Part III: How to survive and thrive as a parent: Reinforcing the good

This is the third in a three-part blog series.

By Elissa Gonzalez, M.D., M.P.H.
Pediatric Resident, PGY3
Baylor College of Medicine
The Children’s Hospital of San Antonio

In this final blog in my series, let’s explore ways that you can maintain your child’s good behavior through positive comments and by making the most of the time you spend with each other.

1. Praising versus rewarding
2. Special time
3. Modeling

Continue reading “Part III: How to survive and thrive as a parent: Reinforcing the good”

Part II: How to survive and thrive as a parent: De-emphasizing the bad

This is the second in a three-part blog series.

By Elissa Gonzalez, M.D., M.P.H.
Pediatric Resident, PGY3
Baylor College of Medicine
The Children’s Hospital of San Antonio

In this blog, we will explore how you can focus on positive reinforcement and avoid placing attention on negative behaviors by:

1. Eliminating the “Nos,” the “don’ts,” and the “can’ts”
2. Focusing on what they should do
3. Picking your battles
4. Addressing the emotions not the behavior

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How to survive and thrive as a parent: Reinforcing the good, de-emphasizing the bad, and preventing the ugly

This is the first in a three-part blog series.

By Elissa Gonzalez, M.D., M.P.H.
Pediatric Resident, PGY3
Baylor College of Medicine
The Children’s Hospital of San Antonio

Part 1: Preventing the Ugly

By ugly, I mean the uncontrollable tantrums, the fighting, the hitting, and the angry outbursts. When we can prevent our child’s ugly behavior, we as parents are preserving our own sanity every day. Here are some guidelines to help prevent these episodes; however, this will not eliminate these behaviors completely since your children are human after all.

  1. Bonding
  2. Emotions
  3. Routine
  4. Anticipation
  5. Meeting needs

Bonding.  First you must bond. Establishing a strong connection with your child is an important factor in changing negative behaviors and maintaining positive behaviors. With younger children, maintaining a positive warm tone through play and getting down at eye level can help with building connections. In older children, showing interest in their daily activities and being flexible (listening and negotiating) can serve the same purpose. Sharing in decision-making is helpful for understanding each other and empowering your child at any age.

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Talking to your child about tragedy

Raising three little girls is no easy task, and I spend countless hours preparing them for issues that may arise in their worlds.  By far, one of the most painful things I have ever had to teach my daughter was what to do in the event of an active shooter in her school in the aftermath of the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre.

As our country reels from yet another school shooting, many families are having difficulty finding the right words to explain what this means for their children. What you tell your children and how much you tell children can be challenging to navigate, particularly because you are likely not the only source of information for them. Depending on their age, they may be processing information from family, friends and neighbors; the news, including TV, newspapers, and magazines; and the internet, which often displays false information that is perpetuated by social media. However, you must remember that you will always be their favored and most trusted source. So what, and how, should you tell your children?

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