of behaviors • Let child learn to manipulate others • Do not teach respect for authority • Lead to higher rates of anti-social and dangerous, destructive behaviors
Overindulged Children • Whine and pout when they don’t get their way • Demand • Won’t take “no” for an answer • Want immediate gratification • Throw tantrums • Self centeredand inconsiderate of others • Low frustration tolerance • Expect others to do for them • Underachieve Note - All children exhibit these behaviors from time to time.
Overparenting“Loving Too Much” • Obsessively worry about child • Can’t eat or sleep due to worry • Share every emotional hurt child experiences • Share child’s anxieties • Sees child’s responsibilities as parent’s • Try to control everything child does Needs to be dealt with by licensed mental health professional, who deals with co-dependency
Empowering patterns… • Encourage child to take on appropriate responsibilities in the family • Teach skills needed to cooperate with others • Teach skills needed to respect authority • Teach skills needed in the real world • Lead to less anti social behaviors • Lead to happy, productive lives
Balancing authority in the family changes through the years. We must alter our perceptions, re-evaluate our techniques, and be willing to make changes….often within ourselves.
Parents who… Enable Empower • Clean up child’s mess • Make excuses • Accept excuses • Blames others • Gives in • Does for the child • Teach skills • Offer choices • Give responsibility • Confront honestly and lovingly • Follow through • Hold child accountable • Allow for mistakes • Accept individuality
WHAT IS Motivation? Feeling or attitude of excitement Ability to work against discouragement Ability to face competition and challenge Ability to take on a task with determination and perseverance
All healthy normal infants are born with motivation. Children are eager to learn, touch and explore.
Older children and adolescents who appear unmotivated possess the eagerness to learn, touch and explore. Most children show intense motivation toward special interests such as music, sports, clothes or friends. Their motivation fills them with excitement and vitality.
Many of our young people are unable to direct this enthusiasm and energy into the areas we as parents would like them to…mainly school and responsibilities. Unmotivated children are generally discouraged children. Discuss the case of Branden…
WHY DO CHILDREN GET DISCOURAGED? • Interference by well-meaning adults • Inappropriate expectations • Criticism, put-downs
Characteristics of Child Lacking Motivation • Forgets, loses or misplaces things • Makes excuses • Blames others, complains • Gives up easily • Unwilling to attempt a task • Fears failure • Requires constant reminding
Unorganized • Poor study skills • Does tasks only half-way • Lacks goals and direction • Makes others feel guilty, do tasks for him • Acts out • Achievement scores decline over time
How can we break the cycle? We cannot change another person, not even our own child. A change in the way we interact with the child, however, may bring about change . Reversal may be a slow process. Remember that the child didn’t reach this point in just one instance.
Be a role model What messages of motivation, responsibility and education are you sending? We may exhibit drive and motivation on the job or in our volunteer activities, but be careful not to turn off those characteristics when you return home after your long, hard day.
Show your child • Effort and sense of responsibility • Respect and appreciation for education • Ability to set and achieve goals • Perseverance • Ability to try again after failures • Organizational skills • Effort and process, not just end results • “I Can” attitude
Encouragement vs. Praise Praise Encouragement • Often used as reward • Not always believable • Can be discouraging • Creates dependency on external reward • Frequently based on competition Examples – “Wow, You are a genius!” “That’s a fantastic drawing!” “You’re incredible!” • Focuses on effort and improvement, not end result • Causes child to believe in himself • Emphasizes strengths • Helps him accept his imperfections • Creates internal motivation • Helps child with courage to face difficult tasks Examples – “Your little sister sure likes it when you read to her.” “You’re making good progress on your math. You’ll sure feel good when you have that finished.”
Don’t Give Up! Handout