Because of the impact of their histories, children from hard places often lack the experience in effectively communicating their needs and wants, complying with requests and instructions and knowing how to navigate basic aspects of relationships in a healthy way. At the same time, what these children need most to help them heal and learn is not punishment, but practice.
Dr. Karyn Purvis and her colleagues have developed some basic scripts to help parents (and other caregivers) teach children essential relationship skills and important life values. Rather than immediately resorting to lectures, consequences or punishments, this approach actually gives your child practice at “getting it right.” By using these scripts consistently to both teach and reinforce, you have the opportunity to correct while connecting and a result truly help your child begin to overcome the effects of his/her past and together move toward a more hopeful and joy-filled future.
Also, as you use these scripts, be sure to find playful and creative ways to teach relationship skills and life values to your child. Be sure to watch Creative Ways to Help Your Child Learn New Behaviors for some practical ideas.