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3 Steps to Parent-Child Harmony

3 Steps to Parent-Child Harmony:
A New School Approach to Relationship Skills for Parents

A downloadable ebook by
Chuck Adam, MSW

In this book, I present a comprehensive approach to parenting from the perspective of empathy, dialogue, agreements, and accountability as a radical departure from the Old School perspective of power, control, punishments, and more punishments that often don’t work.

Based on my forty-plus years of work with parents, children, and families, first as therapist then as educator and coach, this volume breaks new ground in the area of strengthening families through enhanced relationship skills for parents.

As one of my colleagues told me, I’m “turning parenting on its head.”

Incidentally, everything presented in this book is applicable not just to parents, but also to teachers and other adults who work with children, as well as to adults in their relationships with each other.

Here’s what the book is about.

The three steps, or strategies, that parents can take in developing more harmonious relationships with their children are:

  1. Listening. This is the foundation of any relationship, and the single most important action a parent (or anyone else) can take in relation to another person. I am convinced  that listening constitutes 90% of conmunication, and is the single best thing one can do to build trust, provide support, and resolve tension and conflict. I find  that effective listening is also the single hardest activity for parents to master in relation to their children. But learning to “listen first and talk second” will do wonders for securing a child’s cooperation, and it’s by far the best way to teach a child to listen to you.
    **
  2. Illustrating. Of course, as a parent you also speak, and have much to say and much to teach your children. You do this both verbally and non-verbally, and in this way you pass along your values, attitudes, and skills to your children, for better or worse. An attitude of respect is essential to good communication, as is the ability to use effective, methods of self-expression. The techniques I present here require a little self-awareness and self-discipline on your part. But they will put an end to yelling, threats, and many other forms of talk (“invitations to trouble”) that can cause hurt feelings and invite a child’s stubbornness and “payback.”
    **
  3. Disciplining. If you can effectively practice the first two steps or strategies (listening and illustrating), then you can engage in effective dialogue as the primary means of helping your child to change unacceptable behaviors. Dialogue is the heart of my New School approach to disciplining. And here I present a radical departure from the use of ineffective punishments, which can often make things worse. Rather than punishment, “discipline” means teaching. The techniques I present are intended to teach children cooperation, accountability, integrity, respect, and empathy. One technique is the Behavior Dialogue, aimed at securing the child’s commitment to acceptable behaviors. Another is the Accountability Dialogue, which replaces punishment with emotional learning experiences. This is discipline at its best.

In each of the three steps, or strategies (listening, illustrating, and disciplining), I present three specific techniques that can be used spontaneously everyday. With practice, anyone can become quite skilled at using them. They are actually relationship skills that can literally transform conflict and tension into harmony and cooperation in any relationship, including one between adults. The tenth technique or skill, the family meeting, gives parents a chance to periodically put them all together in a more structured setting.

As noted author and teacher Marianne Williamson has said, There is no single effort more radical in its potential for changing the world than a transformation of the way we raise our children. This book, I hope, is a step in that direction.

VIEW TABLE OF CONTENTS & INTRODUCTION

eBOOK, PRICE:   $9.95
192 pages
Downloadable as .pdf file
Buy Now
Read the book from your computer screen or print all of it or specific pages on your printer.

PRINT VERSION, PRICE:  $20
Same content as ebook
192 pages
Free delivery (book rate) in U.S.

Please send cashier’s check or money order made out to
Chuck Adam
6810 Cedar Street
Wauwatosa, WI 53213
USA

 

The Uncontrolled Child — Hand Out set

The Uncontrolled Child — Hand Out set

This handout set contains 40+ pages of notes for my parenting course, “The Uncontrolled Child.” They explain the following key concepts that will help parents better understand their child and use effective tools for improving the child’s behavior:

  • the number one cause of parent-child conflicts,
  • how parents invite these conflicts without realizing it,
  • six different parenting roles,
  • the nine key relationship skills parents need to learn,
  • how to listen and talk to children more effectively,
  • how to conduct a dialogue that reaches an agreement on the child’s right behavior,
  • how to conduct an accountability dialogue when the child breaks his agreement,
  • how to conduct a family meeting for resolving problems,
  • how to teach children self-control, and
  • more.

Hand Outs may be purchased for $3.99, and are downloadable to a place of your choosing on your computer in pdf format. They can be printed out or read directly from the location (directory) on your hard drive where you save them.

Buy Now
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For a detailed presentation of the 9 key relationship skills needed in all healthy adult-adult or parent-child relationships, see the details of my book, 3 Steps to Parent-Child Harmony.

 

Learn More about 3 Steps to Parent-Child Harmony

 

Dialogue: The Heart of New School Parenting

Dialogue: The Heart of New School Parenting

Parent-child dialogue is the heart and soul of my New School approach to how to be a parent. The love a parent has for a child is expressed and embodied in how the parent communicates with the child, even when the child is a newborn. Obviously, dialogue entails listening as well as talking, and it includes all non-verbal communication as well. There are many skills involved in having a good dialogue, and as parents we are illustrating and teaching them to our children in everything we say and do.

In the New School approach to parenting, we recognize and accept the fact that control of children’s behavior is a delusion. We cannot control our children’s behavior. (See my “Volcano Theory.”) They have free will. We do not have a remote control to their brain. They are not robots or slaves. They talk to us when they want to talk, not necessarily when we want them to talk.

Consequently we are convinced that we are better off not even trying to control their behavior through the Old School use of power and control tactics, like our parents used (yelling, ordering, bossing, threatening, punishing, spanking, hitting, grounding, etc). We recognize these as invitations to trouble. We acknowledge that the best we can get from our children, and what we really want from them, is their cooperation, based on dialogue and agreements, rather than their obedience to rules that we impose. If they don’t want to talk, we realize we cannot force them to.

Influence Does Not Equal Control

In the New School approach to parenting, we acknowledge that while we have absolutely no control over our children’s behavior, but only over our own, we also acknowledge that we have tremendous influence on our children’s thoughts, feelings, and behavior. We acknowledge that influence does not equal control. Continue reading

How to Parent Toddlers and Youngsters

How to Parent Toddlers and Youngsters

Isn’t it amazing how toddlers can be so strong-willed? The “terrible twos” are not so named without good reason. And parents are almost universally challenged when it comes to how to parent a toddler who already seems naturally bent on resisting orders, commands, and even less harsh forms of guidance. But  that’s the way it is, and once the child learns to say “No” the battle of wills is underway.

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Old School to New School Shift, b

Old School to New School Shift, b

Parents wishing to change some of their Old School parenting habits to New School practices can get an overview of some of the main practices that characterize each of the two approaches to parenting by studying this one-page chart.

It shows the main day-to-day things that parents in each school do, and how they think, in each approach to how they parent. While it does not show all aspects of how to parent differently in the New School approach, it gives a clear idea of what the parent needs to do  in making the shift from Old School to New School ways of parenting, as well as some of “mid-level” techniques an Old School parent might use in order to make the chonscious shift away from Old School methods and toward New School methodsl..

Please click on the following link to view the chart.

                       Old School to New School Shift b

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3 Steps to Parent-Child Harmony is my ebook  that describes in detail the differences between the Old School Parenting model (power, control, and punishments) and the New School Parenting model (dialogue, agreements, and accountability). The ideas contained here represent a shift from parenting harder to parenting smarter. They can transform a stressed parent-child relationship from conflict and arguments to one of cooperation and harmony. Please see these links if you are interested in more information or wish to purchase.
     Learn more.    Buy Now.   Table of Contents & Intro   

Thoughts About John Rosemond’s Old School Approach to Discipline (Short Version)

Thoughts About John Rosemond’s
Old School Approach to Discipline (Short Version)

John Rosemond’s book The New Six-Point Plan for Raising Happy, Healthy, Children is quite interesting and quite provocative. Rosemond is a psychologist who has been around a while, who says he doesn’t believe in psychology, who has done a lot of work with parents, and who has published numerous other books, including: Teen-Proofing; Because I Said So!; Parent Power: A Common-Sense Approach to Parenting in the 90’s and Beyond; John Rosemond’s New Parent Power; and others.

Rosemond’s Six-Point Pla

Here are the chapter headings of his six-point plan: 1) The Parent-Centered Family; 2) The Voice of Authority; 3) The Roots of Responsibility; 4) The Fruits of Frustration (the child’s frustration–CA); 5) Toys and Play–The Right Stuff; and 6) Television, Computers, and Video Games–More Than Meets the Eye. Point number seven is Love ‘Em Enough to Do the First Six!

He also presents, in an afterword, Rosemond’s Bill of Rights for Children, which are, essentially, that children have the right to be bossed around by their parents.

The New Six Point Plan really challengied me to think about and question my “New School” approach to parenting.  He refers to himself as “old fashioned,” and  I’d say he is certainly in the running for the title “King of the Old School Approach to Parenting.” If Supernanny (Jo Frost) can be considered “Queen of the Old School Approach to Parenting” (I think she can), John Rosemond is the king. Now there’s a match made in heaven!

Old School Is Not Necessarily Bad or Wrong

I have said from the start of my talking and writing about New and Old School parenting that the Old School methods aren’t necessarily bad, but that they are not working so well with many of today’s savvy, autonomous, well-connected, and even defiant children–of all ages. For some of those kids, on the “defiant” end of the “compliant-defiant continuum,” the Old School methods just make things worse.

However, for many other kids, toward the other end of the continuum, who are more compliant, they do work fine, just like they did for us when we were kids.
It’s that group of kids in the middle, who are resistive, rebellious, and strong-willed  enough to cause behavior problems that I’m wondering about. Continue reading

Tantrums

Tantrums

A child throwing a tantrum is certainly one of the most trying episodes for most parents. The patience and understanding required of a parent while the little (or big!) volcano erupts can be nothing short of heroic.

The truth is, while the child (volcano) is erupting, there’s not much a parent can do to stop it. That behavior is motivated by the child’s intense anger or rage, and the child is the only one who can control it. So, what is a parent to do? Here are seven suggestions.

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Cooperation or Obedience?

Cooperation or Obedience?

NOTE: This piece is written from the Dad’s perspective.
It can just as appropriately be read from the Mom’s perspective.

If you as a parent are confident enough, you might speak to your child along the following lines – at any time, really, but especially during the You-and-Me Dialogue, when you have a conversation with the child about how the two of you treat each other.

“My strongest desire is for you to be growing as a person, to be responsible, caring, and cooperative.

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Cooperation or Resistance?

Cooperation or Resistance? 

 Three things are necessary in order for cooperation between people to happen.

Three Components of Cooperation

1. The individuals must have a common goal that they explicitly or implicitly agree to work toward.

2. In addition, they must perceive each other as having a certain degree of strength or power to contribute to the

undertaking. In other words, mutually perceived power is a necessary ingredient. Of course, this can include the power to make things go wrong, as well as the power to contribute to success.

3. Finally, they must have a certain amount of trust in each other, that they will not be taken advantage of, that the other(s) will carry their fair share of the load, etc.

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