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5 reasons why you should use the skills

5 reasons why you should use the skills

You’ve stopped by Smarter Parenting. You’ve been intrigued by what you’ve seen, watched, read yet you’re not sure that putting the skills to use in your family. We disagree. No family is perfect. Each family can improve. The parenting skills on Smarter Parenting are meant to do just that. When you use the skills, you’ll find yourself making small changes families can make that will produce large outcomes. No family who has ever put their mind to using the skill hasn’t seen results.

Define expectations

As a parent we have expectations. We have them for ourselves, our partner, and of course our children.

In many families these expectations are never expressed—and that is a problem. We magically expect our children to do something, but fail to tell them what we expect them to do. That lack of defined expectations leads to misunderstanding and frustration that usually plays out like this; Children don’t do what they’re asked. Parent becomes frustrated and yells. Child is confused at the yelling and can’t understand why their parent is yelling over something they’ve done a hundred times before.

A key component of the skills is defining the “why” of the skill which allows your child understand what exactly is expected of them. In the skill of Preventive Teaching you define expectation in step #2 when you describe the behavior you want. In Effective Communication you define expectation when you state your thoughts in step #4. In Correcting Behaviors you define expectations when you describe what you want them to do instead of the bad behavior in step #5. You define expectations in the skill of Decision Making when you use SODAS to define the outcomes of options.

Don’t we all do better with things when we understand that why?


Communicate better

We’ve all tried communicating better with our child only to feel like we can’t get through. You’re not alone in this struggle. Every family at one point or another has struggled with communication.

Each skill has a step devoted to communication. Cool, huh? It’s because we know without proper communication the skills aren’t going to be effective in offering change.

It includes repeating back what you’ve heard your child (or spouse) say in Effective Communication, expressing empathy in Correcting Behaviors, pointing out the positive in Preventive Teaching, and working through options in Decision Making we show you exactly how to communicate better.

As your family learns to communicate better, you’ll deal with less meltdowns and violate situations.

Diffuse situations

Whether your child is three or fifteen, when they don’t get what they want situations often escalate quickly—going from zero to a hundred in a nano second. Remember that epic meltdown at the grocery store? Or, your teenage daughter yelling she hates you because you were five minutes late?

While there are many outcomes we want families to benefit from using the skills, diffusing situations is at the top of list.

When you use the skills consistently you’ve already established expectations and you know how to communicate with your child in a way you know they’ll hear and understand and those two things keeps 99.9% of situations from reaching World War III proportion.

Focus on the positive instead of the negative

They say you’ll catch more bees with honey than with vinegar and that is also true when you want your child to change. You’ll get your child to change behaviors more quickly when you focus on what they are doing right than what they are doing wrong. Because lets be honest, we all rather hear what we’re doing right than be told what we’re doing wrong.

Even knowing this, it can be hard to see what our child is doing right when we’re tried, hungry, or frustrated. When that happens, it’s helpful to have that reminded in each of the skills. In Correcting Behaviors, you focus on what they are doing right when you have them role-play and reduce their consequences. In Effective Communication, you focus on what they are doing right when you involve them in the solution. In Preventive Teaching, you express what they did right encouraging them to do it again. In Decision Making, your child is able to see what the positive of a certain decision will be.

Instill lasting change

We don’t believe there is such a thing as a bad child—there are children who haven’t learned how to express emotions, or communicate effectively, or deal with new situations. None of which makes them a bad child.

When the skills are used on a consistent basis, change will happen. If these skills can work on some of the most troubled children in the nation, they’ll work on your child. Trust us.

You can find all of our parenting skills by visiting our parenting lessons page.