Winning Cooperation, another tool in the Positive Discipline tool box. In the dictionary it says that cooperation is the process of working or acting together. It says in its simplest form it involves things working in harmony... Ah, working together, in harmony? Doesn't that sound like the kind of parenting you want? I think it is essential for children and parents to cooperate with each other to maintain a peaceful home. To coexist in a way that encourages instead of discourages growth, development and love.
The Winning Cooperation Tool Card says Children feel encouraged when you understand and respect their point of view. It says that after you have showed empathy and understanding for the child's feelings, you can share your thoughts, feelings and similar experiences. After sharing feelings, and making a connection with your child, the two of you can focus on solutions together.
We know that we want cooperation, and now we know a way to work toward it. I think we should also look at this from a Montessori perspective. In the Montessori classroom we are constantly striving to give the children independence. One aspect of being independent is the ability to solve problems or conflicts on your own. Children are not born with this skill, it is something that they learn from doing and watching. As with all the other lessons in the classroom, we model how to interact and solve problems by working with the children to find solutions. Teachers benefit from taking time to win cooperation before modeling the problem solving. Eventually children begin to negotiate problems on their own, and they can often be observed working to win cooperation from their peers before attempting to solve their problems. Remember, children from birth to six, have absorbant minds. Everything we model for them they take in and use again. Make your interactions count!
Next weeks we will work on: Distract and Redirect.