No time in your hectic day for rest and reflection? See if you can steal a few seconds to read a brief book quote, consider it a bit, and follow up with a little action of your own. Here's a month worth of words to ponder, day by day. Inspiration happens in a flash.
READ: "We ought to approach the problem of children's disobedience and disruptive behavior with the same imagination, intellect, and patience that we use, say, to close a business deal, find a cure for cancer, or land on Mars. We shouldn't reserve for our children our least creative, least intelligent, and least controlled methods for solving problems." -- from Delivered from Distraction by Edward M Hallowell, MD, and John J. Ratey, MD •
REFLECT: Am I hesitant to use my imagination when dealing with my child's behavior? When did I last have an idea for handling my child that really worked?
READ: "Teaching is a natural part of being a parent. Virtually every time you interact with your child you are teaching him or her something -- whether you realize it or not." -- from Steps to Independence by Bruce L. Baker and Alan J. Brightman • Read a Review
REFLECT: What am I teaching my child? What is he or she learning from the way I handle myself?
READ: "Temperament is real.
It is inside.
It is not the terrible twos, sixes, or thirteens.
It doesn't go away. Your child doesn't get to choose his temperament and neither do you, but an understanding of temperament allows you to predict your child's first and most natural reactions and plan for success." -- from Raising Your Spirited Child by Mary Sheedy Kurcinka • Read a Review
REFLECT: How much of my child's misbehavior is really related to his or her particular temperament? How much of my reaction is really related to mine? Do our temperaments mesh or clash?
RESPOND: Try choosing your battles a little more carefully when confronting your child's behavior problems -- making a distinction between true wilfullness and simple differences in personality and preferences will reduce stress and help you keep the peace.
READ: "Overprotection often causes more handicap for a disabled child than the underlying health condition itself. ... Your overprotection is magnified by your anxieties, fears, and often by an unwarranted sense of guilt. These are normal reactions, but they may deprive your child of the rewards of having tried and been successful." -- from Seizures and Epilepsy in Childhood by John M. Freeman, MD, and others • Read a Review
REFLECT: Do I give my child enough space to try and succeed, or even fail and learn? Is my protectiveness necessary for safety and security?
READ: "It's a universal feeling -- parents want to alleviate their child's suffering, regardless of how great or small it is, and whether or not it has a name. You don't need a label to help your child. By the time one can be matched to the behavior, often years have gone by -- years of lost opportunities to correct the problem." -- from Ready to Learn by Stan Goldberg, PhD • Read a Review
REFLECT: Have doctors, family members or friends caused me to doubt my own instincts? Is there something I need to be doing for my child, whether others agree or not?
RESPOND: If you feel in your heart, or the pit of your stomach, that your child needs help, don't hesitate to give it. Read books to learn about potential problems; join a support group to share ideas with other parents; and when you do work with doctors and specialists, remember that while they may be experts in their fields, you're the foremost expert on your child.
READ: "All of us have negative characteristics we aren't proud of. These hidden "truths" often resonate with characteristics in our children that we don't like. ... Being aware of these patterns allows us to take a more supportive and empathetic posture with our children, rather than an overly critical one." -- from The Challenging Child by Stanley I. Greenspan, MD • Read a Review
REFLECT: Do I see things in my child that I don't like about myself? Am I especially critical about those things because it seems easier to fix them in someone else?
RESPOND: Share with your child the things about yourself you're not proud of; if you see similar traits in your child, tell him or her from your own experience why they can be a problem, then model solutions -- showing rather than lecturing.