Friday, October 28, 2011

Child Guidance: Gordon's Theory

Lena Baron
Child Guidance 2610
GRADE: 10/10
COMMENTS: "Phenomenal paper! Excellent application of both models and I absolutely loved your conclusion."

Theoretical Application #3 Gordon

Define a problem (provide age and context).
Three-year-old son is whining a lot, bullying pets and younger siblings.  

How would Gordon define the problem? Thomas Gordon might define this particular problem as that of a child filled with pent up frustration and anger because of poor communication skills between the child and his parents. He might say that the child has been dictated to (belittled and corrected) so often that he is no longer willing to work to verbally communicate clearly with his family members. 

What solutions would Gordon suggest for solving the problem?
Gordon would most likely suggest that this child’s parents take the time to counsel with their child, using non-damaging communication skills. For example; when the child whines the parent might say, “I feel bad when you whine because I can’t understand what you are trying to say and I want to be able to understand you.” Instead of, “stop using your baby voice; use your big boy voice!” Also, when the child is bullying, the parent might take the time to go to the child calmly and say “I feel bad when you hit your sister, why are you hitting her?” Then the parent would listen and communicate with the child using the six steps to implementing Gordon’s No-Lose method (define, generate solutions, evaluate solutions, decide the best solution, work out ways to implement solution, and evaluate how it worked.)

How would Skinner define the problem? What solutions would Skinner suggest for solving the problem?
Skinner might define the problem of a whining, bullying child as that of a parent-child relationship that lacks clear guidelines, expectations, and follow-through. Skinner would most likely suggest that the parent redefine the guidelines and expectations for behavior within the home and then diligently follow through with what has been decided.

What advantages are there to Gordon's approach? Skinner's approach?
Gordon and Skinner’s approaches for the most part are opposite of each other. Gordon encourages the parents to use a more democratic psychotherapeutic approach where Skinner encourages a more, authoritarian, vaguely parent-owned problem (with the hope that the child will learn to own the problem) approach. The advantage of Gordon’s approach is that if done correctly the child will come out a well-adjusted emotionally literate child. One of the advantages of Skinner’s approach is that it tends to be a lot easier to follow for parents then Gordon’s approach. It also teaches the children to look for and reach for the goals within the challenge. It also teaches the child that there should be a reaction positive or negative (or consequence) to every action.

Which approach do you prefer? Why?
I would love to say that I follow Gordon’s approach to parenting. It just seems peacefully ideal. However, Skinner’s approach seems to be a lot more realistic and is still beneficial to all involved. With that said, I think that I lean towards Skinner most often and try to apply Gordon as often as my patience allows me to. Parenting is exhausting and stressful. It is also very time consuming. If you have more then one child, it is not always easy to stop and have a long drawn out conversation about every feeling, request, and frustration. In fact, I know this from experience. I applied Gordon’s approach with my first son for the first four years of his life, as he was an only child. It was wonderful! However, he is no longer an only child. And because he has been conditioned to discuss EVERYTHING there is often conflict. Skinner’s approach leaves little room for confusion. The guidelines and expectations are set. With that said, I prefer Gordon, but I use both Gordon and Skinner in my everyday parenting.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Home School Month in Review October

This month wasn't quite as exciting and fulfilling as September. It may have been the subjects or the fact that I was busy with my own classes. Either way, we still had fun. Here are some of our favorites.

Native Americans in Early America: History's Greatest Warrior Series Comanche Warriors by Bellwether Media, Look inside a Series Tepee and Pueblo by Mari Schuh, The House on Maple Street by Bonnie Pryor, A Traditional Pueblo Indian Story Crow and Hawk retold by, Michael Rosen, Brother Eagle, Sister Sky by Scholastic, Children's Atlas of Native Americans by Rand McNally, Video: Davy Crockett (Thanks Grandpa it was a Great addition this month!!)

Age of Exploration (Columbus): Columbus by Ingri & Edgar Parin D' Aulaire (a more Christian view of the story of Columbus.)

Pirates: Magic Tree House Research Guide Pirates by Mary Pope Osborne, How I Became a Pirate by Melinda Long, Pirates Don't Change Diapers by Malinda Long, Videos: Peter Pan Broadway version with  Cathy Rigby, Peter Pan with Jeremy Sumpter, Peter Pan by Disney, The History Chanel The Great Ships: The Pirate Ships 

Phonics: Website Clickn' We moved Jakob back to lesson 10 because he wasn't able to read the sentences at the lesson he was at (30+)

Student Reading: The Fall Festival by Mercer Mayer, Spooky Hayride by Scholastic, Love the We Both Read Series!

The Human Body: The Magic School Bus Inside the Human Body, The Magic School Bus Explores the Senses, Usborne Beginners Your Body (we enjoyed the websites listed in the book) Let's- Read - and - Find Out Science My Five Senses by Aliki

Fall and Halloween: Went to the Corn Maze and Stahli Farm, etc.

Creativity: Video Terry Jones Ancient Inventions of War and City Life

Classic: Nursery Tales around the World

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Praise Be! I Passed The Exam!

I feel a huge sense of gratitude and relief tonight. Thanks to Father Above and my good husband, I passed the exam that I have been studying for. It was a big exam, worth a lot of points. We prayed a lot. Leif made a couple of affirmation recordings for me. I studied. Then Leif helped me study through discussing the past quizzes today before I took the exam. It was all worth it. I'm so relieved!

I learned a lot about myself through the process of studying for this exam. I learned that I am used to being enabled (someone making things easy for me) when I play the victim. I wrote my professor and told her of my fears of failing this exam and how I struggled with studying and remembering. I thought she might "have mercy" on me. Instead she told me basically to buck up and study. I was bugged by her response. But I knew as a mother that she was right in her answer. But as a child I was scared and frustrated. I learned however, that she was right in her answer to me.

I learned that I recall things better if I read them, write them, and then talk about them.

I learned that listening to positive affirmations do work.

I learned that I can!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Bronchitis... Lovely!

Our sweet Caleb came down with a sudden and strong case of Bronchitis today. He went to bed with a fever and woke in the middle of the night struggling. By the afternoon we were at the Dr and by the evening we were back into the ER because he couldn't catch his breath. They gave him a steroid shot and a nebulizer treatment. It opened him up enough to fall asleep. Oh how I hope it all just goes away soon. This was a bit of a scary day.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Stress Update!

Some how I missed the due date for an extra credit quiz in my insane Stress Management class. I needed those extra 5 points. STUPID! I can't keep up with it all. That's when you know it's time to take a break on something. When you start forgetting important due dates. Even though you've studied for the quiz. I think I'm going to run away today and tomorrow and just get everything done for the week. Then I can focus on the fun things in life for the rest of the week.

On a different note, a positive one. Leif made me a couple of Positive Affirmation recordings. I've listened to them every night (except last night) and I can feel a difference. When I listen to them I wake up with good things floating through my thoughts. This morning I didn't, and I feel it. The goal however, is to help those thoughts become natural. I am still working on it.

Music. That has been a great tool lately. I turn on the music and I feel the extra strength and calm that I need in our busy day.

Leif and I are trying to find a place to set up a gym type set up. His parents have a lot of equipment. Leif wants a treadmill and I have the DVD's. It would be great to have a place to go close by with Leif to exercise and de-stress. It's a thought and work in progress.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Stress Management Assignment 2: Anger - Fear - Hope - Faith - Balance

Lena Baron
October 23, 2011
Stress Management 3400
Score 20/20
Comments: Unavailable
Assignment 2
Anger – Fear – Hope – Faith - Balance

While reviewing my list of the top 10 stresses in my life I found that the majority of my stress revolves around fear. I have some anger issues. But even those are wrapped up with fear.
Because my issues are so intertwined between fear and anger I will list them together and explain which emotion has led to the other. 
Issue One: “I wish I could either heal, and be a normal healthy mother, or just accept my ailments 100% and learn to work around them and find pure happiness.” I am angry at myself for my weaknesses and afraid that because of me my family will be negatively affected.
Issue two: “I wish my mother was a nurturing mother.” This issue is mostly wrapped around anger. I am angry at my mother for way too many things to name here. However, along with this anger I fear that I will live with this anger forever rather than finding a way to purge it out of me and forgive her, preferably before she dies.
Issue Three: “I wish I could control my sweet tooth.” Again, I am angry at myself for my weakness. Yet, wrapped right in with this anger is fear that I will gain weight as well as teach my children bad habits and possibly instill addictions into their lives. Which leads me to be angry at my parents because I feel that they helped create this habit within me as a child by routinely feeding me “beddy –by snacks” and ice cream rewards.

What is an optimist? An optimist is Cory ten Boom and Viktor Frankl. People who in the face of a challenge or a crisis naturally, and sometimes by choice, find the positive in the situation. An optimist is someone who finds the good side in everyone and everything. The glass is never half empty, it’s always half full.  A pessimist is someone who focuses on the negative side of the spectrum, someone who prepares for the worst, and warns others of the danger in store. Personally, I find President Obama a great example of a pessimist. I feel that he is constantly warning the country about the next upcoming “crisis.” For a pessimist the glass is never full enough.
            When I asked myself whether I am an optimist or a pessimist, I found myself somewhat disturbed by my answer. I am a roller coaster. My self-image is pessimistic. Yet, when I am faced with a crisis I take on the faith that I have and I am optimistic. As a parent, I teach my children to look on the bright side. But I worry for them as a pessimist would. Fascinating! I think that the imbalance comes from my lack of good self-esteem and my faith in God. From experience, I know that He can bring about miracles. But the pessimism comes when I start to focus inward. Unfortunately and fortunately, lately I have focused inward more often than not, which means I have felt more pessimism. I fight against pessimism. But I need to come to a balance.

            When taking the Stress-Resistant personality Survey I found myself recalculating my score over and over (again the pessimistic thoughts.) My score was 47. A score of 30 or higher indicates that a person most likely has traits associated with the Hardy, Survivor, and calculated risk-taker personality. The score shouldn’t really surprise me. I do carry many of these traits within my personality. The key is to find the best within all of these and refine them. So how do I do this?

The power to change is within my thoughts which will lead me to change my behavior. I have taken an inventory of my most common thought processes, the thoughts that are on repeat. The most common is: “I am so tired.”  I find myself thinking this not only when I feel fatigued but also when I feel flooded emotionally. I might have a strong negative memory, or argue with my kids, a negative phone conversation, or an overwhelming schedule, and the only words that come to mind over and over is “I am so tired.” Sometimes I will force myself to finish the thought by explaining what I am really feeling. This at least helps me to complete the thought and acknowledge how I am really feeling. However, I know there is a lot more that needs to be done in order for me to heal my self-esteem and bring out the best in my personality.

I have taken a few steps recently to try and help me begin to change the pattern of my thoughts. One of the first things I have done is to cling to any and all hope I have within me. Hope tends to ease fear. It also leads to my faith in God. I have hope. Sometimes in the face of the unknown, that is what gets me through. Also, my husband has skillfully recorded a few different Words of Affirmation recordings for me to help me reverse some of my thought patterns. This has been surprisingly helpful. I find that if I listen to them as I fall asleep I wake up feeling the optimism from them in the morning and then I bring them back to mind when needs be.  Another way that I have helped bring more optimism into my thoughts is through music. I have turned music on more throughout my day, music that inspires me or sooths me, whatever I might need. This has helped me as well as my children.

Reconstructing self-esteem is no easy task. By being aware of my thoughts and reconstructing them to be more optimistic I hope to eliminate the fear and anger that has entwined itself within my soul and accentuate the positive within my personality. 
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