Principles for Family Life – a Parents Information Evening

Heritage and the HCA welcomed parents to school on Tuesday evening for a thoughtful presentation by Mrs Scarlata and Mrs Fletcher considering the interrelationships parents and children have in all sorts of family contexts.

Starting with interaction from parents on their hopes for their children as they grew up were a range of concerns – understanding the importance of truthfulness, showing respect to others, becoming more independent and capable (doing away with helicopter parenting which keeps children mollycoddled and less resilient in the demands and duties of real life) and finally understanding obedience, especially in the younger years, to reflect a loving and guiding relationship where the parent can occupy his/her unique role. That tricky balance between over ‘authoritarian’ or too ‘laissez-faire’ is not easy and Mrs Fletcher pointed out that we are all under authority and all face consequences in our lives if we disregard established boundaries. However, it does require adults to be models, leading from the front ….

Mrs Scarlata made us aware of the negative impact of saying NO! in tones which sets up reactive states in the brain. If a child is hungry, tired or emotionally lonely they can quickly over react so we need to be sensitive to meeting their needs routinely, in order to gain co-operation from them. Saying YES! can open the opportunity for discussion together. She also presented us with a picture of the range of needs children have every day – The Mind Platter. Sleep is key – physical exercise – focused work to make deep brain connections – relationships with family and friends – play time of all sorts! – relaxation – and’ time in’, which gives space for internal reflections on the day/reading/experiences.

A helpful distinction was made between using ‘natural consequences’ to bad choices or behaviour which need to be made matter-of-factly and clearly, and the temptation to instead turn that into punishment. The point being that natural consequences flow from poor choices but can help the inexperienced child to see how they can change their choices to better results. When this morphes into punishment, given in heightened emotional tones by the parent, the child does not learn from his mistakes and digs his heels in, reinforcing a pattern of poor choices.

Please do get in touch with Mrs Scarlata if you would like to chat further about anything raised through this seminar. Below is a list of books she would recommend:

(1) Love and Logic Magic for Early Childhood: Practical Parenting from Birth to Six Years, Jim Fay and Charles Fay
(2) Parenting with Love and Logic, Dr. Foster Cline and Jim Fay
(3) Parenting Teens with Love and Logic, Dr. Foster Cline and Jim Fay
(4) More Ideas About Parenting with Less Stress, Jim Fay, Charles Fay, Dr. Foster Cline
(5) The Pearls of Love and Logic For Parents and Teachers, Jim Fay and Dr. Foster Cline
(6) Brainstorm, Dr. Daniel Siegel
(7) The Whole-Brain Child, Dr. Daniel Siegel
(8) The Yes Brain Child, Dr. Daniel Siegel and Tina Bryson
(9) EQ and Your Child, Eileen Healy
(10) How to Raise a Child with a High EQ, Lawrence Shapiro
(11) Parenting with Presence, Dr. Susan Stiffelman
(12) How To Talk So Kids Will Listen And Listen So Kids Will Talk, Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish
(13) Siblings without Rivalry, Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish
(14) If I have to tell you One More Time, Amy McCready
(15) Raising Great Kids, Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend