What’s an Expert Anyway

Whats an Expert Anyway?

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What's an Expert Anyway

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What's an Expert Anyway

Sam and I were chattering away one morning, talking about idea’s for Oh Beehave! When suddenly, I said to Sam “I have a hunch”.

It’s kind of awkward, and I think a lot of people are probably thinking it, but no doubt no-one wants to be the person to say it…

I had a feeling that maybe parents aren’t as open to the content on Oh Beehave! As I would like, because they I know I don’t have kids, so obviously, I have no idea what I’m talking about…

I’ve wondered about this many times.

It’s true, I don’t have children (not from want of trying, believe me!) so I can’t possibly relate to what a parent experiences “in the moment” when they are battling with their children’s behaviour.

I find this thought process fascinating.

Because, not that long ago, I worked as a School Psychologist.

Back then, I felt a little overwhelmed with people vying for my attention at times. I had parents begging for appointments, calling up in tears on the phone and even when I just wanted 5 minutes of down time to do my grocery shopping, they would track me down in the middle of the shops, demanding help with all sorts of issues (while I really awkwardly tried to explain why it’s inappropriate to consult in the middle of the shops!)

I was a little bit scared by just how much trust and faith people could put into a person with a title!

Sometimes, not being able to relate does have it’s benefits. I think sometimes being removed from a situation gives you some ability to look at it objectively.

But I digress… now those days are behind me and although I still can’t possibly relate to exactly what a parent experiences, these days, as a Relief Teacher, I have certainly dealt with my fair share of behavioural problems in the classroom.

Something I can relate to is the disconnect between what I know based on behaviour research and how I actually act when I manage children’s behaviour in the classroom.

I have had times when I’ve been annoyed at myself, and disappointed with how I’ve handled certain behaviours.

I know that with my psych hat on, there are certain things I would never recommend in the classroom, but as Teacher, I know that there are always going to be times when you’ve had a long day, you get frustrated, and then there’s that one thing that one kid does that just sends you over the edge, and you lose your cool!

So no, I can’t relate to how a parent feels. But I can certainly relate to knowing how I “should” go about things, and all the thoughts, emotions, and guilt that goes along with you at those times when you don’t handle things the way you would have liked when it comes to tricky behaviours.

Which got me thinking…

Wouldn’t it be awesome, if there was some way of capturing a parents’ perspective, while also taking in to account the evidence based side of things when it comes to sharing parenting advice?

I put the word out to see if any parents would be interested in sharing their thoughts and ideas and was amazed with the response I received. Heaps of parents were keen to share their insights, as one parent pointed out from “in the trenches” and seriously, some of them had some amazing stuff to share!

So, when it comes down to it, What’s an Expert Anyway? I know I’ve written a post before saying that I don’t believe in parenting “experts” but maybe it’s just that I don’t really like the word “expert”.

If it’s a term we’re going to use, my preference would be to say that most parents are “experts” on their own children, and most people who call themselves “experts” probably know a fair bit about their topic of interest, which no doubt can be generalised to many children or situations, but when it comes down to it, I think it’s important to have a balance between both!

Which brings me to the whole point of this post, which is to let you know about a new section on Oh Beehave! called “Who’s The Expert”.

Every week we will be publishing new articles on “Who’s The Expert” where parents share their insights based on their parenting experience, and we share our thoughts based on my psych background.

This section of the website is a place where a range of thoughts, ideas and opinions can be shared, so there is a nice balance between practical parenting based on parents experience with a little bit of evidence based practice thrown in the mix too.

Essentially, we’re keen to “open up the conversation” on different thoughts and ideas where we can all learn from each other.

Last week, we put our first 2 articles on “tantrums” and “teeth brushing” up and this week we're talking about “infants: biting, pinching, scratching, hair pulling… how to make it stop”. There’s some awesome tips shared on there from a heap of different parents’ point of view, and we’ve weighed in from our point of view too.

I hope you get the chance to check it out and let us know what you think!

If you have a topic you would like us to include, a tip you want to share, or you would like to feature as a contributor to “Who’s The Expert” get in touch or join our facebook group.

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Are Disney Films Good for Kids?

Are Disney Films Good for Kids

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Are Disney Films Good for Kids?

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Are Disney Films Good for Kids?

There is no point denying it, we are suckers for a good Disney film.

Ladies, you might as well just admit that you loved Frozen just as much as I did.

Fellas… keep quite or I’ll start singing the song.

One of the things I’m most looking forward to about having kids is not looking like the creep in the movie theatre when I go to see a Disney film by myself.

But all jokes aside, we hate it when Disney gets a bad rap for things like too much violence in their movies, portraying females in gender stereotypical roles and apparently not having enough diversity when it comes to race and culture.

There is plenty of research out there that talks about why Disney films are bad for kids.

So… rather than talk about that, what we really want to do is let you know about some of the positive things kids can learn from Disney movies.

A recent study found that there are actually a lot of pro-social behaviours (characters doing things to help others) displayed by the characters in Disney films.

Interestingly, there is more than 1 pro-social act per minute on average in Disney films (which is a lot higher than any other kids TV show!)

In addition, there is only about 10 mins of physically violent behaviour in each Disney movie, on average.

The great thing about the high ratio of pro-social behaviours in Disney films is that kids can learn about how to help others, just by seeing a character be helpful in a cartoon or movie – pretty handy, right!?

Plus, the more they are exposed to these types of behaviours, the more likely they will be to take on board and display them!

So, based on these findings, we reckon there’s not a lot of harm in kids watching their favourite Disney film on repeat (so long as you can keep your sanity!)

How about you? Do you let your kids watch Disney movies?

Are you a closet (or not-so-secret) Disney fan too?

What’s your favourite Disney film? Let us know!

Before you go... make sure you sign up for access to our simple and effective strategies for everything from toddler tantrums to teenage defiance!

AND

Download a copy of our App "Parenting Therapy" in the iTunes App Store!

Parenting Therapy

References:
Padilla-Walker, L.M., Coyne, S.M., Fraser, A.M. & Stockdale, L.A. (2013). Is Disney the Nicest Place on Earth? A Content Analysis of Prosocial Behavior in Animated Disney Films. Journal of Communication. 63. pp. 393-412

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Why I Don’t Believe in Time Out

Why I Don't Believe in Time Out

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Why I Don't Believe in Time Out

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Why I Don't Believe in Time Out

“Time Out” has been used as a popular punishment strategy for quite some time among modern day parents.

Which is exactly why I don’t like it.

Not because its popular, but because of the “p” word, “punishment”. I think a lot of people completely misunderstand the point of time out.

In my view, time out should be used as an opportunity for the child (and the parent!) to take a few moments to calm down from a situation where one (or both) of them has become worked up.

It’s a time where both parent and child can take a few deep breaths and collect themselves.

I don’t think it should be a scenario that looks kind of like this:

“That’s it! You’re going to time out!!” you scream as you march your little one over the corner, plonk them down and tell them not to move for 5 minutes “or else” there’ll be trouble.

In my mind, the scenario looks a little more like:

“I can see you are angry about x, y z, move away for some quiet time and once you are calm we can talk about it” as you gently navigate them towards a comfortable cool down spot where they can collect themselves.

Once you are both calm, then it’s an appropriate time to;

  • discuss the situation
  • reflect on behaviours displayed
  • agree on appropriate behaviours for the future
  • discuss any consequences that are relevant to how the situation unfolded

But, that’s just my opinion (and since I don't have a crystal ball telling me what I would actually do in a real-life scenario with my own kids), I’m keen to know…

- What do you think about "time out"?
- What are the rules for “time out” in your house?
- Is it used as a “punishment” or an opportunity to cool down?

Would love to hear your thoughts and experiences!

P.S. Would you like to learn about new some new behaviour strategies? For strategies on everything from toddler tantrums to teenage attitudes, click here!

OR

Download our App "Parenting Therapy" in the iTunes App Store!

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How do I get my Kids to SHUT UP

How do I get my Kids to SHUT UP

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How do I get my Kids to SHUT UP

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How do I get my Kids to SHUT UP

“First smack your kid (the 5 across the eyes technique works). Wait a few seconds for your kid to start crying, then smack your kid again to let him know that you mean business. This usually shuts them up because they see that the amount of crying is proportional to the amount of beatings. The 2 x 4 / PVC pipe.”

Before you start throwing hate our way, let us explain…

First thing in the morning, Sam and I usually have a chat about our day, talk how the website is going, and sometimes we brainstorm ideas on new things to focus on.

This morning, we thought it might be a good idea to update our knowledge on the most popular terms parents are searching for on google.

It seems that parents are always striving to get their children to behave in a way that is different to how they are currently behaving, so I started our research by typing in “how do I get my kid to”

… and I was a little blown away when I saw these were the top suggested results:

How do I get my kid to...

I was a little concerned that “how do I get my kid to shut up” was apparently the top suggestion on google, but since we’re not parents yet, and probably can’t really relate, I thought maybe there was some substance to wanting your little mite to talk less and listen more.

So, I decided to see what results actually came up…

How do I get my kid to...

… and then I felt horrified!

That picture above - That’s the top result google shows when you hit the enter button for the search terms “how do I get my kid to shut up”.

For those of you who are regular visitors to our site you probably already know what my views are towards physical punishments (make that punishments of any kind). So, I won’t harp on about how there’s more than 50 years of research and thousands of studies showing the negative impacts physical punishments have on children (but if you are interested in learning more, click here).

But it did get me thinking. Maybe some parents do want their little cherubs to talk a little less (but remember, you do spend pretty much the first year of their life encouraging them to talk, and when they make the tiniest sound that even resembles a word you jump up and down like it’s the most amazing thing you’ve ever heard, so it does make sense that they would want to continue on the “talking as much as possible” path…).

Anyway, getting back to the point, say you do want a little less chatter from darling cherub, perhaps it’s worth trying a milder approach:

Encourage Quiet Activities

If you have a little chatterbox that always has something to say, when you’re on the brink of having a melt-down from the never-ending talk, rather than discouraging their chatter, try encouraging them to participate in a quiet activity instead. (For example: read a book, listen to music with headphones, do some art or craft work etc.)
This approach helps give you a breather, without squashing your budding little conversationalists’ self-esteem, and helps them transfer their creative energies into something else for a while.

Discuss Appropriate Times to Talk

If you find that your little one regularly wants to have a D&M with you at the most inconvenient times, try acknowledging that they wish to talk to you, and explaining why you can’t talk at that moment, and then confirm when you will be available.

For example:

"Honey I can’t wait to hear all about the rocket ship you and your friends made in the play ground this morning, but right now I really need to get ready for dinner at Nanna’s house. How about you get your things ready too and then you can tell me all about it when we get in the car?"

This approach helps to validate to your child that you want to listen to them and understand what they want to tell you is important, while also setting boundaries around when to have these sorts of conversations.

Teach that “It’s polite to ask”

Have you ever met a child that just loves to tell you in explicit detail the in’s and out’s of the storyline of the game they are playing, the book they have just read, or a story they have made up?

If your child is this way inclined, it might be helpful to teach them to ask whoever they are talking to if it’s OK to share the story before launching into it.

For example

"I’m at a really exciting part of this game I’ve been playing on-line, is it OK if I tell you about it?"

Most people will be willing to oblige, but it also gives them an out if it’s getting a bit too much (plus it helps your child learn to make conversation around shared interests rather than solely focussing on things that are only important to them).

Teach Conversation Etiquette

Lastly, it’s really important to teach young children that conversation works both ways. Teaching your child that, in any conversation, they talk for a little bit, and then the other person talks for a little bit, and sometimes they need to ask the other person a question about what they have said, can really help reduce a constant one-sided chatter.

If your child finds this particularly difficult, start off by encouraging them just to think of one question to ask the other person during a conversation, before responding with their thoughts, ideas or point of view.

Try practicing at home first, and give feedback as needed. Over time your child will learn that conversation works both ways… and it will hopefully reduce constant non-stop chatter.

Do you have a little one in your life who loves to chat?

What strategies work for you?

Let us know in the comments below!

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Everyone’s a Parenting Expert… Except for the Fact They Aren’t

Everyone's a Parenting Expert

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Everyone's a Parenting Expert... Except for the Fact  They Aren't

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Everyone's a Parenting Expert... Except for the Fact They Aren't

I’m just going to come right out here and say it. We don’t believe in parenting experts.

I know that might sound like a funny thing for someone in the child behaviour realm to say, but I’m suspicious of anyone who calls themselves an expert on parenting. There are a few reasons why I think this...

There is a lot of advice out there for parents from so called “experts”, and it is difficult to know what advice to listen to and what not to listen to.

So how do you know if someone is actually a parenting “expert”? Is it someone who has kids? People who study child development? Teachers? Nurses? Doctors? Researchers? Psychologists?

We agree that all the above professionals know a lot about kids. They probably know a lot about child health, development and behaviour. But do they have all the answers? 

Probably not.

We think most “experts” know a lot of about their area of interest, and they have probably seen a lot of different examples of parenting. They may even be well experienced in what to do and what not to do (in theory at least).

The problem is, the likelihood that an “expert” completely understands your personal situation and what works well, or doesn’t work well in your family is not likely.

What we do believe is that you are the expert on your family, your situation and your child’s behaviour.

You are the only person who can determine what suits your family, your lifestyle, fits well with your beliefs and feels right for you.

So… what would we do if we had a parenting dilemma and needed some “expert” advice? Well, chances are, we would find out what the “experts” had to say, decide whether their “expert advice” suited our situation and apply what we believed worked well for our family from there.

How about you? Do you believe “parenting experts” exist? What do you do when you have a parenting dilemma? 

Look forward to hearing your thoughts!

 

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