Improving Parent Child Relationships - a complete parenting curriculum


Comments from students in “Improving Parent-Child Relationships” telecourse. 

Comments from Parents

My daughter is three and I think she is pretty sneaky and getting good at testing me.  I can benefit from this video, it teaches me to talk less, take more action.  Give appropriate attention when needed.  Consistency.  Negative response is a no no.  
I really liked the part about removing the audience to stop a temper tantrum and I think I could find that skill useful.. Acknowledging the child is an important thing to utilize in my opinion.  Setting limits and following through is a great skill to have.  Also, being patient and using action with minimal talk might  be something I could utilize.  
The act, not talk skill would benefit me.  I have a bad habit of telling my children repeatedly the same thing over and over without acting.  Another skill that would benefit me would be to remove myself from the struggle when I see a power struggle starting with my three year old.
This video will be helpful to me, just as the other ones are.  When you see children and parents going through the same sort of things and watch different ways to handle situations it gets me thinking and shows me there is always going to room for improvement and nothing is more important to me than making my family life happy for me and my child.
I know that it will be a challenge for me not (to) fall into the heavy role (authoritarian) being raised that way myself, but I think that this gives me an idea of how to avoid some of it.  I also think that it was good for my husband to see that we are not the only people who go back to childhood when it comes to raising our child.  We go back to what we know, and if this is the only thing we learned then how can we break that?  This video helped show us some of those ways.
I can see the things I have been doing are my problem and I will need to work at following through.  I don’t know how many times I have threatened to, but never have, grounded my children.  They are getting away with this behavior because they know they can.
Every one of the skills and principles illustrated in this episode (#3) will be useful for me.  I found this particular episode to be particularly insightful.. I especially like the part about showing appropriate actions rather than pointing out inappropriate actions.  The idea of Tara showing Anthony how to rub the baby’s back instead of telling Anthony not to hit the baby’s back that hard was a huge “light bulb flashing on in the brain” moment for me! Simple, yet profound.
Staying out of the problem is a new idea for me.  I tend to get involved when dad is trying to get her to listen.  I have a hard time staying out of it because I was a single mom for two years and I’m not used to someone else making the rules or telling her when she is breaking them.  I need not to worry about small things and allow my daughter to do some things on her own.
One of the skills that I need to work on with my three year old is to avoid unnecessary explanation.  I am constantly explaining things to him -- I need to act more and talk less.
Turning down an invitation to argue will be helpful for me not only with my child but also with relationships in general.  I know that there are many times in everyday life with friends, family and coworkers that I could use that skill.
I will make this and all the videos useful.. My daughter and I have power struggles daily.  I can use as much advice and guidance as it is offered.
I see how important it is to stay firm and make sure my daughter knows I mean what I say.  Most of the time I find myself letting her get away with things because I am to exhausted to do anything about it.  It’s helpful to know I am not alone.   When I watch these videos I see children acting the way my daughter does sometimes and it helps to see how the parents handle it.  It is helpful to learn new ways of dealing with my daughter, because a lot of the time I feel like I am doing something wrong.
This video tells me the consequences of giving in.  It shows me that I’m not the only one who has a problem enforcing the rules.  I am weak when it comes to acting on rules the first time they are broken, and this video shows me some ways to help me act immediately instead of after a couple of reminders.
Allowing the child to do things his or her own way, within reason, is a skill that I would like to be able to utilize in the future with my son.  I tend to want to take over and have things done properly, but it will be good for me to let him show his independence and creativity in doing things his own way.
I have taken so many classes and this is definitely the very best and most useful class I have had.

Comments from Non-parents

I think as (future) parents we have to come to terms with the fact that at one point all children can be a handful to raise.  But the principles and skills that will work best for me are the staying calm and not reacting with yelling at the child or acting angry toward them.  I was raised in a dictator household so this is the first place I go with little kids.  
When I have children I will begin with setting reasonable simple rules, and make sure my children understand the rules.  If they break the rules I will enforce calmly and act with no, or minimal talk.  
Becoming a parent is an extremely important part of what I picture as my future.  I feel like gaining these skills ahead of time will prepare me for my role as a mother which is what I will strive for more than anything else to be good at.  
It reminds me to be conscious of my initial reactions to situations and to have plans of action already in place to avoid getting caught up in the arguments, yelling, etc.  To act calmly before I get upset.  
The reiteration of “consistently enforce reasonable rules by acting rather that telling” and the “respect a reasonable no from a child are extremely helpful tools that although seem like common sense now, I wouldn’t have thought to use until I saw the video.  
Since I don’t have children yet, they won’t be directly useful.  I can see how some of these skills and principles might be quite effective in my relationship with my husband.  I’ll be practicing these on him for the next few years.  
The skills and principles in all the videos, so far, have related to each other and the stories in the videos have collectively supported these ideas.  They make a lot of sense, especially when you can watch a pattern of reactive behaviors throughout the different families.  I believe I may get a video camera when I have kids….not just to capture the precious moments.  
The most powerful message I’ve personally gotten from this and the previous episodes is that I have the ability to just take action.  I can simply withdraw from a power struggle and either remove myself, the child or the object of the struggle rather than continuously battling it out with my children to try to make them follow my rules.  This gives me much more confidence in my ability to be an effective, active parent some day.  
I was just so excited to see Stephanie’s skills mature in these videos.  It gives me faith in being able to turn around a bad set of patterns.  I have a hard time being assertive in all parts of my life so it was great to see Stephanie’s ability to change that in herself for her kids.  It gives me more confidence in my own ability to do the same.
When I do have my own children I foresee one of my problems being that I would rather take the easy way out and give in rather than face the wrath of a disappointed child.  These skills and principles are good learning to have under my belt for when that day comes.
Knowing that it is okay to let my children be disappointed and that can be unimpressed with their drama makes the idea of being a mom someday more appealing.

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