Tonight we learned about disciplining the child that has been abused and/or neglected. It's apparently "different" than disciplining "typical" children. I think the strategies make sense for ALL children, really. The focus was on positive behavior management strategies. This is what I use when working with my clients. As much as I would love to spank some of them sometime (just kidding), that just wouldn't be kosher, would it? Positive behavior management is what I use and it works. It's a very simple concept, really, and isn't that hard when working with a child for an hour at a time. In reality, though I can see where it will be very difficult to implement and be consistent within a day-to-day, 24-7 situation...when you're tired and cranky, stressed and in a hurry...it would much easier to focus on the "negative" behaviors of the child instead of catching the good behaviors.
My big ah-ha moment of tonight was that you can't effectively discipline if you're exhausted. It goes back to the importance of taking care of yourself--mentally and physically--and have some "me-time" (which was one of the characteristics of successful resource parents...previous session). I struggle with this now, even not having children. Making time for myself--to exercise, take a bubble bath, or get a pedi/manicure. I almost feel guilty for spending time focusing on myself instead of on the housework or my business or Todd and put it at the bottom of my priority list. When you look at it as necessary to be an effective parent, it now becomes not selfish, but as if you are doing it for the child.
Todd, on the other hand, learned a lot of new stuff about discipline strategies tonight, as he had no prior knowledge or experience on the matter. He looks forward to the challenge of disciplining a child without using corporal punishment. He said that he will just follow my lead (his words, not mine), which may not be such a good idea, as I will probably screw up plenty, despite my prior knowledge and experience!
Another thing that stuck with me tonight was something the woman from the other couple said. She's been reading a book called Positive Discipline in the Christian Home (which I'm going to have to buy because it sounds really good!). In the book it talks about how God disciplines us--not with shame and guilt. So we should remember that always in disciplining our own children. I thought that was good. Also, did you know that "discipline" comes from the word "disciple", which focuses on teaching...teaching the child the right way to do things, rather than just punishing them for doing the wrong things?