This guideline may seem obvious, but responding is more than just giving your child attention. The words are actually saying two different things: 1) make sure you’re responding to your child, not reacting; and 2) make sure your response is appropriate, not overblown or out-of-proportion, too casual or minimal, or too late.
Many parents react to their children. That is, they answer with the first word, feeling, or action that comes to mind. It’s a normal thing to do, especially with all the other things people do every day.
When you react, you aren’t making a decision about what outcome you want from an event or action. Even more than that, if you react, you can’t choose the best way to reach the outcome you want.
The time that you take between looking at the event and acting, speaking, or feeling is vital to your relationship with your child.
Responding to your child means that you take a moment to think about what is really going on before you speak, feel, or act. Responding is much harder than reacting because it takes more time and effort. The time that you take between looking at the event and acting, speaking, or feeling is vital to your relationship with your child. That time, whether it be a few seconds, five minutes, or a day or two, allows you to see things more clearly, in terms of what is happening right now and what you want to happen in the long-run.
An appropriate response is one that fits the situation. Both your child’s age and the specific facts of the occasion are important in deciding what a fitting response is. For example, a fitting response for a baby who is crying differs from a fitting response for a four-year-old or a 10-year-old who is crying. A fitting response for an instance in which a child is running depends on whether that child is running into a busy street or running to the swing set on the playground. Your child’s physical or emotional needs may also shape your decision about a fitting response.
Now you can either go to the examples, or read on to learn the P in RPM3.
Parents do matter!Of all the things that influence your child’s growth and development, one of the most important is the reliable, responsive, and sensitive care your child gets from you. You play a key role in your child’s development, along with your child’s intelligence, temperament, outside stresses, and social environment.
Parents have a profound influence on children from the beginning of their children’s lives.As a parent, you can have close contact with your child from the time he or she is small. That type of contact builds trust; with trust comes commitment. Parents who are committed to their child’s well-being can have a very positive effect on their child.