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April 04, 1986 - Image 49

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1986-04-04

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interactions. They walk away, from
each week's session a little more
sane, better able to handle mishaps,.
looking forward to more enjoyable
time spent withtheir children.
There is no national network
coordinating the hundreds of Chil-
dren the Challenge courses offered
throughout the country. Typically,
parents who experienced the course
in another city bring new concepts
with them when they relocate, and
devote considerable time and effort
organizing a new program and re-
cruiting other interested parents as
leaders and cladb participants.
Barbara and Gary Galena
brought Children the Challenge to
the Detroit area in 1977, when they
moved from Virginia Beach, Va.
They had been using Dreikurs' par-
enting techniques for two years. Be-
fore slipping into old parenting
habits, they organized the first Chil-
dren the Challenge course for a
small group of friends and acquain-
tances, under the auspices of Far-
mington Youth Assistance.
Barbara was fairly typical of
many parents encountering Children
the Challenge for the first time. In
1975, she was a newcomer to Vir-
ginia Beach and the mother of two
children; 41/2-year-old Sherry and
11/2-year-old Mark.
She found herself upset and
screaming a lot. "I was uncomforta-
ble with my parenting skills and felt
I was not handling situations well."
Like many parents, she first saw
a Dreikurs parent in action. "I spent
a morning with a new friend. There
were five children under four years
old in her house and she was able to
speak calmly and encouragingly to

all of them. They behaved well and
conflicts seemed to be avoided."
She and Gary signed up for the
next available class. At first Barbara
resisted Dreikurs' philosophy. "I
wasn't going to let anyone tell me
how to parent. I wanted to be a
different kind of parent, but it
seemed impossible to change my be-
havior. I kept falling back on my
natural parenting techniques and'-
those always got me into trouble.
Gary Galena found Dreikurs'
parent techniques positive and prac-
tical; he began using them suc-
cessfully. "When I spent enjoyable
time with my children and
encouraged them, they responded
positively. I •liked what I saw. I was
sold on Dreikurs:"
As Barbara saw Gary's relation-
ship with the children improve, she
began tentatively trying some of
Dreikurs' suggestions. "It was very
difficult at first. I would have one
good day -- offering choices, using
logical consequences, withdrawing
from conflict, using encouragement.
Then I'd fall back into my old pat-
terns and habits — punishing,
threatening, talking too much.. It
was frustrating, but Gary
encouraged me not to give up.", •
Today, Barb and Gary Galens
are the parents of three children,
Sherry,, Mark and Jeffrey, and their
household is' managed along Dreike-
rian principles. For the past nine
years, they have organized Children
the Challenge classes, put together a
supplemental handbook, written
monthly newsletters and trained
volunteer discussion leaders. Over
1,000 parents have taken their

Continued on Page 62


Here is a chance to test your personal
Mentch-Raising quotient.

help their children's confidence
and self esteem grow by letting
them help in the kitchen.
3. You're driving home from
school with 6-year-old Michael
and 2-year-old Jennifer. When
.1. You're making dinner. Nine- you tell, the kids that they'll . be
year-old Justin and 5-year-old running a feW errands with you,-7,7
Jeremy are playing in the next Michael begins to scream, "I'll
room and fighting over toys. All of miss my TV shows!" He starts
a sudden you hear a loud noise kicking the front seat and crying
and a shriek. Jeremy is wailing. and rocking Jennifer's carseat.
Justin is screaming, "Mom, Mom, You should:
a. Pull over to the side of the
where are you? Look what Jeremy
and say, "I can't drive when
did!" You should:
a. Drop everything and run you do that We'll continue when
in screaming, "Now what? Justin, you can sit quietly." You wait si-
you're the big -brother. How many lently for five minutes until they
times do I have to'tell you not to settle down.
b. Reach back, grab his foot
bother your baby brother!?"
b. Run in and assess the and give it a twist, and scream,
damage. (There isn't any). You "Be quite --- or else!"
.c. Say, "If you can sit quietly,`'
send both boys to their rooms.
you both a cookie at the
"You can come down when you're
ready to' cooperate."
Dreikurs urges parents to use
c. Remain in the kitchen and
calmly say, "I knoW you boys can • logical consequences rather than
bribes, threats or punishments —
work things out."
"action, not words." He
Dreikurs urges parents to encourages parents to set limits
"stay out of fights." He also and follow through on what they
suggests that parents put siblings
are willing and not willing to do.
into the "same boat," without
• 4. Youlye on the phone.
picking the good or bad child.
These techniques will help chil- Eighteen-month-old Elliott starts
dren handle strife and solve their pulling at your leg, demanding
your attention. You should:
own quarrels.
a. Rub his back and ignore
2. Four-Year-old Shira likes all his entreaties.
b. Put your hand on the .
to try new things. She decides to
pour herself a glass of chocolate mouthpiece and say, "Would you
milk. It spills all over her new leave me alone? Go play in the
dress and the freshly washed other room for a change! Stop
being such a bad boy!"
floor. You should:
c. Pause and say, "Elliott,
a. Hand her a towel and say,
"Accidents happen. Next time this;Mommy's One. .Would you
like to play with your truck for a
you'll be able to judge better."
b. Groan and say through minute? We'll -litaf"together as
clenched teeth, "Who gave you the soon as I'm thrO(igiPt.
• idea you could pour milk? You're
Dreikura ,141084tiarents and
too little. You • ruin everything. -'v Children neeesfiercial time to-
Joist look at your new dress!"
gether but children need to re-
c. Scream, "Shira, that's it! spect the, needs of a situation.
Don't ever try something you Parents can give a child choicear,
know you can't do! And ask if you and try to redirect him into posit-
want some milk.: You really are, ive behavior.
How did you and your chil- .
Dreikurs urges parents to dren do? If you are interested in
"take it easy." "Don't over react" taking a Farmington Youth Assis-
"Separate the deed.from the doer," tance Children the Challenge
so the child doesn't feel he is bad, course, call 476-3840. Irene will
but realizes his actions might be put your name on a mailing list
inapKopriate to: the situation. and send you 'a notice before the
Above all else, he urges parents to next set of classes.

Here are some fairly typical
daily occurrences. How do you
usually respond? If you're not
sure, ask your kids; they'll know.
How would Dreikurs encourage
you to respond?



GOrd■in cind , Sissan Shlorn conduct a Children the Challenge .clart in

• •

a • • m a s , II-v./L-14..

'0 .1




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