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You are a parenting expert and in your role you are giving a workshop to a group of new parents on parenting skills. What would you include in your outline and why?

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The first step in tackling this project is to come up with a focus for your workshop. "Parenting" is a very broad category and can encompass almost anything from feeding and diapering a newborn to education to behavioral problems. Consider the following as an example to help you think through your own workshop and brainstorm your own ideas.

As a parent, currently, I can tell you from experience that the number one problem most parents (not just new parents) have in raising kids has nothing to do with the kind of baby-care basics they teach you in pre-natal classes at the hospital. The biggest issue in parenting, by far, is how to control your child's behavior in various situations and at various ages, and then, how to teach children to control their own behavior.

If I was giving a parenting class to new parents, my primary focus would be on behavior, and what a parent's role is in guiding their children to leading productive lives. I would lay it out in the following order:

  1. The four basic psychological needs (love, power, freedom, fun), what those look like at different ages, and how children's behavior revolves around meeting those needs.
  2. The importance of establishing a routine and setting boundaries for security and trust, and also so that when behavioral problems occur, they can be isolated and connected to one of the four basic needs.
  3. Discipline, or steps to eradicate bad behavioral habits.
  4. Time for specific questions, examples, or scenarios, and providing direct advice to anyone who needed it.

In each of the above sections, I would provide several real-life examples and would span a variety of ages. I would include the above in my outline because I have personal experience in working with juvenile delinquent teens. Essentially, the idea of "behavior control" is the same for toddlers as it is for sixteen year olds. Surprisingly, the core needs are the same for all humans at any age. The above ideas establish a framework for equipping parents with immediately applicable knowledge and tools they can put into practice in order to be succesful in raising children who are respectful, but also appropriately independent.

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