Patience is Not Permissiveness

Growing Responsibility, Mistakes yours and theirs, Self regulation, Tips & Tools

Whether a student burps loudly in the middle of our lesson, someone calls out an answer instead of waiting their turn, one student is mean to another, or someone writes with a permanent marker on the dry erase board, there are going to be moments – and sometimes whole days – that try our patience as teachers. Teaching is really difficult work. The ability to be calm, patient and still lead with connected firmness takes practice and lots of tools and strategies. Here are some ideas to try:

  • Always be gentle with yourself. This takes practice and you’ll make mistakes.
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Practicing Patient Parenting

Mistakes yours and theirs, Problem Solving, Self regulation, Tips & Tools

It happens to most of us…there’s no cream for coffee, you are late leaving the house, the traffic is bad on the way home….and then one of our children unknowingly says or does something that pushes us over the edge. Out comes that “yelling” parent, leaving our child bewildered and us feeling guilty and regretful. All parents have at one point or another resolved to be more patient with our children, because of course we know, they are learning from how we respond, more than how we tell them to respond. What we do matters. Here are some ideas to …

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Mistakes Can Be Opportunities

Mistakes yours and theirs, Problem Solving, Tips & Tools

No one likes to make mistakes. Making mistakes can invite uncomfortable feelings of guilt and shame. Those feelings result in students (and most of us) thinking about mistakes in ways that aren’t helpful. Students may think that mistakes are “bad” or that others will laugh at them if they do something wrong. They may work really hard to try not to make any mistakes – to be perfect. These thoughts and feelings invite students to feel discouraged or to give up.

As an educator you know that learning requires making some mistakes. Can you imagine learning math or how to …

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Mistakes yours and theirs, Problem Solving, Tips & Tools

Traditional discipline often focuses on what not to do – often blaming, shaming or humiliating children when they make a mistake, in an attempt to “teach” them to behave. Isn’t it interesting that we think we have to make children feel worse before they can do better? Positive Discipline focuses instead on teaching children what to do. They don’t always get it right the first time, but they do learn. We can start by modeling the courage to be imperfect ourselves– acknowledging and repairing our own mistakes. We can also:

  • Ask curiosity questions when children have an issue: What
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Growing (Our) Character: Using the Practice of Gratitude, Centering and Forgiveness

Connection and love, Feelings and emotions, Mistakes yours and theirs, Mutual Respect, Self-care, Tips & Tools
The most challenging parenting moments for me are keeping my own emotional triggers in check when I am confronted with conflict involving my kids. Before I even realize I am acting from a place of emotion I am acting like the mother I so desperately do not want to be. I feel hot and tingly all over my body and, well, out of control. Guess what follows these mommy meltdowns? Shame. Shame that I can’t hold it together, that I am treating a person I love more than life itself in a way that makes them feel bad. Shame that I work to teach parents the principles of Positive Discipline and that I have failed, yet again, to embody those principles. Ick!
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Ghosts in our Closets

Feelings and emotions, Mistakes yours and theirs, Self-care, Tips & Tools, Uncategorized
As we enter the time of year when the days get shorter and nights get longer one of the traditions that many of us share in the United States is Halloween. Ghosts, goblins, witches (and now zombies) are part of the ambience and excitement of the tradition. This is the night when goblins roam the streets, we go out to look for scary things and explore “haunted” places as part of the ritual. We dress up, look fearful things in the eye and make it fun. (Yes, candy is part of the routine too.) The following day we figure out how to deal with children who’ve over indulged on sweet things and put the costumes, the pumpkins, witches and ghosts back in the closet. At least the ones we can see. Many of us however have closets that are pretty full with different kinds of ghosts. We are haunted – not just on Halloween by challenging experiences from our own childhood.
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Creating Protection from Shame

Connection and love, Feelings and emotions, Mistakes yours and theirs, Tips & Tools
It turns out that how you interpret the mistakes you make is a very big deal. When we make a mistake and see it as that, just a mistake, we may feel guilt – but mostly we can talk about it and fix that mistake. On the other hand, if we have an inner voice that implies that we are the mistake, that somehow we are defective or bad (I’m so stupid, I’m a bad kid/parent, I can never get it right, etc.) we feel a sense of shame: that almost unspeakable icky sticky feeling.
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Parents: Trapped by Our Fears

Feelings and emotions, Growing Responsibility, Mistakes yours and theirs, Self-care, Setting limits, Tips & Tools
The real question for all of us is: What invites us to respond in drastic ways to our childrens’ misbehavior and mistakes? My hunch is that is fear. Many of the parents I work with are afraid when their children lie, steal, are mean to their siblings, swear, wear sexually provocative clothing, investigate pornography online, start cutting, text or sext at all hours of day or night, smoke pot…etc.
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