At our March 4 meeting, we welcomed Anna Cejka, a clinical health psychologist. Her topic was “Raising our Children to Flourish,” and she gave us many excellent tips, strategies and scientific ideas to help us help our children grow up safe, healthy and happy.
She says we should parent with the “3 Cs” approach:
CALM: Calm yourself down first.
CONNECT: Listen to and understand what your child is trying to communicate. Label their emotion. (Ex: “You’re feeling sad that you lost your special toy.”)
CORRECT: “It is not OK to hit when you are angry. You can stomp your feet, punch a pillow or take deep breaths to calm down. Do you want me to help you?”
Anna said often we fall into a habit of CORRECTING first, but we should focus on that after CALMING and CONNECTING.
Anna said our main tasks as parents are:
- To love and encourage without conditions.
- To set consistent expectations and limits and develop healthy routines.
- To help them build confidence through autonomy.
My biggest takeaway was that no parent is perfect, but we can strive to incorporate healthy parenting habits as often as possible into our lives. And if we do make an error or lose our cool, we can “redo” the situation by apologizing, sharing our feelings and growing with our children.
Anna also passed out a great handout called “The Science of Raising Happy Kids.” You can find that handout here: http://www.happify.com/hd/the-science-of-raising-happy-kids/
Anna Cejka can be reached at 720-507-5502 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.