Be a cool parent in a hot situation

This article submitted by Linda Stelling on 3/21/01.

parents listening Use love and logic when dealing with children. Give children control through their choices. These were two suggestions Peggy Imholte of Resources Training and Solutions gave to parents on how to remain cool in hot situations at a seminar on Tuesday, March 13.

"How to be a Cool Parent in a Hot Situation" was sponsored by the Parent Involvement Committee and held the Paynesville Area Elementary School.

Cheryl Porter and Dan Burg listen intently as Imhole explains ways to give children choices but still remain in control.

"You can still have control in the family without cracking the whip," Imholte told the group of about 30 parents. "By using love allows the children to grow though their mistakes and logic allows them to live with the consequences of their choices," she added.

Imholte provided two rules of love and logic. First, adults take care of themselves by setting firm limits in loving ways; and second, parents should allow a child's misbehavior to be an opportunity for wisdom.

Everybody wants their children to have good character and take responsibility. Imholte explained parents need to talk to their children in a respectful way to let them know their limits. A parent can't be respectful when their voices are filled with anger, she said.

Be creative in the ways of offering children choices, but still get your way in the end. Imholte suggested parents provide children with two alternatives, either of which will make them deliriously happy. For example, her kids either had to wear or carry their mittens to school. Either way, they still had to take their mittens to school.

Imholte's reasoning in giving choices is: when we share the control, we get our share; when we hoard control, we soon lose it all.

Imholte gave several other examples to use. Do you want to put away your toys with me now or by yourself after lunch? Would you rather pick up your toys or hire me to do it? Do you want to empty the dishwasher now or during the next commercial?

Using everyday life situations, Imholte provided suggestions for parents to try on children of all ages. Children need control in their lives but parents need to offer them choices. "Let children make choices. They need to think over their options, process the information and figure out the best choice for themselves," Imholte said.

Imholte reminded parents children also need compliments. Kids need recognition for the little things as well as big projects. It makes them sit up and do a better job next time, she said.

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