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Chapter 2: Foundation-Building Toolset                                                                       19

 

 

20                                                                                           The Parent’s Toolshop

 

STEP

A PREVENTION TOOLBOX

 

Builders can use some sets of tools for almost any task, while other sets of tools have special uses. In parenting, the Prevention Toolbox contains the toolsets we can use any time. We can use them to prevent problems from occurring, worsening, or at any time in our response.

 

IN THIS SECTION

Step A of the Universal Blueprint is the Prevention Toolbox. In this section, we learn how to use five different toolsets:

  • Chapter 2, “Foundation-Building Toolset,” suggests several healthy long-term parenting goals and describes a balanced parenting style to help us reach them. In this chapter, we identify our current parenting style and consider replacing any negative beliefs and attitudes we might hold with positive, healthy alternatives.
  • Chapter 3, “The Universal Blueprint,” explains the process of identifying the six general types of problems we encounter in human relationships and the universal response formula we can use for each.
  • Chapter 4, “Self-Esteem Toolset,” describes the difference between self-image and self-esteem, and praise and encouragement. We learn a descriptive language that builds internal motivation and self-worth, without creating dependency on others’ opinions. We also learn how to avoid unhealthy competition and to free children from unhelpful roles and labels.
  • Chapter 5, “Cooperation Toolset,” discusses the problems that result when we demand obedience or use rigid or negative commands. We learn how to foster internal motivation without bribes or incentives, offer flexible choices within clearly defined limits, and nearly a dozen tools that engage cooperation without starting power struggles. Many parents say this is their favorite chapter.
  • Chapter 6, “Independence Toolset,” describes the balance between maintaining reasonable limits, teaching life skills, and letting go enough that children can grow and develop independence. We also learn how children develop responsibility and effective ways to use allowances.

 

WHEN TO USE THE PREVENTION TOOLBOX

We can use the Prevention Toolbox anytime with anyone, to bring out the best in others, have a positive attitude, teach important life skills, and prevent problems from developing or worsening. These are the all-purpose parenting tools we want to use constantly—24 hours a day, 7 days a week—to develop and maintain positive, healthy relationships.