Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Parenting With Grace-Book Study: Chapter One

(Intro here.)
Everything in quotations can be directly attributed to the authors, unless otherwise noted.  These are my own very brief personal notes/interpretation/things I want to remember

Chapter One-Perfecting Your Kids In Love: Twelve Ways To Raise A PK

-As Catholics it is not our mission to raise perfect kids-it is our mission to raise kids to be "perfect as our Heavenly Father is perfect"-perfect in love-that they will know how to love and be loved by others and by God

-How? "everything depends upon your kids knowing you love them and teaching them how to love you in return."
-Success as parent depends on attachment (to you, not peers) at every age and stage.
-Without that level of attachment, all best discipline strategies will fail.

Parent-Child Rapport Ratio (SO IMPORTANT!)
-Studies show that marriages are in danger of divorce if minimum positivity to negativity ratio of 5:1 is not met.  (Five positive interactions to one negative interaction.)  Strongest couples 20:1 ratio.

Same goes for parent/child relationships-yelling and defensiveness increases, discipline breaks down, etc. if that 5-1 minimum is not met.
20-1 is the ideal!!!
Positive-compliments, affection, support, encouragement
Negative-criticism, nagging, confrontation
This is foundation for effective discipline.

Affection Rapport Builders (there are twelve, the book goes into detail about each one)-
1. Say I love you and I'm proud of you at least one hundred times a day, say it until they are sick of hearing it, and then say it one more time.
-Seek out ways to comment on strengths and accomplishments. Be specific and genuine.
-Don't complain ever about them publicly-do it privately and respectfully to them if you have to.

2. Show them love-affection, time.
-Ask yourself every day what is one thing you can do that day to give a little more of yourself to your children.  (Real love-reciprocal-children should be taught to ask this too of themselves, for others.)

"Remember for your child, five extra minutes of playing with you 
or sitting and talking with you 
is worth a million times more than all the toys and trinkets you could ever buy."

3. Keep your promises.

4. Play together-invest in your relationship with each child.
-Can not be overstated, so important.  (Not just games, but any fun together.)
-One day a week should be family fun day.
-Once a month, special one-on-one time with each child-really listen-one of best ways to build a relationship with each child.

5. Work together.
-builds their competence, lets them see how you value their help.

6. Pray together.
-blessings morning and evening-special gifts from God
-special time each week outside of Mass for prayer/Bible/catechism.  (Whole other chapter on this.)

7. Be there.
Important things-big games etc, but small things as much as possible.
Catholic parents are called to be saints and raise saints.  Like Mother Theresa, Pope John Paul II, and St. Pio-all knew how to make you feel as if you were the only person in the world that mattered when speaking to you.  Teach PRESENCE.  Look them in the eye, ask questions, really listen.  (I think more than ever kids these days don't get this-with cell phones, other tech...ick!)

8. Be welcoming.  
Make home safe place for friend's to hang out, especially teens.
(References book I really like called "Hold On to Your Child"-Gordon Neufeld-building strong parental bonds than peer bonds.

9. Respect their space.
Gives them opportunities to spread their wings while still under your protection-"room to grow".

10. Rapport Goes Both Ways
Every family member is called to serve each other as able-teach this lesson by modeling it.  Ask children to deliver same level of respect/service in return.

11. Family Meetings
Begin with prayer, express gratitude-thank each one for specific way to helping make life better for family, raise concern, discuss questions, close with prayer, have fun/meal.  (Establish rules.)

12. Know Their Relating Style
This one reminds me of Five Love Language for Children by Gary Chapman, but simplifies it somewhat. (There are quite a few pages in book one this subject-these are super brief notes.)
Know how each child feels love so that you can be sure they feel YOUR love...so important because kids need to feel that love connection and they all do in different ways.
Parents need to be "multilingual" to meet needs of different styles.
Some are visual-in that case, love letters, card in lunch box, etc.
Auditory-talk and listen, tell them how much you love them, respect their need to talk out problems when stressed.
Kinesthetic-physical affection, working on projects, hobbies.

Catholic families are called to create a "civilization of love".

"Affection is the fuel that makes a family run well."