May 15

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Child-Rearing Skills


All of the articles in the sections below are summaries of some popular books on the subject.

Child-Rearing Skills Inventory

Directions: Rate how often you use the following skills: rarely (0 points), sometimes (1 point), consistently (2 points). Check any skills that you would like to improve. Focus on one area at a time until you make progress.

Cooperation and Rules

  • I use deadlines for starting tasks before valued activities that serve as incentives requiring cooperation.
  • I reinforce deadlines I set by withholding all privileges until the task is started and returning them as soon as the task is completed.
  • Once I decide on a consequence, I give only one warning before I act.
  • I think of a variety of actions to take when rules are broken, rather than always using the same consequence.
  • I use allowance, purchase points, praise, snacks, and verbal recognition to reinforce desirable behavior and reduce the need for corrective action.
  • I take action to correct my child rather than lecture, nag, plead, or yell.

Anger and Attitudes

  • When I correct my children, I remember to express confidence that they will eventually succeed and point out their past and current progress.
  • When my children are upset, I persistently feedback and reflect their feelings.
  • When feeding back my children’s feelings does not calm them, I repeat my decision and table discussions until later.
  • When my children are upset with me, I make sure that they eventually express their feelings to me.
  • I avoid arguments by feeding back my children’s viewpoint, rather than try to get mine across.
  • When I am too upset to understand my child, I suspend all discussion until I can listen.
  • Sometimes, after feeding back my children’s feelings and understanding their point of view, I do not find it necessary to take corrective action.

Using Power Wisely

  • I stop myself from interfering or taking any action when my children’s behavior is not dangerous and affects only themselves.
  • When I am uncomfortable with my partner’s child-rearing approach, I listen to his or her reasoning and express my own until we reach an understanding

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