I did come across an article by Alfie Kohn that I thought was excellent and wish to share with you. Mr. Kohn writes mainly on education and parenting and has some unusual ideas in some areas but if you read him with an open mind much of what he says makes sense. This article was about working with kids as opposed to doing things to them, here are the 10 suggestions he offers:
1. Reconsider your requests-Sometimes when kids don't do what we tell them, the problem isn't with the kids but with what we're telling them to do.
2. Put the relationship first-What matters most is the connection that we have, or don't have, with our children-whether they trust us and know that trust them.
3. Imagine how things look from your child's perspective-Parents and teachers who regularly switch to the child's point of view are better informed, gentler, and likely to set an example for moral development.
4. Be authentic-Your child needs a human being-flawed, caring, and vulnerable-more than he or she needs someone pretending to be Perfect.
5. Talk less, ask more-Telling is better than yelling, and explaining is better than just telling, but sometimes eliciting (the child's feeling, ideas, and preferences) is even better than explaining.
6. "Attribute to children the best possible motive consistent with the facts"-Kids live up to, or down to, our expectations, so its better to assume the best when we don't know for sure why they did what they did.
7. Try to say yes-Don't function on auto parent and deny children the chance to do unusual things.
8. Don't be rigid-Predictability can be overdone; the need for inflexible rules may vanish when we stop seeing a behavior as an infraction that must be punished--and start seeing it as a problem to be solved (together).
9. Give kids more say about their lives-Children learn to make good decisions by making decisions, not following directions.
10. Love them unconditionally-Kids should know that we care for them just because of who they are, not because of what they do, they don't have to earn our love.
There is my first post in quite some time, I hope some of these help and make sense to you, and I will try to post at least once a week.