Tag Archives: parenting

Parent involvement in Middle School

reblogging from Alice Wellborn:

Middle school teachers appreciate parents who are involved with their children, communicate with teachers, and take part in the school community.  Many parents pull back during the middle school years, and become much less involved in school and the school community.  It’s hard to be a strong partner with teachers, because kids this age aren’t thrilled about parents coming to school, so parents who manage to stay involved are much appreciated!

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Matters Helping All Parents: Conflicts for Positive Change

Have you checked out the Matters Helping All Parents:  Conflicts for Positive Change posts that MHA in Ulster County has posted this month?

Week 1 kicked off the theme with a video of Practical Tips to Reduce Conflicts with Parents and Children.

Week 2 provided resources on No Drama Discipline

Week 3 gave parents the opportunity to share stories of successful conflict management in the home.

Week 4 (this week) talked about how mistakes can be OPPORTUNITIES to help our children learn.  I particularly liked this portion from the “Mistakes are wonderful opportunities to learn” article for this week:

So much parenting and teaching is based on fear. Adults fear they aren’t doing a good job if they don’t make children do better. Too many are more concerned about what the neighbors will think than about what their children are learning.  Others are afraid that children will never learn to do better if they don’t instill them with fear and humiliation.  Most are afraid because they don’t know what else to do—and fear that if they don’t inflict blame, shame and pain, they will be acting permissively.

There is another way.  It is not permissive, and it truly motivates children to do better without paying the price of a lowered sense of self-worth. Teach children to be excited about mistakes as opportunities to learn.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful to hear an adult say to a child, “You made a mistake. That is fantastic. What can we learn from it?” And I do mean “we.” Many mistakes are made because we haven’t taken time for training and encouragement. We often provoke rebellion instead of inspiring improvement.



Cultural Competency

Matters Helping All Parents, the new monthly program from the Mental Health Association in Ulster County, Inc., has focused on Cultural Competency for the month of October.

Cultural competence consists of knowledge and interpersonal skills that help people better understand, appreciate and work with individuals from cultures other than their own.  Culture does not just refer to nationality.  It can refer to ethnicity, nationality, language, religion and many other factors.

Cultural Competency Week 1 included tips for parents in addressing cultural issues with our children.

Cultural Competency Week 2 focused on common misconceptions about cultural competency/diversity issues.

Cultural Competency Week 3, which is this week, asks parents to share success stories navigating cultural competency with our child/ren.  You can read and respond on the MHA website or on the MHA facebook page.



Matters Helping All Parents

The Mental Health Association in Ulster County (MHA in Ulster County) kicked off a year-long program Matters Helping All Parents in August 2015.

This program will feature a different topic each month with a new post each week providing information to help parents be successful as well as opportunities for parents to discuss the information and/or share experiences regarding the particular topic.  One of the most exciting aspects of this program for me personally is that the information is not just for parents of younger children – parents of middle school and high school students will find much information to help them with understanding their kids and figuring out how to successfully parent through the challenging teen years.

The topic for August was Matters Helping All Parents:  School Achievement and here is a peek at the first week’s post:

At MHA we believe that all parents want to be successful.  Over the next year we want to share information and support on topics important to you and your child.  We begin with school achievement.

A number of factors can influence your child’s school achievement.  Here are some resources we think can help navigate common concerns.

(1) School Stress – Helping to Overcome Elementary Anxiety: here

(2) School Phobia/School Avoidance/School Refusal: A handout for Parents:http://www.adlit.org/article/5907/?theme=print, or here

(3) School Avoidance in Teens: http://teenology101.seattlechildrens.org/school-avoidance-in-teens/, or here

The post for School Achievement Week 2 included information regarding the legal aspects of school attendance and a discussion of school refusal and truancy.

School Achievement Week 3 gave parents the opportunity to share success stories of dealing with school avoidance.  If you have worked through this challenging area, please share your story to help other parents who might be dealing with similar challenges.

School Achievement Week 4 focused on helping to reduce your child’s school stress.

MHA introduced the topic Matters Helping All Parents: Understanding Child/Adolescent Development in September with some videos regarding the psychology of child and adolescent development in week 1, development charts in week 2,  the opportunity to share success stories in week 3 and age-specific (infant through age 17) positive parenting tips in week 4.

Matters Helping All Parents information can be found on the MHA website, the MHA facebook page or by searching #MHAParents



Two vital qualities your students need from YOU

Being a ‘good’ parent or mentor to an adolescent is hard work.  Tim Elmore says we need to be both responsive and demanding to succeed.

Leading students well depends on the timing of your actions and your leadership style. What an adolescent needs is an adult (parent, teacher, coach, employer, pastor or leader) who makes appropriate demands and sets appropriate standards for them in a responsive environment of belief and concern. In short, they need adults to display a balance of two characteristics—they need them to be both responsive and demanding.

  1. Responsive: to display acceptance, support and belief; to be attentive to them.

  2. Demanding: to establish standards and hold students accountable to them.

Read his full blog for case studies and insight on how to achieve this balancing act.

Are you a helicopter parent or a lighthouse parent?

As I consider the educational challenges facing our schools, I become more and more convinced that many of the issues result from changes in our culture and our parenting rather than changes in our teachers and our schools.

The term ‘helicopter parent’ is fairly common nowadays and Dr. Tim Elmore describes it thus:

When our kids were toddlers, they often needed our vigilant presence and constant watchful eye. However, we need to shift roles to adjust to our kids’ maturity level. We must move from being a helicopter parent — hovering, guarding, keeping a tight hold, perhaps manipulating and controlling — to being a “lighthouse parent.”

A lighthouse stays in one location, and it’s a beacon that has ongoing communication with passing ships. A lighthouse reveals its location; it warns mariners of danger and provides wise guidance — but it won’t chase down the ships. How does the analogy apply to parenting? Here are the differences in a nutshell:

Helicopter Parents

  1. Hover and control
  2. Follow kids around
  3. Tell them how to behave
  4. Impose rules and regulations

Lighthouse Parents

  1. Check in and communicate
  2. Won’t chase kids down to enforce rules
  3. Let them know where they stand
  4. Offer wisdom (light) and guidance

From Helicopter Parent to Lighthouse Parent, Dr. Tim Elmore, Focus on the Family

This article challenged me to consider whether I have been overly protective of my children, possibly to their detriment.

Our children won’t mature in a healthy way if they aren’t allowed to navigate scary situations and challenging experiences. Kids need to take calculated risks to mature. Unfortunately, American parents often view struggle as a negative thing. We’ve created a world of convenience, filled with smartphones, microwaves and the Internet. The message is that struggles and discomfort are to be avoided. We’ve recognized the value of self-esteem but forget that it should be strengthened through challenges.

What we fail to see is that when we remove struggles from our children’s lives, we begin to render them helpless. They lose the opportunity to develop resilience, creativity and problem-solving skills — important strengths they’ll need later on.

Scripture reminds us to count it joy when we fall into trials, for this kind of testing produces endurance. We’re then encouraged to allow endurance to have its full effect (James 1:2-4). When we continually step in to control our kids’ levels of risk, they don’t learn how to be in control or under control. In fact, all they learn is how to be controlled or how to seek help every step of the way.

From Helicopter Parent to Lighthouse Parent, Dr. Tim Elmore, Focus on the Family

I encourage you to read the full article and see what you think.