Suggestions for Parenting Class?
Name: The Guidance Lady
Number of kids: None
Ages of kids: N/A
Problem: Our school's Family Resource Center is holding parenting
classes. How can we get parents to come to the meetings?
Also, I have been asked to teach a lesson on discipline.
It is called "To spank or not to spank." The position of
the program is not to spank. How can I communicate the
important information without turning this into a spare the
rod spoil the child debate?
Solution submitted by TWS: Unfortunately, our generation has failed to learn, and is
failing to teach an axiom that made our nation great. Simply put it says:
"I wholeheartedly disagree with what you are saying...
But I will defend to the death your right to say it!"
The specific topic that you are speaking on is a hotly
contested one, and unfortunately again, because we have
forgotten the first axiom, most verbal contests seek
to discredit the opposition's viewpoint.
May I suggest that you try this:
Except to acknowledge the fact that you recognize that
there are many viewpoints, do not mention or discredit
the other viewpoints. Rather, tell why you believe
that your viewpoint is a BETTER way.
For example you might say "The issue of discipline is
indeed a hotly contested one, with strong arguments on all
sides, but rather than argue, I want to give you positive
tools, productive guidelines, easy to follow examples of
why I believe my viewpoint is a BETTER way (not the best,
don't claim infallibility, or sole authority). People WILL
respond to being given TOOLS, and positive examples, and
even if they disagree fundamentally or partially with
your viewpoint, you can guarantee that they will go home
with positive examples, and parenting tricks that really
I for one would be one of those who would, by fundamental
nature, disagree with the premise, but would really enjoy
listening, and learning the tools that you have give me,
especially if I knew that is was I was coming for.
If you take that approach, I think you will find eager and
Good Luck. -TWS
Another solution submitted by DLynne: Last year our children's school offered parenting classes.
They sent flyers out with the kids, and then called parents
they thought might be interested. The classes included the
kids, in separate rooms, so parents didn't have to find child
care. They also got local restaurants to supply dinner (we
had lots of McDonalds), so parents didn't have to rush
home from work, hurriedly eat, and then get to the class.
Another solution submitted by Kiki: You may entice parents to come along by posting an interesting advertisement near wherever it is you will be speaking,
offer creche facilities......in my experience parents only attend if the event is recommended by someone, or they perceive a gap in their parenting skills.
I think discipline is a subject that needs to be thought out from scratch...what is discipline? My concise oxford dictionary defines it as " a branch of instruction or learning,
mental and moral training, a system of rules for conduct."
Therefore, in order to provide effective discipline, discipline should be understood within a context. For example, discipline on a sports field will not be the same as
the discipline required in a classroom. It may be appropriate for someone to shout on a sportsfield but unacceptable in the classroom. However, both share at least one "rule" in common, that is respectful behaviour towards other people.
My own view is that children often impose "discipline" on themselves if they are treated with respect
and understand that is how they should behave towards other members of society.
Another solution submitted by Julianne
: Your request is for something that I feel a bit stronger about than normal because experience changed my perception so drastically. Before I had children, my immediate
response to misbehavior in children was "THAT child needs
a good swat!" My firstborn (son) was the one who received
this form of discipline and to this day, when he is no longer in control of himself, a single swat brings him "back
down," meaning it quiets him by breaking him out of the
misbehavior cycle and then he is able to tell us what is
truly the problem.
Then, along comes child #2. She responds
to corporal punishment through anger. That anger can not
be spanked out of her. She has never been brought back
into the "boundary line" by a swat. This became VERY apparent by the time she was 2 years old. It did not take us
long to realize that if we continued in our "belief," we
would lose our little girl to harbored anger and her
teen years would undoubtedly be most difficult. There
would be no respect. My perspective (for what it is worth)
today is this: Spanking is, in appearance, a parent who
is out of control. What is accomplished in the third
or fourth "hit" that is not accomplished in the first
one? By nature, however, one child respects a single,
in control swat (respects the physical boundary marking)
while the next by nature demands to be taught the tools
that will bring her/him back into the boundary. There are
many adults in both categories. The most unfortunate
thing for you is your not having children....they are
FANTASTIC teachers. Best of luck to you with your class.
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