The Guidance Approach to Parenting

On Saturday, I had the privilege to hear child psychologist, Louise Porter speak on the guidance approach to parenting.  It was a 3 hour talk and it was really eye opening.  The “old” behaviourist approach that includes rewards and punishments is really not working in my house and I’m really hoping to learn and practice and use this technique in our home.  I’m hoping to take the Parent Effectiveness Training course when it’s offered again, but for now, we’ll practice with what Louise talked about and suggested as a start.

It was really interesting.  I’m not sure if any of you have done the course or have any opinions on it but I have tried some of the techniques already and although it takes a little longer, the struggle with a tantrum-y, whiny toddler seemed to be a little less and easier to deal with.  It’s still hard and it’s really hard to stay calm, but I’m hoping to keep getting better at it.

Time-outs didn’t seem to be working and Louise says it’s better before the age of 4 to use time-ins where you stay with your child and just hold them and comfort them until they calm down and are ready to talk.  Instead of asking why, you ask what…like, “what can I do to make you feel better”.  The main thing that I took out of it is talk to your child like they are just another human being.


About mommyhoodhk

I'm a mommy of 2, a daughter who just is 7.5 (!) and a son who is 6 (!). Living in Hong Kong and raising a little girl and a little boy married to a wonderful man who is supportive of all of my endeavors. Learning new things everyday and trying to be the best parent and wife I can be. I've also recently re-entered the workforce and back at my old clinic, Sutherland-Chan Centre on a part-time basis.
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4 Responses to The Guidance Approach to Parenting

  1. This is a timely post, Anna! I went for a walk with a neighbor, her child, and my two kids. My little guy insisted on pushing the stroller on a street without a sidewalk that was flat-out unsafe. He screamed every time I put my hand on the stroller. Eventually, I couldn’t allow him to continue and took control. He went ballistic – tears, screams, and rolling on the gravel driveway. My neighbor has studied the Neufeld school of thought (Canadian researcher who believes in supporting attachment: and first suggested I fold up the stroller. Magically, another neighbor drove by and I popped the stroller in her trunk. I sat on the ground with him until he calmed down enough to sit on my lap and breastfeed – milk is his Reset button. It was frustrating – I almost threw a tantrum – but we made it through.

    • mommyhoodhk says:

      It is soooo frustrating! My kids like to push the stroller too and they can’t see where they are going so it’s hard unless it’s a very quiet area and safe. That’s really lucky it all worked out for you and him at that moment. I know you just want to get home and deal with it there, but I think we just have to step back sometimes and deal with it however long it takes because then in the long run, it’s better for you and your child.

      • Exactly. I was starting to be lead by my embarrassment instead of my best parenting self, so I just rest assured that my neighbor was watching Ilah and put myself in the moment. You’re inspiring me to write about anger…

      • mommyhoodhk says:

        Argh! The moms and I that went reflected on how we feel after getting angry and it was awful. WE all felt horrible. This is why I want to take the full course because it has to better than what’s happening now. It’s so easy to anger and yes, the embarrassment of a meltdown can sometimes take precedence over trying to comfort the child and just get home. Can’t wait to read about your take on anger!

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