Get a head­start on par­ent­ing

Whitsunday Times - - WHITSUNDAY KIDS -

BE­COM­ING a par­ent is one of the most re­ward­ing things a per­son can ac­com­plish, but that’s not to say it doesn’t come with its share of chal­lenges.

The Whit­sun­day Neigh­bour­hood Cen­tre is host­ing a Par­ent­ing 101 work­shop, with par­ent­ing ex­pert Donna Martin.

Ms Martin is a mas­ter prac­ti­tioner of neuro lin­guis­tic pro­gram­ming, which ex­plores the con­nec­tion of thoughts, feel­ings and be­hav­iours. Ms Martin has helped par­ents across Queens­land be­come bet­ter par­ents through ex­am­in­ing chil­dren’s de­vel­op­ment, lan­guage used in the home, emo­tions, rou­tines and par­ent­ing styles.

“Chil­dren are very in­tu­itive, ev­ery­thing they learn is from their par­ents or peo­ple clos­est to them,” Ms Martin said.

“When you ex­plore the de­vel­op­men­tal ages of chil­dren, they have an im­print stage which lasts from birth right up un­til seven years of age.

“What they take on in their early years may not be ap­pli­ca­ble to their adult lives.”

Lan­guage is one of the most im­por­tant fac­tors in par­ent- ing, and us­ing words like ‘no’ or ‘don’t’ isn’t nec­es­sar­ily giv­ing your child the right mes­sage.

“The sub­con­scious mind doesn’t un­der­stand the word ‘don’t’. If you tell a child ‘don’t slam the door’, they’ve heard you say ‘slam the door’. But if you say ‘please close the door qui­etly’, they’ve heard some­thing com­pletely dif­fer­ent and they’re more likely to fol­low your di­rec­tion,” she said.

“Chil­dren aren’t log­i­cal thinkers. The av­er­age tod­dler hears the word ‘no’ up to 400 times a day. Lan­guage pat­terns oc­cur in the mind and soon that word can lose all mean­ing.”

There will be fur­ther par­ent­ing 101 work­shops through the year, which Ms Martin says will give par­ents a more thor­ough un­der­stand­ing of com­mu­ni­cat­ing with their child.

“You re­ally need to at­tend all the work­shops to reap the full ben­e­fits,” she said.

PAR­ENT­ING 101: Donna Martin of Defin­ing Moves will be host­ing a se­ries of par­ent­ing work­shops.

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