December 2013 - The Elf is Watching, Wait Until Your Dad Gets Home, the Police Officer...

November 25, 2013

children-and-lying[1]Sadly, these are some of the child-rearing tools of the 1950s and 1960s and more sadly, I see these tactics rearing their ugly heads in the 2000s. Raising children is not about threats and power, but rather communication and teaching. You want to put the behaviors in place that help your child grow into a healthy, happy, non-manipulative adult who will communicate needs all through his life.

1st Step- All through your child’s life communicate the rules and standards of your home. Don’t wait for a crisis. “In our home we don’t eat in front of the TV. If Jimmy’s family does it that’s because they have different rules.” Then explain why. “We don’t eat in front of the TV because our family likes to talk and we want to taste our food.”

2nd Step- Give the opportunity for your child to make good decisions and choices because that is what life is all about. At the same time – give the consequence. “I want you to wear your heavier jacket because it is cold outside. If you do not put on that jacket, I will have to not allow you to have your game tonight. YOU DECIDE.” This child is given a choice. “You may eat the meat loaf or just the potatoes and salad, but you must eat. If you do not you cannot have a treat or snack. You will wait until breakfast. YOU DECIDE.” The first consequence is called a logical consequence as it makes sense – rather than if you don’t wear your coat, you can’t play outside for a week. Keep choices simple. The second is a natural consequence. You don’t eat healthy – you don’t eat.

3rd Step- Discuss problems out of the crisis. Go to a private place. “You know, Ann, I see you being mean to your sister. I would feel bad if someone was mean to you so I feel the same way about your sister. Please try harder to be kind or I will take your sister to get a special treat to fix her feelings and let you stay home. But, of course the choice is yours. Do you want to be mean person or a kind person?”

4th Step- Make your child own the behavior. “I’m sorry, but I saw you pull the dog’s ear. You are lying. If you tell the truth I will just talk to you. If you lie again, you will have to give up TV for two days. Now again, did you pull Muffy’s ears?” “Thank you for telling the truth. Pulling Muffy’s ears hurts even more than pulling people ears because they are more sensitive. Go give Muffy a scratch.”

5th Step- Communicate feeling through life – with children, bosses, parents, friends, etc. It is a sure fire and non-dramatic way to live life.

We don’t need elves, boogey men, police officers, or anything but good parents who are constantly listening and teaching. Teachers who use these methods are more successful with management. Always remind your child of your rules. “When we go into the store, you may not touch the shelves. If you can follow that rule, you can pick out the cereal. YOU DECIDE.”

You can become a parent who gives choices rather than threats. Like anything, it takes practice. Can we teach our children well? You decide!]]>

November 2013 – Let's Talk Turkey: About How Children PlayJanuary 2014 – Healthy, Happy, Learners in 2014