Friday, October 28, 2011

Develop Your Child's Internal Guidance System

When our children "misbehave," it is easy to be tempted to say, "Stop doing that!" or "If you do that again, I will send you to time out!" or "Do you want me to take that away from you?" One thing that all of these phrases have in common is that none of them cause the child to do internal reflection and are doomed for failure. They all represent some external control by us as the parent. Our goal is to have our child develop his/her own Internal Guidance System (IGS).

Parenting Practice: This week practice asking questions that cause internal reflection. For example,  to a child who flippantly says, "I'm SORRY!" ask, "Was that sincere?" or to a child that backtalks ask, "Was that respectful?" Or to a child who says something mean to a younger sibling ask, "Was that helpful?" Make sure you ask these questions in a light, curious tone of voice. If you say it in an admonishing or judgmental tone your efforts will be nullified.

We would love to hear how you develop you child's IGS. Please leave your comments. They inspire us.

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