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The RPM3 Method

Adventures in Parenting encourages parents to use the RPM3 method – a "no-frills" approach to parenting. This information can help you to shape your own parenting practices. RPM3 stands for:

  • Responding to your child in an appropriate manner
  • Preventing risky behavior or problems before they arise
  • Monitoring your child's contact with his or her surrounding world
  • Mentoring your child to support and encourage desired behaviors
  • Modeling your own behavior to provide a consistent and positive example for your child

RPM3 is not a how-to manual telling parents what they should do. These are guidelines that parents can use to make decisions when different situations arise.

At first glance, some of the RPM3 concepts might seem obvious. But there's more to RPM3 than meets the eye. For example, responding to a child isn't the same as reacting. Reacting is answering with the first word, feeling, or action that comes to mind – a normal thing to do, especially with all the other things you do every day. Responding to your child means taking a moment to think about what is really going on before you say or do something. That time will help you choose the best way to get from the current situation to the outcome you want in the long-run.

To help parents apply these concepts, the booklet also provides examples of how some parents have used RPM3 with children in three age groups: three and under, between the ages of four and ten, and between eleven and fourteen. The examples are intended to help you learn what you need and adapt it to your life with your children.

If you have a gifted child or a child with a disability or other special needs, RPM3 can be useful too. All children can benefit from good parenting practices, regardless of family circumstances, family size, living arrangement, and economic status. Plan Your Way to Better Parenting

Why should you use RPM3? You wouldn't think of not having a plan to help you meet your financial needs or to keep your career on track. Why not have a plan for the most important job of all – being a parent?

"A plan is particularly important in getting through the trying times," says Dr. Alexander. "A plan can help parents prevent small problems from becoming bigger ones. And having a long-term strategy can help parents turn short-term 'failures' into long-term successes."

If using RPM3 sounds like too much work, consider that you're probably already using many of the concepts daily as a parent. For example, acting as a "mentor" can mean simply spending time with your child on a regular basis – something most parents do anyway.

According to the NICHD, RPM3 can help parents develop a healthy relationship with their children that can last into adulthood. Children gain a sense of security when they know they can count on their parents, and a good relationship can help both of you get through the difficult times.

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