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An Introduction to Positive Discipline – Family Life in Canada

-(Man): Tighter.
Yeah, right there.-Moving to a different country
is always difficult,
especially when
you have a family.
-There are many different
challenges that parents face when they arrive in Canada, in a new place where they
haven’t ever lived before. Many don’t know the language,
so they need to figure out how things work and
how to find resources and how to ask questions. -The challenge for me and my family was the first language. And after a few months, we were
challenged by the weather. -Learning to drive
in a new country… -In the winter…
-In the winter, yes! For me, it was challenging, because this was… I mean,
I’m in a totally new country.-You may wonder how parenting
here is the same
or different
from your home country.
-We really are hoping
that we can help parents to be more relaxed about all
of that once they understand that things might not actually
be so different here. But we also wanna make sure
that they feel comfortable, that they know what
the expectations are and what the limits are so that they don’t have
to feel that fear and anxiety.-Most parents,
no matter where they live
or where they come from,
have one thing in common:
they want their children
to be happy and healthy
and have good relationships
with their parents
and other people.
Canada, like many countries,
has moved away
from using physical
and emotional punishment.
When children are punished,
they can feel angry,
hurt and afraidand this has a bad effect
on their ability to learn.
(glass shattering)Children learn better when we
help them feel loved and safe,
and when they are
given information,
guidance and support.This is called
“positive discipline”.
-In Canada, overall, what we’re moving
to very quickly is a greater emphasis
on long-term learning, as opposed to trying to get the child
to obey me right now. We’re starting to see discipline as something very different
from obedience, and as, instead, something that’s really
rooted in the relationship and in the communication between
the parent and the child.-Parents are
their children’s first
and most important teachers.When parents use
positive discipline,
their children will want
to be with them
and learn from them
all through their life.
-The first thing that happens
in a child’s life is the establishment
of trust in the parent. So, when the parent
hurts the child, either by hitting them, or pinching them,
or slapping them… Those things chip away at
the child’s trust in the parent. So the child might obey, because they don’t want
those things to happen, because it’s so hurtful. But when it does happen, the child starts to feel:
“I can’t trust this person.” That leads to high levels
of anxiety in the child. And if the child
can’t express that, it comes out
in crying or tantrums or anger and the parent,
again, punishes the child. The child learns they have
to keep all that inside. Parents, adults, have other
places that they can express their feelings.
The child really doesn’t. So, if they can’t express their
feelings for fear of punishment, it really starts to affect
their mental health.-Positive discipline helps forma trusting relationship
with your child.
Building a strong
emotional connection
knowns as “attachment”.This attachment is essential
for healthy brain development
throughout your child’s
growing years.
When your children
have been through stress,
like moving to another
country, for example,
it’s important to
consider their feelings
and your expectations
of their behaviour.
-Well, we know
that many adults… In fact, I would say,
all adults, at some time or other, have a difficult time
expressing their frustration or dealing with their stress
in a constructive way. Imagine how much harder
it is for a child who’s not even 2 years old yet or not even 4 years old yet… They just don’t have
the experience. They don’t know that
those feelings will end. When we’re having our tantrums, we know it’s going
to end at some point. When a 2-year-old
is having a tantrum, they don’t know that
that’s ever going to stop. And they are terrified. Just like when we’re feeling
stressed and we need somebody to just sit and talk with us,
we need attention. Giving a child attention at
that time is not spoiling them. It’s about showing them:
“I’m here for you.” And that’s the most important
thing they can learn.-Stress is one
of the biggest challenges
for newcomer families.It’s hard for parents to help
children manage their stress
when they are feeling
overwhelmed themselves.
As parents, you can do
some simple things
to help manage your stress and
become a more supportive parent.
-Every day is a stress. Dealing with it, it’s like, when you’re talking
with somebody, a friend, or a loved one… or, sometimes,
I sing, and I dance. (laughing) Singing and dancing just
puts away all my stress. -Just by sitting outside. Looking at nature
is what de-stresses me. Photography is one thing
that I like. I don’t know how good I am,
but I just go out there, just shoot, shoot… Nature is something that
I really love to see. -I do some things
that I enjoy to do. Sometimes… I’m stressed, and… I try to read, it doesn’t work. I try to sing,
it doesn’t work… Usually, I take
the phone and call back home or call a friend,
so that we talk, to remove that stress. -If we can’t control
everything going on around us, one thing we can do is try
to calm our own nervous system. And one of the things that
we do in positive discipline is help parents really recognize
the stresses that they’re under and develop ways that work
for them to calm themselves.-The stress you feel
is also felt by the children.
Some signs of stress
in children can be hitting,
yelling, crying, or being
very quiet or withdrawn.
Positive discipline can help.
-When they come from school,
they are stressed,
and they are too tired. If I see something
on their face that is not… they’re not talking
or they’re just sitting down… and, like… they don’t see me? I kind of observe them first. And then, after that,
I will approach, slowly… It’s like, you’re not picking,
or you’re not spying on them, because they hate that. And they want
their space, mostly. -What I do is, I watch movies. And I love to watch comedies. And, most of the time, I will try to get the boys
to watch with me. So they’ll pick a movie,
and we’ll watch together. And, like Vijay said,
what we do is, after watching the movie,
there would be some part that I’ll pick out,
and we talk about it. And, somehow, bring it back
and connect it to our situations, our daily
situations… somehow! And the boys are like:
“Mom, you sort of, like, know how to do it, don’t you?
You bring it back to it!” I say: “Yeah… Yeah, that’s how
it works. Life is like that.” And, you know, movies are based
on people’s life stories, and I think they’re similar ours
as well, some of them. -When I’m overcome by stress, what I need most is not someone
to walk away from me, or to hit me, or to tell me
I’m being a baby. What I need most is to have
somebody there who says: “It’s gonna be okay. I am here. Just let it out. And we’ll talk about it,
and figure it out.”-It’s okay to ask for help.Canada has a strong system
of family support
to help you be the parent
you want to be.
Talk to your settlement worker,your doctor, your nurse,your children’s teachers, or
other parents in your community.
They can connect you to
an agency that can help.
-It is tough raising children
in the new country. One thing, it’s because
of the weather. Second thing, because
of its social structure. Third thing is because of… they’re starting everything
all over again. To minimize their burden, positive discipline
in everyday parenting is one thing I strongly,
strongly recommend for every parent. Involving themselves in
the community as a volunteer will help them
tremendously as well. You might think:
“Why I am supposed to work? Because I come from a country
where… volunteer what? Volunteer who? Volunteer their
time for doing this and that?” No, but if that gives you
a chance to get to know people, establish your base, why not? -I’ve been through it also. And it’s not easy.
Yeah, it’s easy to say. But it’s hard to do. But eventually, soon,
you will realize this is a good country for you. -When you’re new to a place,
it’s the hardest time of all. But over time, there will be…
a lot of things will change. They will make friends. They’ll find out where the
supports are in the community, get to understand
the language a lot better, and that can happen
quite quickly. It will just become more
comfortable and more like home with each day that goes by. And it just takes some optimism and belief that things
will get better. And they do. They always do. Closed Captioning: Epilogue
Technical Services Inc.

Reynold King

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