Saturday, April 14, 2012

Scream free parenting

This morning even though it was a Saturday, I got out of bed early. First to get my girl off to school and then to go to my son's school to attend a parenting workshop.

Sounds incredible? I know. I would rather stay home and sleep in. But a workshop that teaches you "scream free parenting"? It sounds too good to pass up. Besides, for some reason, I kept thinking it was "Ice cream parenting".

So lured by some sugar high, I made my way to the school. I was punctual. But a lot of parents weren't. We had to wait for the latecomers. Not nice.

I sat at the back near the food. Already these women were checking out the tea-break.

The workshop was free. So was the food which was pretty generous. I wonder who's paying for all these? I'll bet it's the taxpayers.

The speaker was Charlene. I won't say she was bad. I won't say she was good. But she was able to get the audience to interact. This is a workshop after all. She did make one mistake though. She spoke on and on for a bit too long. I soon fell asleep. Yep. Did it again. What is it about droning Singapore accent that puts me to sleep.

I did catch quite a bit though. Scream free parenting is about parents being in control of their emotions in order not to react emotionally to situations posed by teens. Parents are responsible to their children but they are not responsible for their children. The children have to let the consequences do the screaming.

Charlene did not really tell you how to be a scream free parent. But we had a few sharing sessions where we are given work to do. One of the sharing session involved transactional analysis (parent/adult/child role) - something I'm familiar with as I've attended such sessions before. We worked in groups of 5's. I got the ball rolling for my group. When Charlene asked which group wanted to share first, I immediately volunteered to go first. Yep. Stood in front of the class and spoke using a microphone! And you wanna know why I wanted to be first? I knew most of the other groups would have the same answers. So if you're first, your sharing doesn't sound so lame. One group actually refused to share. They had nothing.

I did walk away with a bit of knowledge. One - all parents at the workshop have problems raising teens. Two - raising teens is like a dance. Sometimes you're in sync. Sometimes you step on each other's toes. But you keep on dancing.

I'm not someone who screams easily at my kids. I make it a point not to scream at my kids. But sometimes I want to. And occasionally I do. My goal is to be a scream free parent, be in control of myself and be able to grow with my kids and raise them to be responsible, respectful and caring people. Whatever it takes.

These are goodies I received before I left. An eraser from Charlene to represent erasing past baggage. And a note book which comes with a zip-lock.

Lastly  I shall leave you with this food for thought which came into my head as I left the session:

When your child screams, you must listen quietly so you can hear what he wants to say.

I attended the final session of my Silkscreen Printing workshop this afternoon. Yep. Long day for me. I'll tell you about it tomorrow. Sweet dreams.


Dee said...

I'll take some of that ice cream parenting! lol
You are so right Jane, parenting teens is a challenge for everyone. Listening to them and not taking any of it too personally sure helps. As does just staying true to who you are and you own values. ... oh and a bit of ice cream occasionally can't hurt either.
I must sy I too rarely scream... but on the odd, frustration driven occasion it also doesn't hurt... they soon jump back into line (the rarer the more effective an occasional rant is).
All the best. :)

tamdoll said...

I wish I could stop myself before I screamed. It doesn't help at all, but I still do it. Lately, I've just been walking away.. parenting teens is so hard!! The best thing about it is realizing that just about everyone with teens is going through the same thing. Yes, "misery loves company." My husband and I have been going out without them more often & that has helped me keep my cool, too.

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