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Parenting Course

By Ashraf Al Shafaki

Reward and Punishment

Punishment and reward might come to the mind as the main means for 'shaping' the behavior of children and even grown up individuals. While reward and punishment can indeed be used as fundamental tools for influencing the behavior of a child, yet they should be used as complementary tools to other methods and should not be employed as the only main methods for molding and shaping a child's behavior.


Punishment should not be used as the basis for child rearing. Instead, punishing should be a tool used as a last resort for trying to influence child behavior.


Reward can be a powerful means for influencing child behavior by reinforcing positive behavior through reward. Yet reward dose not always have to be materialistic in the form of candy or sweets nor even in the form of toy presents, outings and permissions for playing. Rewards can still be quite powerful in non-physical forms such as by giving sincere praise.

Parenting Mistakes

 Do Not  Do  Reason
 Never tell your child "You are bad" or "[your-child's-name] is bad" when your child does something wrong.  Instead, tell your child "Doing [so-and-so] is bad."  Telling your child that he is bad will imprint this in his subconscious making him believe from inside that he is bad. This might lead to your child then misbehaving based on his belief that he is bad so he must thus do bad things.

Becoming a Kids' Magnet

The key to becoming a kids' magnet communicating with kids super-effectively and being a lovable person by all sorts of kids is one thing: truly appreciating their mental abilities and showing that you do. I am not saying that you should give artificial praise to children as they do the slightest of 'clever' thing, but I am talking about really really appreciating their mental abilities deeply. You must believe deep within yourself that those kids have special mental abilities and may even come up with creative ideas and creative ways of doing things than those you could ever come up with. Then and only then will kids be attracted to you as a magnet, communicate with you super-effectively and actually adore you. Remember, the key to all that is to truly and sincerely believe deep within yourself that those kids might have some mental abilities and mental processes down their in their little brains that may go beyond your own, even given the greater experience in life that you may have over them.

Establishing Rapport

How to establish rapport with a child you have just met? The common mistake adults make when meeting a child for the first time is that they attempt to throw themselves on the child giving extra smiles, going to close and giving the child excessive attention while treating him as a less intelligent being. The key to establishing rapport with a child you have just met is tot  treat the child the same way as you would treat a regular adult person you have met for the first time. Rule #1: never try to act extra familiar with a child you have just met! Although this rule is a common rule people often observe when meeting new people who are adults yet it is often broken when meeting with new children.

When meeting a new child for the first time, in addition to not overreacting with excessive smiles and childish talk trying to welcome the child, try not to make the child the center of attention. Giving the child an instant avalanche of excessive attention and making him or her the center of attention makes the child withdraw. One technique is to overcome such often-witnessed child withdrawal is to completely ignore the child at first. Try to communicate with others around instead such as his or her parents or peers of they were around. This would give the child space for getting familiar with you through your interaction with others. The child will observe how you are acting with others and how others interact with you. This will make you more familiar to the child. Then and only then may you approach the child, yet still with a normal way free from any excessive pretence of emotions or childish talk.


Seeing you for the first time a kid might try to avoid you and would be afraid and will withdraw if you try to push so hard and too soon to get acquainted with him. The first stage a kid should be going through is observation. A kid should take his time first to observe you. This will allow the kid to know you more and thus fear will start to disappear. The best thing for you to do during that stage is to communicate closely with someone who the kid trusts for instance with his father or brother. Observing this, the kid will bestow the trust he has put in his father onto you. It's works like magnets, the father or brother, who are in themselves magnets of the kid, have magnetized you as well and now, to the kid, you have become like them. After this stage is over and you have given it enough time, you will find the kid moving to the next stage and being ready to communicate with you. In this second stage, you should still not throw yourself on him but try to entice him perhaps by showing him something interesting or offering him something. If the kid was attracted and comes to you, it means you have manage to move to the second stage successfully. The third and final stage would be communicating with the kid as close as you like. The kid will just love you, trust you and might even choose to be with you instead of his parents. Just make sure you too put trust in the kid and treat him as an intelligent being. The kid will be so unhappy if anyone tries to take him away from you.

Magnet II

Play with one of the kids. The other kids will come to you on their own upon seeing that kid have all that fun with you.