The following letter was read at a local elementary, mixed-age classroom. At the end of the reading the children gave me a spontaneous, standing ovation…one of the proudest moments of my life.
OPEN COMMUNITY LETTER
Dear Rose,
I want to thank you for helping me put my duty to my community into perspective by asking me to share now some of the information I am writing about in a book. I realized that my primary reason for writing the book is to share this point of view with others, and that having already worked so much on the book, my thoughts are now clear enough to share.
Before I begin, I would like to share something said by my Montessori Trainer, “We are not here to comfort children when they cry, but to see that they have no reason to cry.”………………….
...“I think respect is the key.” That, I believe, is the solution I’ve been searching for: Treat children with respect, courtesy. Make that your foundation.
For me respectful behavior includes the belief that each of us in equally important, adult or child. If I do not share your needs or even understand them, that does not make them of less value than mine. To me respectful behavior means that I treat you in a way that is pleasing to YOU, a version of the Golden Rule. If you want your children to be guided by this, you must be guided by it, especially in relationship to them. I also believe that self-respectful behavior is an essential part of this process.
To change behavior, besides needing the desire to do so, it is important to become aware of present behavior. We can then decide what we need to change to head us in the desired direction. In the change to respectful behavior, it is essential to eliminate abusive behavior, physical, verbal and even thoughts. It is also helpful to change demands to requests: “Shut the door.” Becomes “Please shut the door.” or even “Would you please shut the door?” “Thanks.”
It can also be of value to investigate your behavior, to know whether you practice what you preach, especially when relating to your child(ren). If you want your child to always do as you say, do you always do as your child says? If you want your child to be truthful, are you truthful, especially to your child? If you want your child to be kind to you, are you kind to your child? It is essential to model the behavior you would like to see in your child.
It is also valuable to learn to share your feelings and thoughts with your child, “I’m grumpy today. It might be good to keep out of my way.” Also share ESPECIALLY when you like something the child has done, even more than when they do things you don’t like. This is like nourishing what you like so it will grow and giving little energy to what you do not like so it will shrivel and disappear.
However you do it, children need to hear your truth in a respectful manner. Children treated with respect become respect-full.
I believe respectful behavior is a key to peaceful interactions and even peaceful intra-actions. People treating each other with respect, creates a wonderful medium for peace to flourish. People tend to be more relaxed when they are assured respectful treatment. People tend to enjoy life more when they are relaxed. People who are enjoying life tend to spread good energy and are blessings to all around them. Just think how immediately and how extensively a child’s joy spreads.

I consider this the possible start of a dialog. Please discuss this information with me, if you wish. It could be helpful to me in the process of writing a clear, helpful book.
I wish you well. Love,
Karen Ryce

Author's Bio: 

“The Miracle Worker...of Education and Parenting”: This name was given to me many years ago because I have mastered Positive Respect, and my results with kids can seem miraculous.

After completing my B.A. in Anthropology, I went to India and ended up enrolling in the Indian Montessori Training Course, where I was trained and certified in the Montessori Method by Mr. A.M. Joosten, who had lived and studied in Dr. Maria Montessori’s household from the age of 14. He asked me to stay on the year after the Training as an Assistant to the Course.
In 1973 my husband and I returned to the United States and founded a Montessori school called Children’s House. We decided to incorporate and Beginnings Incorporated, a nonprofit community service organization, was formed. Then I got State of California funding for Children’s House.
I had three children and remained as head teacher at Children’s House for 15 years. When I was invited to start Community Educational Centers in India, I realized that I needed to share what I had learned about being respectful to kids with my community.
In 1992 I wrote what turned into my first book: Friendly Families. The fourth version, an ebook, Good Parents Good Kids came out in 2016.
Here’s what some people have had to say about this book:
“An easy-to-understand book that gives a bundle of ideas and communication skills for building families that function peacefully and foster the kind of kids every parent wants.”
Dr. Thomas Gordon, Author, P.E.T. Parent Effectiveness Training
“My children are so nice now!” A mother of four, approached me at the Summer Arts Fair. She wanted to thank me for writing Parenting for the New Millennium. She had purchased it the year before, at the previous Summer Arts Fair. Then she implemented what she had learned in this book. She and her children were delighted with the results.
Besides writing, I give workshops, classes, spoke on the radio and wrote for a local magazine and newspaper. I created a website, www.happykidsco.com , which includes a member site with all my writings, audios, videos, and trainings.