Snow storms and family time

By Carol Dores

I remember growing up outside of Boston, we would often have snow with snow over our heads.  Snow igloos, snowball fights and sledding were so much fun!  We’d often have power outages, and the five of us would play Monopoly and other games by candlelight.  What sweet memories!

When we had our sons, we didn’t get as much snow, and power outages were uncommon.  However, we carried on the family tradition of playing endless hours of board games.  There was a few year break when they became enthralled with video games and game systems.  They are now adults, and we are all back to playing board games. We now share new games that we have discovered.  While they live hours away, we always play games when we are together.  We’ve recently discovered a new category of games that are cooperative rather than competitive, and they are bringing us closer together.  We laugh, talk and play together, bonding as a family.

Playing board games are things they also do with their friends.  We have learned together that this is a way of connecting and enjoying other people.  When I think of alternatives that exist, I am so happy that this is part of all of our tradition.

As storm Grayson bears down on us in Connecticut, I’m looking forward to playing board games with my husband.  What memories and traditions can you have with your family, to help build connections and relationships?

 

New Year’s Resolutions

By Carol Dores

Happy New Year, and we hope that 2018 will be the best year ever for each of you!

As we move in to the New Year, many of us put our intentions out as resolutions.  Often, our hard work lasts a short time.  Here are three ideas that might be helpful.

  • To be the best parent I can be.

This is something that takes effort.  Parenting is hard.  Children do not come with instruction manuals, and every child is different.  Many of us would like to parent differently than we were raised, yet that is the only model we have to go on.  Taking a Positive Discipline parenting class can help you learn new tools and strategies.

  • To practice self care every day.

This also takes work and planning.  Eating healthy, getting enough sleep and exercising on a regular basis is a good place to start.  Finding time to do things that you enjoy are bonuses on top of the basics.  Using a calendar to schedule things can be helpful, including time to cook healthy foods, sleep time, and time to work out or take a walk.  Life is much more enjoyable when we are feeling at our best.

  • To contribute to the good of the greater community.

We feel better emotionally when we contribute to the greater community.  Finding something that you will feel good about contributing is a good place to start.  If you enjoy reading, volunteering to read with senior citizens or children is an example.  If you like food, serving food at a shelter can be rewarding.  Planning to do this at least a few times a month will benefit your mental health.  If you have young children, bringing them with you will teach them to do this, by setting an good example.

CHEERS to a POSITIVE NEW YEAR!

 

Thanks for a great 2017!

By Carol Dores

The end of another calendar year is a great time to reflect.  Completing our fifth year, 2017 has been a wonderful for Positive Discipline of Connecticut!

We have reached many more people, to inspire and promote the development of life skills and respectful relationships in families, schools, and businesses in our local communities. We have provided classes, training and support to parents, caregivers, educators and youth development workers to help strengthen relationships with children, encouraging them to be responsible, resourceful and self-reliant.

Specifically, we continue to provide parenting classes for the public and with specific school parent groups, in English and Spanish.  We have worked with school staffs in Ridgefield and Stamford to bring Social Emotional Learning in to the classroom and school. We have trained camp staff in Brookfield, to help them with even the most challenging behaviors. We continue to be amazed experiencing the growth of the participants, as well as our own personal growth.

We have an enthusiastic Board of Directors that helps guide the non-profit. Among other things, they have helped make connections, solicit grant funding, and allocate scholarship monies. There are also volunteers who help with graphic design and website management, and we appreciate all that you do!

Positive Discipline continues to spread in Connecticut.  There were four certification workshops held here this year, with many more Classroom and Parent Educators in the state.

We truly appreciate the openness of the participants, the passion of the facilitators, the support of funders, and the energy of the Board of Directors.

We wish you a Positive 2018…..and hope you will stay connected to each other and to Positive Discipline!

Want to learn more about Positive Discipline?  Check out the schedule of classes.  If there isn’t one that meets your needs, email info@positivedisciplinect.org, and we’ll do our best to meet your needs.

Tips to help reduce sibling rivalry

By Carol Dores

Our boys are three years apart.  I remember how sweet and gentle the older one played with the younger one.  Until the younger one could get around and get in to the older one’s stuff.  Then not so much.  In fact, they fought constantly.

“Mom, he’s bothering me!”  “He took my stuff!”  “Get him out of here!”  “Mom, he hit me!”

Sound anything like your house?

This went on for years.  And trying to be a good mother, I would intervene.  Take things away.  Separate them.  And the younger one always provoked the older, and the older got in to trouble for hitting the younger.  We finally learned this when they were in college.

What I’ve now learned is different ways to deal with kids fighting.  Here’s some solutions to try:

  • Safety comes first. If you are truly worried about one child getting hurt, separate them.  You can suggest that they each let you know when they have calmed down enough to talk about what happened.  This is not meant to be punishment for either child, but rather time to cool themselves down.
  • If you are in the room with them, walk out of the room. Many times, kids fight to get our attention, which is what intervening is.  Often, they will stop fighting if you are no longer involved.
  • If you feel the need to stay in the room, say nothing, and ignore them. Again, without your attention, they are more likely to stop.
  • Send them outside or in to another room to work it out.

If the problems occur in the back seat of the car, you can let them know that you will pull the car over when it is safe to do so, and read until they are both (or all) ready to stop fighting.  Ask them to repeat back what the agreement is about fighting in the car.  It is important to ask each child what the agreement is, and how many of them need to be ready to stop fighting in order to continue on the road.  When the fighting begins, pull over and say nothing.  Wait patiently until they each let you know they are ready to continue.  They will test this and you, so you should plan on leaving 15 minutes early!  You may need to do this many times before they understand you really mean business.

Now that we have adults, they get along, and this is no longer an issue.  We can look back and laugh at all the crazy things we did to try to get them to stop fighting.  I wish we had those tips then!

Want to check out a Positive Discipline Parenting class?  Visit www.positivedisciplinect.org/parenting-classes/.

 

Cooking together…a time for bonding

By Carol Dores

Food is really important in our family.  Holidays and celebrations center around food.  We usually are talking about the next meal while eating.  Bonding at mealtimes is wonderful.  Preparing the meal together can make it even more special.

As our sons got older, we began teaching them how to cook.  My husband and I both enjoy cooking, and so sharing this with our sons came naturally.  Now, as adults, they are both great cooks, when they have the time.  They both live out of state, so when we get together, cooking together is one of our pleasures.  We menu plan, food shop, bake breads and cook meals together.  There is an unbelievable amount of love put in to our food!

As the holidays are approaching, we encourage you to try working with your children to plan, prepare and cook meals.  Even at a young age, children can help find thing in the grocery store, wash vegetables, set the table, and “toss” a salad, among other things.  As they get older, they can make food shopping lists from menus, chop vegetables, and cook things on the stove.  Baking cookies together is another fun thing to do, with decorating bringing out the artist in each of us.

Rather than dreading holiday food preparation, it can be special time for the family.  Turning on music and dancing while cooking can add to the fun.  Building these kind of family memories will make it more joyous.