Thinking Citizen Blog —Haim Ginott— How to Be a Good Teacher, a Good Parent, a Good Person

Thinking Citizen Blog — Tuesday is Economics, Finance, and Business Day

Today’s Topic: Haim Ginott (1922–1973) — How to Be a Good Teacher, a Good Parent, a Good Person

Is the key to good teaching at any level understanding how parents should interact with children? That was the view of Haim Ginott, a clinical psychologist who became a guru of teaching gurus. I came upon his work while doing research for a teaching manual I wrote back in 1982, “A Common Sense Guide to Section Teaching at Harvard.” Experts — please chime in. Correct, elaborate, elucidate.

THE SURGEON ANALOGY, TRUTH AND LOVE, DEFENSIVE LYING

1.“Like a trained surgeon who is careful where he cuts, parents, too, need to become skilled in the use of words. Because words are like knives. They can inflict, if not physical, many painful emotional wounds.”

2. “Truth for its own sake can be a deadly weapon in family relations. Truth without compassion can destroy love. Some parents try too hard to prove exactly how, where and why they have been right. This approach will bring bitterness and disappointment. When attitudes are hostile, facts are unconvincing.”

3. “Parents should not ask questions that are likely to cause defensive lying. Children resent being interrogated by a parent, especially when they suspect that the answers are already known. They hate questions that are traps, questions that force them to choose between an awkward lie and an embarrassing confession.”

AN ALLY, THE SEQUENCE, THE LIMIT AND THE SUBSTITUTE

1.“Young children have genuine difficulty in coping with their socially unacceptable impulses. The parents must be an ally in the child’s struggle for control of such impulses. By setting limits, the parent offers help to the child. Besides stopping dangerous conduct, the limit also conveys a silent message: You don’t have to be afraid of your impulses. I won’t let you go too far. It is safe.”

2. “Communication with children should be based on respect and on skill; it requires (a) that messages preserve the child’s as well as the parent’s self-respect; and (b) that statements of understanding precede statements of advice or instruction.”

3. “A limit should be so stated that it tells the child clearly (a) what constitutes unacceptable conduct; (b) what substitute will be accepted. A limit must be stated in a manner that is deliberately calculated to minimize resentment, and to save self-respect. The very process of limit-setting, of saying “no,” should convey authority, not insult. It should deal with a specific event, not with a developmental history.”

THE AWESOME RESPONSIBILITY OF BEING A TEACHER

1. “I have come to the frightening conclusion that I am the decisive element. It is my personal approach that creates the climate. It is my daily mood that makes the weather.”

2. “I possess tremendous power to make life miserable or joyous. I can be a tool of torture or an instrument of inspiration, I can humiliate or humor, hurt or heal.”

3. “In all situations, it is my response that decides whether a crisis is escalated or de-escalated, and a person is humanized or de-humanized.”

NB: “If we treat people as they are, we make them worse. If we treat people as they ought to be, we help them become what they are capable of becoming.”

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haim_Ginott

https://www.goodreads.com/work/quotes/248119-between-parent-and-child

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Passionate about education, thinking citizenship, art, and passing bits on of wisdom of a long lifetime.

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John Muresianu

Passionate about education, thinking citizenship, art, and passing bits on of wisdom of a long lifetime.