Children Do Well if They Can

Children Do Well if They Can

Children do well if they can!” has replaced the belief that “Children do well if they want to!”.  As studies are showing that children often behave badly due to a barrier to learning, the “carrot and the stick” method of parenting is being replaced by wisdom on how to connect. This is a whole new way of thinking and one that is counter-intuitive to many parents. Fortunately this way of parenting can be learned. As a parent better understands how their child’s brain works, it is easier for them to speak and relate to their child in a new way.  When they see the results of this different way of parenting, in many homes hope is restored that the parent can have a consistent, positive impact on their child’s behavior. The parent feels more competent and the big reward is the parent is able to enjoy their child. Here is a story from a parent in one of the classes. Bill was pretty skeptical when he, at the insistence of his wife, attended his first TIPS parenting class. After all, he’d been raised in the old school philosophy of “might makes right” and the belt can end all discussions.

After attending the class for a while Bill was full of questions and became extremely open during the discussions. “A lot of these ideas butt up against what I’ve always believed,” he said, but for the sake of his wife and children he decided to give it a shot. On one occasion Bill described overhearing a heated argument between the kids outside on the trampoline He described how his gut response was to react with a loud voice and heavy consequences.  But then something happened. Bill recognized this impulse, but this time instead of giving in to it, he listened to the kids’ different perspectives and was able to get to the bottom of the conflict without losing his temper. And in near record time! “You wouldn’t believe how much less time this took than dealing with the typical meltdowns” he explained.

He was finding that insightful parenting, though challenging, was giving him a sense of competence and improving his connection with his children, while also getting him more effective and timely results. Not long after when their dog nipped one of the younger children, the decision was made to get rid of the dog. Suddenly Bill’s oldest son became really emotional about the decision. Bill’s first response was to tell the boy to “man up, get tough and get over it.” But instead, Bill slowed down and asked his son what was going on. As they sat down on the couch his son explained that the dog was the last reminder of when Bill and the boy’s mom had been together. Saying goodbye to the dog was saying good bye to the one thing the boy had of his former family. They decided to keep the dog.

If you would like to learn more about the TIPS programs, please visit



Christy Silverthorne
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