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Millcreek Journal

4 tips from a parenting expert

Dec 10, 2019 01:09PM ● By Hannah LaFond

Katie Nelson teaches her parenting curriculum at one of her Positive Parenting workshops. (Photo courtesy Katie Nelson)

By Hannah LaFond | [email protected] 

With all the books, advice and theories on the subject, it can be hard to know how to raise your child. But one Utah local believes she’s found the best way to parent with purpose. 

Katie Nelson is a mother of four and has a bachelor’s degree in human development and a master's in early childhood special education. While working for a school she became certified to facilitate Love and Logic courses. These classes are designed to teach parenting in a similar way to what Nelson does now, but after teaching them for 12 years, there were some aspects of the curriculum she felt could be improved. 

“Overall it was a great program, but there were just some things missing,” Nelson told the Millcreek Journal. So, drawing from her personal experience and her education, she created her own curriculum, which she teaches today. That curriculum is called Lead Guide Walk Beside: Parenting with Purpose. Nelson says its overall mission is to help parents and families “increase the peace within their home.” 

Nelson explained the name of her curriculum saying, “First you learn how to lead as parents, then how to guide as parents and then how to walk beside. But it’s not necessarily a certain age where you do those things, you do them simultaneously.” 

This is why Nelson stresses this curriculum isn’t just for parents of young children. It is effective for parenting children from birth up to 18. Nelson said the same communication tactics can even be implemented outside the home, though they are created for parenting.

Nelson teaches this curriculum through her Positive Parenting workshops. She recently hosted one in Millcreek on Nov. 2. During these workshops, she focuses on three objectives: strengthening the relationships between parent and child, improving the parent's behavior and improving the child’s behavior. 

Nelson’s parenting strategy is well thought out. So, these workshops take four hours to get through all of the material. But Nelson was willing to give her top four parenting tips here:  

  1. Stay calm even when your child is not: Nelson believes it’s important even when your child is having a tantrum to stay calm and show that you are in control of the situation. Overreacting will only escalate the situation. 
  2. Let them believe you can handle their misbehavior: This means you won’t lose your temper or give into a child’s demands. 
  3. Praise good behavior: This one is pretty self-explanatory. Nelson, along with many other parenting experts, believes it’s important for children to receive positive feedback. In her curriculum, Nelson puts a lot of emphasis on positive interactions and focusing on the good.
  4. Don't yell: “A lot of parents yell, and kids shut down when parents yell, “ Nelson said. “Parents yell and they engage in arguments with their children." But Nelson warns this often leads to parenting as a dictator rather than being a purposeful parent.

These four steps are key to parenting with purpose, which Nelson defines as a parent who “sets realistic expectations and follows through with love… They provide quality time between parent and child and praises the child.”