Training Up Front: A Key Parenting Concept

“Take Time For Training”

Training up front is a key concept for easier parenting. Typically this concept gets overlooked or swept under the rug. The phrase “take time for training,” was spoken by Dr. Rudolf Dreikurs in his book, Children: The Challenge. I use this phrase repeatedly in my practice, as it’s one of the most important parts of our job as parents. Without taking to time to train up front parents are facing an uphill battle.

Parent’s Often Say To Me, “I Don’t Have Time”

Often times parents come to me in a huff saying, “I simply don’t have time to train my kids how to do everything?” Unfortunately, I don’t give them the answer they want when I say, “you’re going to have to make time!” Dreikurs would say to you, “you will spend more time correcting a child, than training them properly in the first place.” I’m not saying this to be mean or harsh, but rather like Dreikurs says as well, it’s going to make your life as parents so much easier to train up front, in advance, instead of wasting loads of time putting out fires. Once you begin making training part of your parenting approach everything gets easier!

Children aren’t born knowing how to act or behave. Your kids need you, the parents, to teach and train these skills and trust me when I say, it takes time. It’s a slow journey to teach your kids everything and it won’t happen overnight, but you will see positive results daily if you continue to implement this key concept and train up front. Parenting is like a game of golf or a marathon; it takes time and is a long game. It’s not a sprint, but rather a nice, steady jog. Take it slowly, practice and do it right and you will succeed. Train lots up front and before long you will be hitting a hole in one and crossing that finish line feeling your best!

What Key Areas Do Parents Need To Train

I don’t want to overwhelm you by saying “EVERYTHING” needs training, but it’s true. Your kids aren’t born knowing how to behave and manage themselves. Therefore, they’re relying on you to teach and train them everything. We need to teach our kids how to clean up their toys, sit at the table properly, take their dishes to the sink, pack and unpack their backpacks, do their homework independently, be responsible for their own things, how to have a polite conversation without interruptions…the list goes on. It’s a marathon and not a sprint. You won’t train your kids how to do all of these things in one day, but you will be able to over time. Each day gets easier as you remain consistent and committed to the end results.

How To Train Your Kids

Training your kids is a slow and steady task. We are teaching each step of the way through; role modeling, explaining, teaching, answering questions and creating age appropriate opportunities for kids to achieve independence. A key concept of training your kids is to remember that correcting is different from teaching. Training is done up front, in advance, proactively, where as, correcting is on the spot and trying to fix along the way. Let’s look at an example up front training in action:

What Training Looks Like

When I was a Kindergarten teacher in the United States, I would spend the entire month of September training and teaching my classroom rules, boundaries and expectations. Like I mentioned above, children are not born knowing what to do, just as kids starting a new school year are not aware of what’s expected. I knew then just how capable each and every child was and in order to help them reach their greatest potential they desperately needed me to teach them my expectations so they could succeed.

Take Time and Train Slowly

The first month of school was always very long. We took time walking through each area of the classroom. Generally starting over multiple times until we got it right. We slowly went over each rule, how to play properly and tidy up. We focused on how to line up quietly without touching your neighbour. Appropriate format for getting soap pumps, washing hands without splashing, how many towels were needed to dry.

As you are starting to see, it took me lots of time to teach my students. I spent time training them before the school year was in full swing. This allowed me to not waste all of my time throughout the entire year putting out fires. I wasn’t playing the short game. It was the long game that mattered. My student’s success and happiness was my end goal. I wanted the best results for my students. By taking the entire month to set them up for success, we were able to achieve greatness.

Training Creates Greatness

This greatness consisted of a well-behaved class of thirty kindergartners, whom 90% didn’t speak English. Year after year, my classes were able to listen, focus, follow the rules and build independence and responsibility. Each year my students, as a whole, surpassed all State Academic Standards, not because I am the world’s greatest teacher. It’s simply because I took time each year to teach and train each group of kids up front. Training is a key concept for all parents and teachers. If you want to make your life easier and help your children achieve greatness, start your training now!

Parenting Can Be Easier With Training

Once you begin training, you will begin to see the benefits. Training up front is a key parenting concept that you don’t want to miss. With training you won’t have to give multiple reminders, still to find that no one listens. You won’t have to do everything for you kids, they will build responsibility and learn to take care of themselves. You will finally be able to enjoy each day with your kids. Your job of parenting will be so much easier and you and your kids will be happier. Who doesn’t want to achieve that kind of greatness?


Child Behavior, parenting, Responsibilities

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