, Salem, MA


April 25, 2014

Dr. Kate's Parent Rap: FAST parenting: the value of flexibility

I have developed a FAST parenting model to help parents be more effective problem solvers in real time. The FAST model emphasizes four essential parenting components: flexibility, authority, structure and transition. FAST teaches parents how to incorporate real time, effective parenting into the fast-paced lifestyle of today. The model also teaches parents how to manage parent-child interactions quickly while promoting a strong parent-child connection. This week, I will discuss the first component, flexibility. Subsequent columns will address the other components.

Flexible parenting is imperative in today’s world where the parenting moment passes in a flash, interrupted by technology, the next place to be, or an overdue assignment. Being flexible within an existing structure and with an authoritative mind-set allows parents to maximize their effectiveness while living in a shorthand world. Flexibility is the antidote to parent-child power struggles that zap hours of time and energy once they ensue.

Flexible parenting encourages parents to use their discretion and judgment in daily decision making, while adhering to necessary structure and routine.

So, for example, if your child takes a nightly shower, and they get home late on a certain night, parents can decide that on that night, their child doesn’t have to take a shower; in other words, it’s OK for parents to decide that on any given night, circumstances and their authority as parents trump routine.

That’s correct, routine can be interrupted by parenting discretion. I can’t tell the number of parents who are fearful of using their discretion to modify the routine that’s working under typical circumstances. They tell themselves, “It’s the routine, and if we break it once, then it will crumble.” An effective routine does not disappear if it’s modified appropriately.

The importance of being flexible in any given situation is to avoid power struggles that can erupt when the established routine is unrealistic because of unforeseen or changing circumstances. Because a nightly shower is part of the routine, does that mean if their child is vomiting or has a high fever, they have to take a shower? It probably wouldn’t be good for the child and actually might make them feel sicker. Where do parents draw the line?

Text Only | Photo Reprints
  • misselwood_2 Rare, classic cars make an appearance at annual Endicott College show

    The original Concours d'Elegance was a fashion show on wheels. "It did start in 17th century France, where some of the aristocracy wanted to show off the fashions they were wearing," said Patrick Cornellison, chairman of the event. "Mainly women woul

    July 24, 2014 2 Photos

  • twenties_3 Ipswich's Castle Hill braces for 1,000 at Roaring '20s Lawn Party

    The latest dance craze started in the 1930s. The Lindy Hop, which first flourished in the ballrooms of Harlem, is expected to draw hundreds of people to a dance floor at the Crane Estate this Sunday. Organized by Boston Swing Central, a dance club in

    July 24, 2014 4 Photos

  • kallyson North Shore entertainment calendar Good cause YARD SALE TO BENEFIT JIMMY FUND. Saturday, July 26, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., 11 Anna Drive, Danvers. Family yard sale with all proceeds benefiting the Boston Marathon Jimmy Fund Walk. WOOSHIE'S WARRIORS FUNDRAISER FOR MS. Sunday, July 27, 10 a.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • The reader's eye Name: Erika Torkildsen Hometown: Beverly Description: "I took this at the Salem Common around a park where I noticed a ripped basketball net amid the blue sky. Instead of taking the picture from my original view, I tipped the camera up from under the

    July 24, 2014

  • shakespeare Good cause The Bard comes alive on Misery Island Join Sea Station for its inaugural performance of "The Tempest Trials," a Shakespearean festival on Salem's Misery Island, on Saturday from noon to 4:15 p.m. The festival features actors of all ages participating

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Horoscope Leo (July 23-Aug. 22) -- Your goals and current lifestyle need a little adjustment. Be receptive to new ideas, and make a change if you want to feel better about the direction you are heading in. Virgo (Aug. 23-Sept. 22) -- Your leadership qualities

    July 24, 2014

  • Dear Abby: Girl and cousin both need counseling after assault Dear Abby: My granddaughter "Cindy," age 2, was being watched by her mommy's ex-sister-in-law and her sons. Cindy went to her mommy and said, "Bubby hurt me." Bubby is what she calls her 10-year-old cousin. Her mother called the police. A policeman s

    July 23, 2014

  • Wednesday's Best Bets Best Bets for Wednesday, July 23

    Looking for something to do today? Here are The Salem News' Best Bets:

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Dear Abby: Younger couples weigh in on how they handle money Dear Readers: On April 11, I printed a letter from "Wondering in Washington," a man asking why young men in general today have the attitude that "any money I earn is mine" in a marriage or live-in situation. He said when he married, he and his wife c

    July 22, 2014

  • Dear Abby: Dating scene is frustrating for strong young woman Dear Abby: I am a young woman hoping to find "The One." But I have come to realize that I'm not the normal female. I don't get manicures or go shopping. (I hate shopping!) When I meet a guy, he likes that I'm "me," but if we get serious, then I'm eit

    July 21, 2014

NDN Video
Comments Tracker