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The Three R’s of Parenting

I could never figure out why educators always referred to the three r’s (reading writing and arithmetic) knowing full well that only one of those words starts with an “r.” Why would they use this to help them remember the major components of their field of work knowing full well they might just confuse the children they were working with and create more spelling headaches for everyone?

I have been referring to my own three r’s of teaching for the last few years as I work with future educators at Xavier University in Cincinnati.  These teachers will one day go on to run their own classrooms or work as a special educator.  I know that throughout their career they will be have to be life long learners who are  able to problem solve and create new approaches to deal with each unique issue that enters their room.  I want them to have three key components that will consistently help them guide their decision making .  They will need to be Resourceful, Reflective, and Responsive at all times.

These same 3 components make help parents succeed as well…

1. Be Resourceful–  Be a lifelong learner, and continue to connect with great books, great websites, and information that can lead you to better understand your child and the developmental levels they are passing through.  Be connected to other parents, educators and support groups that can help you to see that you are not alone in the quest to be a better parent.  Use their suggestions to begin your thought processes and planning.

2. Be Reflective–  Take what you have gathered from watching your child, reading up on new strategies, and connecting to other moms and educators.  Then reflect on your resources ideas and make them your own.  How do the approaches fit your parenting style? What can you tweek to make this approach a better fit for you?   Step–by-step, design a plan for consequences and try to revise what isn’t working. Resolve to make it better.

3. Be Responsive- Act on what you know and what you have thought about.  Change your responses based upon what your child needs.  Try out a new response even if it isn’t what you feel comfortable doing at first.  Use specific tactics, styles, tones and multisensory approaches (visuals, songs…) to guide your responses to your children.

Parents who use these three “r’s” to help them work through problems will succeed.

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