On Tuesday night I went to a parenting seminar given by NoÃ«l Janis-Norton. (Her website is located here.) The seminar was hosted by my twins club and was very well attending. I found it very interesting and think the skills I learned there will certainly lead to me being a clamer and hapier parent. One of the main ideas she gave us was to use “Descriptive Praise”. This means that when you see your child doing what you want, you tell him what it is that he is doing. It’s not “good job” or “way to go”. It’s “I notice you are not screaming”, “Jared, you are dressed”, “Riley, you are not screaming”. The other concept she talked about was “Prepare for Success”. That means that you set up your enviroment to make it easier for your kids to do the right thing. You talk to them about what the rules are and you have them tell you back the rules. You “talk through” what is going to happen before it happens so they can tell you what they need to do. The main idea I took away from this was to tell them what TO DO, instead of telling them what NOT to do. It puts a positive spin on everything and really does make me a lot calmer. Instead of having to tell them not to do something over and over again, we talk about what they should be doing and what to do instead of the bad behavior (like screaming). This is only the second day of doing this and it has been working it wonderfully! Riley, who is a big time screamer, has not screamed at all today. He did scream some yesterday, but it was much less than normal. There are several other skills that NoÃ«l talks about in her longer seminars, but did not have enough time to cover in our 1 1/2 seminar. To help me learn more about them, I bought a book Tuesday night by the mom of five kids that took her class. She is a journalist in England and after using the skils NoÃ«l taught in that class and seeing how well the worked, she decided to write a book about them. The book is titled “How to Be a Better Parent” by Cassandra Jardine. Now if I can just find the time to read the book! It does look like the book is filled with techniques that will make me a better parent.