GreatSchools.org, in partnership with The Yale Center for Emotional Excellence have collaborated to create Parenting Cue Cards. It’s an interesting concept. A series of sample situations that you might encounter with your children are presented…along with tips/cues/ideas of how to handle the problem…and what not to do.
For instance, one of the situations deals with a parent’s fear that their child is involved with bullying. The cues rightly advise the parent to “check their pride” and to model appropriate behavior when “reacting” when their children are watching. Parents are warned not to make excuses for their child’s bad behavior and to not make the problem about themselves by saying, for example, “How could you embarrass me like this?” These are all logical responses to a distressing situation and are good ideas for parents to think about when formulating a response.
Many of the situations presented though, had me scratching my head. For instance, children arguing over the remote control and which channel they would watch. There are five cue cards for this situation, most of which deal with discussing the situation in order to ferret out the complex sibling relationship that is driving the arguing. Wow! At what point should parents surrender their common sense? How about simply turning off the TV? Regardless of all the deep and complex reasons that might exist for the argument…not watching anything at all will provide the children with quiet time and an opportunity “to work it out”.
Reading through this material is a good starting point for parents who will be faced with difficult child rearing decisions but I would encourage us all to never give up on common sense. No two children…or parents are the same and the solutions to similar problems will likely be built on these differences.