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Better Behavior

On Monday, my Twins Club had a speaker from The Better Behavior Bureau come talk with us.


Jeanine Fitzgerald was conversational, funny, and highly informative. She didn’t mind “interruptions” and answered every single question we all threw at her. We weren’t talked at, we were talked with. And her daughter is now working with her…so I’m thinking that means she’s doing/she did something right with her own kids 🙂

She went over a graph of child temperament, describing where kids might fit in – but making sure we all knew that they probably cross more than one quadrant. She also described the needs for each quadrant and effective positive disciplinary techniques for kids who fall in each quadrant. Holy eye opener!! I wish I had been exposed to this about 3 years ago when we were going through major screaming/anger fits with Burke. We eventually figured out how to better deal with him; but it would have been a lot quicker if I’d known all of this stuff at that point!!

One of the things Jeanine said that made me sit up and take notice was along the lines of “fair does not mean equal.” Kids are different. The needs of one child can be completely different than another. A high-level, material example is just because one kid needs shoes, doesn’t mean the other one does – so the other one shouldn’t necessarily get them. I wish I could remember her exact, complete phrasing….but she basically said that she always told her kids that she’d be fair to them by always providing what they need. That doesn’t necessarily mean that they’d always get the same things (typically when they’re older) or be disciplined the same way for doing the same thing (typically when they’re younger).

One other thing Jeanine talked about was the fact that playgrounds used to have activities to help kids to self-regulate. Much of these things are disappearing because they’ve been deemed unsafe…which means that we, as parents, need to provide these “actions” for our kids. Stuff like…spinning (those awesome merry-go-rounds), hanging up-side-down (monkey bars), swinging and going up and down (see-saws), and crashing. There’s more, but I can’t remember all of them. I think I’m going to look into the book she recommended, Take Five by Mary Sue Williams, to find out more about helping kids self-regulate.

Jeanine has a book out too, The Dance of Interaction. I haven’t read it yet, but I’ve ordered it and I can’t wait to get my hands on it!