Course on “Redirecting Children’s Behavior”

April 04, 2012

Posted By: Shaunescy

I was invited to attend a seminar called “Redirecting Children’s Behavior” taught by Jennifer Williams. (Currently being held at Pilgrim Congregational Church, the course is 6-weeks and helps parents learn tools and techniques to assist with the toughest job we all face – raising our children.)

As a mother of three – two adults and one teenager – I felt a little like a fish out of water as the group by which Mrs. Williams was teaching all had very young children. But, oh, did I learn a thing or two (or ten) – the main thing – I was the “wrong” scenario presented by Ms. Williams time and time again.

The parents of this group felt more like a team, eager to learn from each other’s examples and offer support where most needed. There was actual role-playing (with props!) that helped parents FEEL what their children experience in a variety of daily real-life scenarios – from sibling rivalry to the “dethronement” of when a new baby joins the family unit.

Here are some of the snippets I learned in my short session with Ms. Williams (and things I wish I would have learned 20 years ago!)

  • We act as a mirror for our children, whether we know it or not.
  • When we give children power over their feelings, they feel safe, and all they really want is to feel safe.
  • In times of stress, try to recall what you love about your children. It helps diffuse the anger.
  • The difference between praise and encouragement - and how encouragement works best!

Another thing I learned, there is no room for guilt. In fact, when one mom was sharing her "success story" from last week's assignment, Jennifer walked over to the mom, and stuck out her hands, asking that the mom, "Give me your guilt." Jennifer walked the pile of guilt over to the window and threw it out! Talk about powerful!

I returned home from my session and immediately began sharing what I learned with Sexy Hubby, adding, “Honey, we were the “wrong” scenario every time. It’s a miracle our kids survived us.”

{A special note to my now adult children – I’m sorry whenever you were fighting and the oldest of the scenario always got the blame / toy or item taken away / was sent to your room. Dad and I needed this class to know the “right” way to affect your delicate behavior!

I also regret not being better about getting down to your level (physically) and truly hearing you. I always felt so busy and scattered and I really wish I would have taken more time to “live in the moment.”

No matter the case - and step-mom or not - I always loved you the best I could and always had your best interest at heart.  Always.

Yet, a few useful "tools" in my parenting tool-box would have certainly made a rocky-parenting road more smooth from time to time.}

Jennifer's website is  and I encourage any parent interested in learning how to stock their parental tool chest to check it out.

Mother of three, Katie Walters is the author of  An Authentic Life , a member of and is proudly invited to share within the pages of Montana Parent Magazine's website.

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