Today I’m happy to welcome my friend and colleague, early childhood educator Amanda Morgan from the popular blog, Not Just Cute, to talk with us about parenting with positive guidance. Have you heard of this philosophy for raising children?
Without knowing it by name, I’ve come to learn that this is at the heart of my own parenting philosophy.
Amanda is starting a new e-course, Parenting with Positive Guidance, which I’ve had the opportunity to preview and I’m more than impressed!
The first session alone is packed with over an hour of carefully crafted videos where Amanda will guide you through the principles and philosophy of positive guidance. I’ve seen Amanda’s relatable videos before this course, and I’ve always appreciated her candor and welcoming voice.
One of the nicest things about taking a course online is that you can pause the videos if you have to make snacks/break up a squabble/take a shower. Welcome, Amanda!
Work with the Water
I spent one of my most memorable summers as a river guide in Jackson Hole. It was amazing, and I learned a lot of things. One of the most important things I learned was how to work with the water.
After weeks of wearing myself out fighting to overcome the current, I finally realized that my job was easier, and more effective, when I worked with the water instead of fighting against it. I had spent time observing it and figuring out how it really worked. Learning to recognize the different pockets of currents and use the momentum to my advantage made it possible to navigate the water without a battle.
The same is true for many of the tools in the Parenting with Positive Guidance Toolbox. The theory and tools are based on how kids think, learn, grow, and develop, so that we can work with our kids’ strengths rather than battle against them.
Imagination and Storytelling
Using the incredible power of storytelling, imagination, and creativity is just one example.
In a study referenced in the book, Nurture Shock, researchers asked children to hold perfectly still for as long as they could. The result?
The young subjects stood still for just two minutes.
By contrast, when researchers asked children to pretend they were soldiers standing guard who had to hold perfectly still at their posts, children were able to stand still for a whopping 11 minutes!
When we struggle with child behavior, it isn’t always about the child’s capability or willingness to comply, it’s often about our approach and how we appropriately engage the child.
Using a child’s imagination and the power of storytelling works because it plays to a child’s strengths.
First, it uses imagery. Creating a picture in a child’s mind of what the desired behavior looks like conveys information and instruction in a split second that guides the child to the desired behavior. The old saying that a picture is worth a thousand words? It’s true here too!
Secondly, it speaks in the child’s own language. Playfulness, stories, imagination, it’s all right in the child’s wheelhouse. Just as I learned to harness the water’s strength to navigate the river we can also play to a child’s strengths to guide behavior.
How Positive Guidance looks in real life
- As a teacher of a large first grade class, it was a challenge for me to get them to walk quietly down the halls. Finally, I began to make up stories – we were sneaking past a sleeping giant, tiptoeing away from a dragon — and suddenly we were the most stealthy crew in the halls!
- Living with a house full of boys can get a bit noisy to say the least! When the stomping, marching, and running get too noisy for the little ones who may be sleeping on the floor below, I ask the boys to use their “ninja feet” which works much more quickly and to a much greater extent than my constant nagging to “quiet down” ever did!
Sign up for the course
The example above from”Using the Enchanting World of Stories” is just one of ten tools taught in the Parenting with Positive Guidance Ecourse. The course teaches a variety of ways to work proactively to guide child behavior, as well as to establish appropriate boundaries and build real discipline in our children.
No book or course you take will ever change your child, but it can change you and the tools you use in your daily interactions.
It’s the change in those daily interactions that will create real change in your child.
Within an hour of signing up, I received email links to two companion e-books: Parenting with Positive Guidance: Tools for Building Discipline from the Inside Out and Patience for Parents. The content of these books relates directly to the course videos, and will help reinforce the ideas that you’ll learn about.
Another nice surprise is that all of the comments from readers who have taken this course before you are still posted, and prove to be tremendously helpful when someone has an issue or question that you may have asked yourself.
Oh, and this is really nice too…Amanda is keeping the registration open for my readers through Wednesday, February 20, and she’s giving us a special discount rate if you take this course with a friend or partner.
If parenting with positive guidance is something that you’ve thought about before, I can’t recommend this course enough.
Note: I’m an affiliate for Parenting with Positive Guidance. This post contains affiliate links, but I only share links to things that I love or that I think you’ll find useful.