Peta-Arts Zone Project's take on Effective Parenting and Positive Discipline

9:56:00 AM

I know that I became a mom too early than planned but I made sure that I get to show and let my kids feel the love and care they very much needed to experience. Whenever I want to learn something about parenting, I would always ask my mom first and if I want to expound more, I tend to search for Parenting threads online and better yet, check out parenting seminars that I think would be very helpful and informative. Recently, I got the chance to attend a very important workshop/seminar last August 21, 2016 at the 3rd floor studio of the Peta Theater Center.

The topic tackled during the event was Effective Parenting and Positive Discipline which was conducted by Ms. Beng Cabangon (Executive Director of PETA) and Ms. Marichu Belarmino (Program Director of ArtsZone) and imparted to the attendees through lectures and of course, artistic group activities that require acting and performing since it was a Peta-Arts Zone seminar.

Let me share to you a bit of what was discussed during the event. They started off with the basics, which are the general principles when it comes to the rights of every child:

  • All rights must be available to all children WITHOUT DISCRIMINATION of any kind
  • The BEST INTEREST of the child must be a primary consideration in all actions considering children
  • Every child has the right to LIFE, SURVIVAL and DEVELOPMENT
  • Child's view must be considered (Right to participate)

Usually, the right to Life, Survival and Development are observed by parents but the last right which is to let them participate can be somewhat neglected by most parents. To broaden up this subject, here's a table on Understanding Child Participation:

I also grew up without the chance to participate in decision making together with my parents and I thought it was the right thing to do since I was just a kid back then. Little did I know that my right to participate wasn't given to me, but thanks to seminars like this, I am now informed and equipped with knowledge to give my kids the rights that they deserve.

After discussing the Rights of a Child, we then proceeded to understanding how a Child, his/her Childhood and Development is seen in Traditional, Dominant and Emerging View.

  • CHILD - traditionally viewed as a miniature adult, source of financial/emotional security and a gift from God. They are dominantly viewed as passive, weak, ignorant, helpless and better seen than heard. But in reality, they are an evolving individual, social actors and active participants in social change.
  • CHILDHOOD - dominantly viewed as an age span from birth to adulthood and that children go through similar experiences during childhood. But in reality, there is no single standard model of childhood because these can be altered with factors such as social, economic, cultural, religious and historical.
  • DEVELOPMENT - dominantly viewed like childhood which has a universal pattern or stages of child/human development and when a child don't fit the pattern, they are considered as "abnormal" or "deviant". But in reality, development is an interactive process which is multi-dimensional but interrelated and integrated that occurs in a context.
Next, they discussed the main topic which is the Effective Parenting and Positive Discipline. They started by defining Parenting as a process of nurturing, promoting and supporting the holistic development of a child from infancy to adulthood which is considered as an enormous challenge and responsibility that is learned through instinct and own childhood experiences. As parents, we have the primary responsibility to be the most important teacher, role model and guide for our children. 

Discipline was also defined as a systematic instruction intended to train a person in a craft, trade or any other activity meant to follow an order or a "code of conduct". It also means "to teach" so those who think of disciplining as a term used to punish children who do not behave well, then it's actually informing the child and letting him/her know the difference from right and wrong.

Unfortunately, a lot of parents and even teachers, practice Corporal Punishment by inflicting physical and psychological abuse to a child because they believe that it is a way to discipline the kids. I am also guilty in spanking my kids whenever they are misbehaving especially if there is a chance that they can hurt themselves. But attending this seminar changed my habit of hitting my kids because I learned that it can actually affect them in the future, if not instantly. 

An alternative and most effective way to teach your kids is through Positive Discipline which is an approach that teaches children and guide their behavior while respecting their rights that aims to provide long term solutions in developing the child's self-discipline and life-long skills. It should be:
  • Non-violent
  • Respectful
  • Solution-focused
  • Based on Child development principles
  • Consistent with Christian principles and values
When practicing Positive Discipline, parents must be able to identify the child's long term goals, provide warmth and structure, understand how your child thinks and feel and solve the main problem.

  • Identifying long-term goals: Before any decision you do, make sure that you have a long-term goal in mind.
  • Warmth - providing unconditional love, emotional security, verbal and physical affection, respect for their developmental level, be sensitive with their needs and empathize with their feelings
  • Structure - make sure that you provide clear guidelines and expectations to your children. Explain to them the reason behind these structures and let them negotiate and participate in creating the structures.
  • Understand them - As a child develop gradually, parents should also be very patient in dealing with the children especially in times when they are trying to learn things and gain independence
  • Solving problems - Be aware of the problems that your children are facing in every developmental level and make sure that you provide a positive solution to each. 

In conclusion, every parent should learn how to:
  • respect the dignity of their child
  • develop pro-social behavior, self-discipline and character
  • maximize the child's active participation
  • respect the child's developmental needs and quality of life
  • respect the child's motivation and life views
  • assure fairness and transformative justice
  • promote and model a God-centered life
After the seminar, I had a realization as to what spanking can affect my child long-term and I wouldn't want my child to suffer and skip any of the traits that are seen in the building blocks of earlier stages that will strengthen our relationship in the later stages such as trust, attachment, respectful communication skills, non-violent conflict resolution, independence, respect for feelings, seeking information, confidence, support and guidance. I would like to be the best mom for them because I truly love them very much. I am very thankful to Ms. Leloi Arcete for inviting me to attend such an informative and helpful seminar like this and to Ms Beng and Ms. Marichu for being so accommodating. I am truly grateful. 

Also, I would like to thank them for giving us the opportunity to watch the Rak of Aegis!

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