Our society is obsessed with children respecting adults. As children get older, our focus on this respect for elders increases. We tolerate what we deem as ‘disrespectful behaviour’ from toddlers and preschoolers, but once children are of school age our tolerance wanes. We take their backchat, rudeness and refusal to listen or do what we tell them to do as an indication that they are lacking in respect for us and we meet it with punishments, chastisements and consequences. We are wrong.
A question that seems to crop up again and again among discussion groups is “what do I need to teach my child so that they are ready for school?”, this is commonly followed by questions such as “do they need to know their ABCs?”, “do I need to teach them to read?”, “should we practice phonics?” and “should they be able to write simple sentences?”
I am often contacted by desperate parents in September or October who say “Help! My child has turned into a demon at home, but school say they are brilliant all day and behave really well, what have I done wrong?”
Some children take the transition in their stride and settle in with very few bumps, others do better than you would ever have expected. Some children however really struggle with the transition.
Many parents (particularly those who follow gentle parenting principles) struggle with the discipline policies at their child’s school, but what should you do if you find yourself in this position?
Are you just starting to think about choosing your child’s first school? Not sure what to look for, or what to ask when you visit? This article should help!
Many parents despair of their child’s inability to play alone for any length of time, or the speed at which they get bored with toys. The biggest problem with most toys today is that their play appeal is limited. A shape sorter is just a shape sorter, put the shapes into the holes and the toy no longer offers interest. An entertainment centre loses appeal after the buttons have been pushed, the beads moved along and the xylophone chimed. Most toys have a specific design and a specific purpose. When the child bores of the set purpose, the toy no longer holds appeal for them. Once the function of the toy has been exhausted they cannot be used in other ways, or allow the child to use their imagination.
hundreds of thousands of school children are being failed by our current system every day. A system that places the onus on them to change, to behave better, to ironically ‘foster a growth mind-set’. They endure hour upon hour of detentions, loss of golden time, the shame and embarrassment of sitting on the red light, the sad cloud or the warning board. It really doesn’t have to be like this though.
Praise is a controversial topic in Gentle Parenting circles. Many mistakenly think that gentle parents never praise their children and eschew any attempt to show children that we are proud of them. In fact, this is simply not true. Praise can and does form a role in Gentle Parenting, however it looks different to the praise that most people know and use.
Let’s get this out there right now. Gentle parenting isn’t permissive parenting. For those who are new to gentle parenting, perhaps practitioners of more mainstream methods, the most common criticism is relating to supposed permissiveness. They are wrong. Boundaries, limits and discipline play a crucial role in gentle parenting. If you do not discipline your child how can you be truly respectful of them?