Energy Draining Child? Yelling Too Much? Advice for Parents

Sharon Silver, Parent Educator

Ever had this happen? Your child’s behavior spirals out of control and sucks up all the energy from the room. Patience gone, you find yourself yelling or launching into a long lecture that proves totally ineffective.

Parent educator and founder of Proactive Parenting Sharon Silver wants mothers and fathers to know: “Long explanations are not your friend in early childhood” and parents do not have to wait until “big issues” develop before going to see her.

Silver, author of Stop Reacting and Start Responding: 108 Ways to Discipline Consciously, appears Tuesday at The Reading Bug’s parenting series, “Ain’t Misbehavin.” (The 220-page book is broken down into 108 lessons so parents can easily find the issue they’re dealing with.)

Silver says her 45-minute talk, followed by a Q&A session, will focus on why parents react the way they do and three simple things they can do to begin correcting behavior and get back to having fun.

“There’s a belief that parenting is about correction and discipline, that it’s about addressing the child’s reaction toward you,” Silver said.

Instead, the 52-year old author believes parenting is about being the child’s rock and, yes, even being silent. “If you match their reaction, boy, now you’ve got stuff going on,” Silver said, adding that her goal is to share a different perspective so parents can access their instincts.

“I was not a perfect parent. I live a real life. In fact, my reactions to my kids led me to my career,’ said Silver, who says her style is to explain things at a basic level so it’s easier for parents to, “let go of their reactions and begin responding.”

A major change she’s observed over her 18 years in parent education is the sea of information available online. “There are a lot of mommies out there on the blogosphere, many talking about the myth of balance,” Silver said. “I have a completely different definition of balance, it takes a lot of emotional energy to be a parent, but it’s very doable.”

The key, Silver explained, is the use simple tools that can be applied every day to make parenting easier.

“Logic doesn’t appear in the brain until age seven,” Silver noted. “I show parents how to give kids what they need so they’ll do what you ask.”

Example: Lesson #48 from Stop Reacting:

“Why’d You Do That? I Dunno”

Following a page of advice, here’s the Quick View:

--“Demanding an answer when you first encounter an issue will only cause a child to withdraw.

–The child knows she’s been caught, and is upset and fearful of what’s coming next. Try asking questions instead.”

Silver says she believes its best for mothers and fathers to learn good parenting habits when their children are still young, although many of the concepts she teaches can easily be applied to older children.

When the Laurel Street Spy asked Silver if she had any specific advice for older parents, she said while there are many benefits to being older, it also has its unique set of challenges. Translation: older parents tend to be set in their ways and more adult centric. “Children are not just mini-adults,” she said, adding older parents may need to recalibrate their thinking.

What about the lessons parents learned from their parents? “Oh, I’m the example of that!” she said, laughing. “That’s another thing I’ll be talking about, how generational habits are passed on and impact parenting now, how generational legacy comes forward even with your best intentions.”

Silver will appear on two separate dates in San Carlos at:

The Reading Bug

785 Laurel Street

San Carlos

Tuesday, October 11th 5:15-6:15pm &

Tuesday, October 25th 5:15-6:15pm



Filed Under: Column 2San Carlos News


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