Last Wednesday, we had our second session of Positive Parenting. It was on understanding and accepting your children. The moms and I learned that both children and adults fall between the spectrum of reactive and adaptive, public and private.
A reactive child is the type who is easily upset, highly emotional, and expressive. An adaptive child is able to adjust to the circumstances and people around him. If a child is public, they are social and enjoy interacting with people, whereas a private child will prefer to be alone. A reactive parent is easily upset, temperamental, vocal and expressive. An adaptive parent, however, allows their child to get away with things because they adjust to their child’s personality.
As parents we need to understand what kind of personalities our children have but at the same time, we need to modify our own personalities when necessary. I can’t, for example, lose my cool everytime my children make a mess in the house. This would mean I was being reactive. However, I can’t also allow them to make a mess without encouraging them to clean it up. I can’t be too adaptive so that they don’t learn to be organized and clean. There needs to be a good balance.
The second thing we covered was making sure that we spend personal time with our children. If we want to better understand our children, we need to spend one-on-one time with each of them. Many families do things together, but it takes a little more effort to spend one-on-one time with each of your children. This doesn’t mean you have to allot hours each day with each child (In my case, it’s a little different because I homeschool). It really depends on your child’s age and your own life-stage. If you are a working mom and you only have time to read a book or two, then that’s fine. Here is an example of what I do with my kids (or what I need to start doing for the younger two):
Elijah – Homeschool in the morning (2 hours), weekdays
Edan – Homeschool in the morning (1 hour), weekdays
Titus – Reading time, teach Montessori Skills for (30 minutes), weekdays
Tiana – Reading time (10 to 15 minutes), weekdays
Lastly, we wrote down the personality traits of each of our children, what responses we need work on, and what traits we can be thankful for.
There were nine of us who met this time around. Most of us have young children so our concerns are very similar – all our kids are under the age of 9. I’m praying that we will become better mothers and parents through this series and that I can be a blessing to the moms as I facilitate this group. The great thing about it is that I have to apply what I pass on which keeps me on my parenting toes!