Welcome to Higher Level Parenting, an on-line parenting program for everyone interested in relating well to children, especially parents, parents-to-be, and healthcare professionals.
This program is unique in the following features:
It is based on a real-time, moment-to-moment interactional approach to parenting skills.
Each module is built around a video of an actual clinical case, recorded live in the doctor’s office.
It presents examples of hundreds of specific tactics dealing with more than two dozen common types of parenting problems.
The Program is in five parts:
Section One, entitled “Basics,”
consists of 12 Chapters providing basic information that parents need to know in order to interact appropriately with babies and young children. Topics include The Dance of Human Interaction, Baby Signals, Inborn Temperament, Empowerment, Basic Trust, Exploration, and Freedom to Regress.
Section Two, entitled “Problems,”
covers the major types of problems that parents typically encounter at some point in raising their children. Problems covered range from Anxieties, Biting, and Crying to Pacifiers, Sleep Problems, Tantrums, and Weaning. The emphasis is on the first five or six years of life, as this is the time when the basics of your relationship to your child are being forged.
Section Three, entitled “Techniques,”
covers the 31 major categories of strategies and tactics used, together with examples of each.
Section Four consists of self-assessment Exercises
intended to provide you with practice in identifying signals and interventions.
Section Five ("More")
contains additional materials , including Lists, References, Resource Materials, etc.
When you complete this course you should emerge with a repertoire of interactional skills adequate to deal with almost any of the common challenges presented by infants and small children. Better yet, you will be learning how to create constructive responses of your own, in real time, in response to your own child.
In addition, you will acquire a comprehensive overview of the interactional needs of children at each developmental stage. This overview provides guidance as to which kinds of interactional strategies and tactics are likely to be most appropriate at any stage.
What are interactional tactics and strategies?
Interactional tactics and strategies are specific behaviors that a parent can exhibit in relating to an infant or small child. (They also work for older children and adults!)
A tactic is a specific piece of behavior that a parent can do right now, in real time, in interacting with a child.
Tactics can be vocal (sounds), verbal (words and sentences), or nonverbal (gestures). Other sensory modalities that can provide useful tactics are touch, taste, and smell.
Example: The combination of Fright-face (nonverbal) and Shriek (vocal) is the most effective way to stop an infant moving toward danger. A verbal intervention (“Stop!” or “No!”) is less effective because small children are slower than adults at processing verbal signals.
Tactics can be grouped into categories called Strategies. The tactic of Shriek and Fright-face is an example of the strategy of Distraction.
Tactics and Strategies are used in the service of Higher Goals, or Values.
In using the tactics of Shriek and Fright-face, the parent usually has the Higher Goal of Physical Safety (keeping the child from getting hurt).
The important point to recognize is that Higher Goals can only be achieved through concrete behaviors (that is, Tactics and Strategies). Higher Goals cannot be transmitted by wishing.
Some Higher Goals that are considered appropriate by this author are as follows:
Sense of Security
Feeling of Competence/Success
Freedom to Explore the World
Feeling of Some Control over environment and events
Sense of dignity and respect
There are many more. As a parent, you are free to pursue the Higher Goals that you consider appropriate for your child. To reach those goals, you will need to use some of the Tactics and Strategies presented in this program. The larger your repertoire of Tactics and Strategies, the easier your task will be, and the more fun you and your child will have as you live and grow together.