Bo Hejlskov Elven is a parent and one of Europe’s leading clinical psychologists specialising in challenging behaviour. In this new blog for JKP he offers insights into how the low arousal approach informs his new book (written in collaboration with Tina Wiman) on parental strategies for managing the most challenging behaviour of any child, Sulky, Rowdy, Rude?: Why kids really act out and what to do about it.
The psychologist Douglas MacGregor proposed a theory of motivation in the sixties. He argued that we can view humans in two different ways: Either we think that people are lazy and need to be controlled and motivated by rewards and punishment, or we think that people do their best if we create the right environment for them to develop autonomy. His theory was on management, and he and later psychologists have shown that the second view increases productivity. In our book Sulky, Rowdy, Rude? we adapt that way of thinking to parenting. This is in no way controversial in Scandinavia, where we live, but may be a less common view in other parts of the world. Continue reading
Veronica Bidwell, author of The Parents’ Guide to Specific Learning Difficulties, discusses the importance of treating your children equally during Christmas. Admitting that children with specific learning difficulties tend to receive more attention than their siblings from their parents throughout the year, she reflects that Christmas should be used as a time to bridge rather than expose these gaps.
As we come up to Christmas I find myself thinking about ‘fairness’. Am I being fair in the way I plan presents for children and grandchildren? Is fairness to do with value, with what they want or with what they need at this particular time? Is a scooter equal to a pair of pyjamas or a boxed set of CS Lewis’s Narnia books?
Children develop a keen sense of fairness and justice at quite an early age. I think most of us can remember the indignation and hurt if things within the family didn’t seem fair. Why did my little sister always seem to get away with things for which I would be told off?
There are things children want and there are things children need. All of them need love, time and attention from the important adults in their lives. They need support, guidance and discipline. They may need help with homework, in preparing for exams, in mastering a new skill. Help may entail time, attention and resources. Continue reading
In this extract from Adopting: Real Life Stories, Ann Morris explains society’s dramatic change in attitude towards lesbian and gay adopters in the past decade but admits that there is progress still to be made. Recognising the ‘oppenness to difference’ that gay and lesbian adopters generally have, she puts forward that such a mindset better equips them for bringing up a child with positive values in the modern day.
Click here to read the extract
With more than 70 real life stories, revealing moments of vulnerability and moments of joy, Adopting: Real Life Stories provides an authentic insight into adoption. These stories take the reader on a journey through every stage of the adoption process, from making the initial decision to adopt to hearing from adoptees, and offer an informative and emotive account of the reality of families’ experiences along the way. It includes chapters on adopting children of all ages as well as sibling groups; adopting as a single parent; adopting as a same sex couple; adopting emotionally and physically abused children; the nightmare of adoption breaking down; contact with birth parents; tracing and social media and more.
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