Saturday, October 31, 2009

How to get kids to whisper?

The best way to get kids to whisper is to whisper when talking with them. Look at them when talking and shorten the distance between you and the child. Then if children are talking to you reverse the process. Bring them close and tell them to tell you quietly. If kids are talking with each other and are too loud then have then practice at the dinner table for a meal as they pretend they are in sacrament meeting. Also parents can help by understanding that 90% of church is boring to children and all they see is the backs of peoples heads. What they have to look forward to is sleeping like the HP.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Finding humor in parenting

Many parents become so upset at their children's thinking that they become trapped in trying to get their point across and forget that they once were where they children are now. This is particularly true when dealing with adolescents. Did you know that all of the information on adolescence now had it lasting until the age of about 24 if the person in question is not financially and emotionally independent from their parents. As adults we expect that our children will begin thinking as we think. Some basic things to think about is that it is OK to make choices that might not be the best "according to you" and that the world will continue to exist. Share your thinking but do not expect your children to thihnk as you do. That way they won't reject it but will include it in how they process information in making their own choices.

Back to the humor. Laugh at yourself and laugh with your child. Find a time for hugs and allow yoourself to be wrong sometimes. Your decisions might have been right for your life but if they can't make their own choices and live by the consequences then they will never learn to trust their own thinking and have much to give to another person and to the world. My kids know most of my dumb stuff I did when I was their age. It lets them know there is still hope for them.

Monday, October 26, 2009

How do you teach or modify the behavior of a child to whom consequences have little or no meaning?

Well, this is a tough one but the answer really doesn't vary much by the age. However the consequences vary greatly by the age. The place to start is with "building meaning" Have you ever taken a puppy for a walk using one of those retractable leashes? The more line is given out the more the dog thinks he/she is in control and the wider he/she roams. When parenting there are two basic approaches. Give more leash and then reel in as necessary or keep a tighter leash and lighten up when possible. What parents need to do is know their child and what will work best. Of course always having to hold the leash and keeping it short takes a lot of time and effort but it really is the only way that children learn about consequences.

Now if the child is older and you try to impose greater restrictions then they will fight it more so it is best to start when they are younger and you can see which methods are likely to be needed whith which child. keep in mind that what is equal isn't fair and what is fair might not be equal. Sit children down and let them see the big picture. Help them to chart the course but then you be the one on the wheel and let them take turns learning the controls. As children get into their teens they begin to recognize some of their own problem areas so it is good to have them identify for you what they want to work on and how you can help them.

Keep in mind that the child with the biggest problems is still just a kid first and someone struggling with coping second and not the other way around.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Spanking versus yelling

The question was asked, "Which is worse, spanking my child or yelling at them?"

It was interesting because the person asking the question was basically saying, "Yes I know that both are not good, but I am going to be doing one of them so please give me something I can do that will not be as bad as if I did the other one."

My answer: Both are not good and I will not give you permission to hit or yell. There are times when each might be an effective strategy, but the problem comes when anything is overused. I tell parents that they can spank their child three times. Not three swats as one person wanted. "You mean I can hit them anytime I want as long as I limit it to three hits?" I mean save it for the big things and you will be surprised how creative you can be when you don't want to waste one of those times.

Now the problem with yelling is that itto sets a model for what is acceptable. If you yell then you will have your child learn to yell back at you, at their friends & siblings, at the pet, and at grandma and grandpa if they get upset. So neither strategy is really effective for the long run.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Parenting question of the week

Do the Little Einstein products and other things marketed to make your child smarter than everyone elses really work?

We are living in a society of the Lake Wobegon effect. Everyone is gifted, everyone is talented. In reality we have for years created the most creative people in the world over the past 50 - 100 years. Part of what builds creativity is non-standardization. Yet what do we try to do, package things, more hours in school, less recess, more tests, etc. Parents are having fewer children and a by-product becomes that they feel more pressure to get it right. Keeping up with the Jones was all about material things and now it is about kids competing. I had a parent ask me if his two year old would be at the top of his class so he could go to Harvard for graduate school.

So do the products help? They impact, but they impact the parents far more than they impact the child. The parent is laying the groundwork for what they value and on what the interactions with their child will be based on. Time would be better spent playing with your child and providing a broad range of experiences. Turn off the TV and play games. Turn of the DVD/VCR and go for a walk, visit a museum, have a picnic. Walk away from the computer and go out for ice cream sundaes.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Class this week

This week class has been on marriage and what you would be willing to do to improve the chances of staying married more than 5 years. It is interesting that few "educated" and fewer "uneducated" people want to learn more about improving marriage. Oh well, they keep paying me to spread the word.