Thursday, June 09, 2011

Parenting Quote of the Moment

I'm re-reading Barbara Coloroso's Kids Are Worth It! Giving Your Child the Gift of Inner Discipline. It's my favorite parenting book and one I often recommend to others who ask me about parenting books. Coloroso is one of the 'positive discipline' authors I really like (I'm using small 'pd' to differentiate from Jane Nelsen's capital 'PD' since she is the one who coined the term Positive Discipline).

But it's been a while since I've read Kids are Worth It!, so I want to see if it holds up. So far it does. Here's a neat little passage about how parents empower their children (as in lighting a spark in our children and then stepping back to let them handle things themselves), from page 18 of my copy:

Empowering our children involves first giving them a secure, safe, nurturing environment--offering them unconditional love, caring touch, tenderness, and concern for their physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being. Within that environment, children can begin to make choices and decisions and mistakes, assume responsibilities and become actively involved family members. Engaging them in critical reflection, teaching them always to be aware of the consequences of their actions on others, showing them how to accept responsibility for their accomplishments and mistakes--all this empowers them to become responsible, resilient, resourceful, compassionate individuals who can act in their own best interests, stand up for themselves, and exercise their own rights while respecting the rights and legitimate needs of others.


Empowering our children involves first giving them a secure, safe, nurturing environment--offering them unconditional love, caring touch, tenderness, and concern for their physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being. 

This first sentence captures what Kelly and I see as the essence and purpose of Attachment Parenting--that responsive baby and toddler care helps the child get a sense that he is valued and loved and that he is important enough to be cared for. We talked about this some in our ATLOSCon Positive Discipline for Parents of Children Under 6, and we will be talking more about it in a future podcast.


Within that environment, children can begin to make choices and decisions and mistakes, assume responsibilities and become actively involved family members.

This is just how I want our home to be: a safe haven where my kids get lots and lots of practice exercising their minds, where they will learn productive ways to manage their mistakes and failures, where they will shoulder more and more of the responsibility for their own lives as they grow. And when I say 'exercising their minds' I don't just mean reading and math. Very important stuff, reading and math. But I think it's equally--if not more--important that they learn and practice the virtues, too, so that they are growing and exercising a good character.


Engaging them in critical reflection, 

(helping them to introspect)


teaching them always to be aware of the consequences of their actions on others, 

(for good or ill, their actions may affect others, and learning what happens and to what extent helps them learn about individual rights)


showing them how to accept responsibility for their accomplishments and mistakes--

(the virtues of pride and justice and honesty and integrity)


all this empowers them to become responsible, resilient, resourceful, compassionate individuals 

(the words responsible, resilient, resourceful, compassionate often come up in our PD classes)


who can act in their own best interests, 

(be rationally self-interested)


stand up for themselves, 

(be confident and independent and just)


and exercise their own rights while respecting the rights and legitimate needs of others.

(again with the learning about what individual rights are, as they apply to themselves and to others)


Good stuff.

1 comment:

HaynesBE said...

Great post Jenn.
One of my favorite parenting books is by Coloroso. Even the title is wonderful: Winning at Parenting...without Beating Your Kids.
Can't remember if that was the book that had the chapter on "how to get your kid out of jail"--but that was another one I never forgot.
Fortunately I've never had to use that information---at least not yet.:)