The many meanings of No

We can all get into the habit of saying No especially when we are tired or stressed but there are many times when better communication on our part helps our child understand and cooperate better. Here is a piece from The Growing Child newsletter distributed by Lifestart.

The many meanings of No

I just remembered a family story.
My sister-in-law overheard her young granddaughter asking her mother for a particular privilege. “We’ll see,” said her mother. Glumly the child turned away. “That means no,” she said, with resignation.

Kids and adults alike seem to spend a lot of time interpreting all the messages surrounding the word “No”. Said by a weary mother, it may signify that she can’t deal with another request at this point, not that the idea itself is unreasonable. When a distracted father says, “No”, he may mean that he doesn’t want to get involved right now, but go ask your mother—a way of passing the buck.

When another parent says “No”, it may mean that she is showing the child who is boss, exerting power for the sake of having the power—plus subconsciously enjoying being begged to then yield. And when a child hears “No”, it usually means a frustrating of their impulses and wishes that produces anger.

Many parents, I believe, worry about saying “No” to their children lest this anger from kids mean that parental popularity poll numbers will fall. They seem to think that “No” will convey a meaning of “I don’t love you”, instead of just meaning “No”.

No should just mean No. Since “No” is clearly a powerful word, parents should consider carefully the ways and means of using it. First and unapologetically, No’s are necessary in order to produce children who can respect limits and understand something about how to live in this world. Obviously saying “No” alone doesn’t do all that. Along with the prohibition must come some information about why it’s a “No” whether the reason is safety, family values and circumstances, developmental stage, or timing. (If there is no reason you can explain easily, then maybe you should consider whether the “No” is necessary.)

Because that’s another thing about No’s : such powerful words should be used judiciously and sparingly. I think some kids are quite justified in their frustration, if they are surrounded with No’s at every turn. Instead of a shower of No’s , parents should consider redirection— “You could throw the ball outside, instead of inside.” or “That road is unsafe for riding. How about you stay in the cul-de-sac?”

Parents could turn the question back to the child for reconsideration—“I can’t let you eat candy now. Can you think of something else you could choose for snack?” They could state a contingency— “I’m not free to drive you there now, but if you help me put the laundry away while I finish this email, you can go then.”And even when it’s a “No”, it is a clear, firm limit—“No”, I can’t let you go to her house today, I’m sorry.”

When you do have to say “No” be sure that your delivery indicates a solid limit, with a serious though kind face, a calm tone and authoritative body language. Any wishy-washiness on your part gives kids an invitation to wheedle and beg.

 

 

The GROWING TOGETHER NEWSLETTER is issued by; GROWING CHILD Inc., and is distributed free, courtesy of:
THE LIFESTART FOUNDATION,
2, Springrowth House, Balliniska Rd.,
Springtown Ind. Estate, L’Derry BT48 OGG
Tel: 028 71365363. Fax: 028 71365334.
E-mail: headoffice@lifestartfoundation.org
Web Site: www.lifestartfoundation.org

Advice for new parents – from The Growing Child newsletter

The daughter of a friend has just adopted a baby. The whole family is wild with joy, and doing all that they can do to support the new family. My friend asked me for all the advice she could give her daughter. After first warning her that advice could be the last thing the mom wants at this point, I decided to see if I could figure out myself the most important ideas for first-time parents to grasp,
and here they are:

• Get to know your baby. I’m not talking about the compulsive counting of fingers and toes that seems obligatory, but rather really paying attention to who this new being is. You’ve been busy imagining for some months, but it’s now time to throw away the fantasies of who you would have liked to arrive, and learn who actually did. Babies arrive wired for a particular temperament and way of interacting with the world and people around them. Life is so much happier for both children and their parents when we figure out how best to match their style. Pay attention to what bothers and delights your little one, and soon you will have figured out some of how to support this unique person as you move through years together.

• Get some sleep—and help when you need it. Young babies are ceaselessly demanding, with no sense of day or night, and no qualms about disrupting yours. The exhausting first few weeks makes most parents re-think the choice to become parents, so there is no shame in either howling or taking naps when the opportunity strikes. Superwoman didn’t have babies, which is why she can bound about so energetically. Right now, look after your baby’s physical and emotional needs and your own, without panicking that everything in life as you knew it has changed forever. (It has, but that daunting idea can be dealt with later.) As you move through years together, remember that it really does take a village to raise a child, and rested parents can be most effective.

• Get a life. Yes, taking on the care and nurturing of another human being is a huge responsibility, and your parenting role will influence your life forever, shaping the kind of person that you are and will be. Yes, good parenting is not something that can be done in odd moments or in your spare hours. It takes considerable time, effort and thought, and seeps into all other aspects of your life. But it should not become your life. Those who do let parenting become their sole obsession run the risk of becoming the most uni-dimensional people around, boring those around them, as well as ultimately their own children. They also are likely to damage their own children, the very people that they would purport to do anything for. It is not healthy for either parents or children when parents are so focused on their kids that they lose sight of the things around them that should also have meaningful places in their lives:
#Their primary relationships with  the other parent as well as others—the relationships that will   nurture them emotionally so that they have the wherewithal to nurture their children;
# Their meaningful work;
# Their own development as physically and emotionally healthy persons, and
# Their larger contributions to the world around them.

So that’s about it: get to know your child, get some rest and help, and get a life—focus on these three things, and the rest will fall into place.

 

The GROWING TOGETHER NEWSLETTER is issued by; GROWING CHILD Inc., and is distributed free, courtesy of:THE LIFESTART FOUNDATION,
2, Springrowth House, Balliniska Rd.,
Springtown Ind. Estate, L’Derry BT48 OGG
Tel: 028 71365363. Fax: 028 71365334.
E-mail: headoffice@lifestartfoundation.org
Web Site: www.lifestartfoundation.org

Resources for parents to support their child’s learning and development

Support Materials for Parents

Parents are the most important people in their children’s early lives. The National Council for Curriculum and Assessment has produced a number of resources that contain lots of ideas, suggestions and practical examples of how parents can support their children’s learning and development in the early years. These resources are available in Irish, English, Polish, French, Mandarin Chinese, Russian, Portugese and Romanian and deal with your child’s development at different stages from birth to eight years.

Click the link for information and to find the resources you need https://ncca.ie/en/early-childhood/support-material-for-parents

 

 

Parent & Toddler Group Buncrana

There is a Parent & Toddler group in Buncrana that meets every Wednesday and Friday in Wains World from 10:00 to 12:30. It is a great opportunity for mums, dads, grandparents or childminders to get together for a chat while the wee ones play. There is a cost of €3 per child but under 1s are free.

A round-up of parenting programmes!

There are lots of great parenting programmes starting in Donegal over the coming weeks.

Parents Plus Early Years for parents of children aged 1 – 5 runs for 6 weeks
  • Tuesday 3rd Oct 10am to 12 noon in the Community Hospital Dungloe Phone 074 9733111 to book a place
  • Wednesday 4th October 10am to 12.30pm in Springboard Raphoe Phone 074 9173918 to book. This is being run in cooperation with Raphoe Family Resource Centre
  • Wednesday 18th October 10am to 12 noon in Greencastle Community Centre Phone 0871736667 or 074 9381054 to book
 
Parenting the Strong-willed Child for parents of children aged 2 – 6 runs for 6 weeks
  • Monday 23rd Oct 9.45am to 12 noon in the St Johnston & Carrigans Resource Centre Phone 074 9148551
 
Parents Plus Children’s programme for parents of children aged 6 – 11 runs for 6 weeks
  • Friday 6th Oct 10am to 12 noon in The Pastoral Centre, Letterkenny. Phone 087 1736667 to book.
 
Parents Plus Adolescent programme for parents of children aged 11 – 17 runs for 6 weeks
  • Wednesday 18th Oct in The Niall Mór Killybegs, phone Tír Boghaine on 074 9733111 for further details
Parenting When Separated
  • Tuesday 3rd October in ParentStop Letterkenny, morning session 10.30 – 12.30, evening session 7.00-9.00pm. Phone 0749177249 or 086 8863674 for details.
We also hope to have the Spirals Programme for parents of babies aged 0-3 running in Quigley’s Point and in Letterkenny from the end of November and a Parents Plus Children’s programme running in Ionad Naomh Pádraig from early November. Phone 087 1736667 for further details and also keep an eye on the Parent Hub Donegal website and Facebook page.

Calling parents in Donegal

There are some excellent free workshops happening this week.

Parents of Younger Children Workshop with Pauline Hunter

Monday 25th September Donegal Town FRC 19:00 – 21:00. Contact Donegal Town Family Resource Centre for further details on 074 9725337

Wednesday 27th September Raphoe FRC 19:30 – 21:30 Contact Raphoe Family Resource Centre for further details on 074 9145796

Neuro Development Therapy workshop

Tuesday 26th September Mevagh FRC 19:00 – 21:00 Contact Mevagh Family Resource Centre for further details on 074 9155055

Early Years Parenting programme in Greencastle

The Early Years (1-6 years) parenting programme will begin in Greencastle Community Centre on Wednesday 18th October at 10 am for six weeks. To request a booking form please contact Bairbre on 087 1736667. This course will help you to support your child’s confidence, learning, language and development. Meeting with other parents gives you all a chance to share your experience and learn from each other while also gaining wisdom from the research based programme. If you are interested in developing your skills and strengths for family life come along!

The Course is FREE to attend. If you wish you can buy the Parent’s Manual for €10.

Greencastle Parents Plus Early Years Programme

Parents Plus courses – a practical and positive guide to parenting children.

Parents Plus Early Years for parents of children aged 1 – 6 will start on Friday 29th September from 10am to 12 noon in the Pastoral Centre Letterkenny. This course is suitable for any parent who is interested in developing skills and strengths for family life.

Topics covered include:

  • Child-centred play and communication
  • Supporting your child’s self-esteem and confidence
  • Promoting language and development
  • Helping your child concentrate and learn
  • Building cooperation in young children
  • Establishing daily routines
  • Managing tantrums, misbehaviour and problems

To book just phone 087 1736667 or email parenthubdonegal@gmail.com

Parents Plus Early Years will also be running in Springboard Raphoe starting on Wednesday 4th October 10am – 12 noon. To book just phone 074 9173918