Archive for August, 2009

Parent Coaching: Want a child who is a pleasure?

Is Your Child Good?

Is Your Child Good?

Hmmm. Words I wish could be surgically deleted from the vocabulary of the human race:  GOOD   BAD   RIGHT  WRONG   SHOULD   SHOULDN’T  & TRY  We wouldn’t even miss them much.  Except when we need to correct a magazine quiz or send back some turned meat.  

If you are relying on these words to explain the behavior of people in (or out) of your family;  you are unwittingly stuck in a trap.  A trap built of judgement and sprung by something different than how you see yourself.  Watch this.

Picking up a child at school/daycare:  Were you good today?  Child asking for mini golf:  Well, let’s see if you can be good all week.  Grandma serving dessert:  You’ve been so good today…

Labeling children or their behavior as Good points out very subtly, but surely, that they are capable of being BAD.  Even if you never say it.  Raising your child to gain your approval to be Good (OR not Bad) has long term effects that you are probably still dealing with yourself from childhood. 

So what’s an alternative?  (Note that it is not the right thing to do, just a suggestion to consider…)  Talk about what “Works for your family.”  Be clear what does not work for your family.  Note that different families have different agreements that work for them.  This is true tolerance. 

Expect and teach your child to be a pleasure, play a game that you will have no parenting moments, tell them when they have truly impressed you and acknowledge them for being the amazing creatures they are. 

Yesterday I told my son that while I could pick up his breakfast dish for him out of pure love, I chose to have him come do it so he would not drive his future wife crazy.  He respected that.  So will she…

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August 17, 2009 at 5:10 pm Leave a comment

Parent Coaching Tip: Referees Beware!

I'm Not Having Fun Now!

I'm Not Having Fun Now!

It seems kids are always bickering with each other.  How do we stop it?  In 3 words: Step In Less.  When you solve for X in their equations and struggles, you deny them practice they need to learn to work things out. 

Imagine it:  Three boys 6-8 playing hide n seek.  One gets smack happy and the other two start saying that “as a consequence” they will count very quickly or with their eyes open because they are not happy with this treatment.  Things quickly deteriorate.                                                                             

Would You:

A.  Say nothing; let them work it out (unless it comes to blows)

B.  Tell the one who was hitting to cut it out

C.  Tell the “victims’ to move on and stop being mean

D.  Offer to guide them in working it out, until they can do this part on their own

A, B and C all miss out on the group empowerment available in option D.  But Referees beware, don’t try this without proper training or you just end up enabling them to wait for the hero to save them from conflict.  Handling conflict is, BTW, the main skill being developed here. 

The Actual Conversation That Helped:

Are you all having fun?  No.  Do you need to give consequences to each other?  No.  What do you sound like?  A Parent.  What could you do instead?  Ask to make new Agreements.  OK, Who’s first?  They each offered an Agreement:  Hands Off, Count Slow, and Close Eyes.  They all agreed and then were off to the races. 

Two of the three kids families know the Licensed2Parent program, so at this point, these talks go much more quickly nowadays.  This could be you and yours!

August 11, 2009 at 11:36 pm Leave a comment


Dawn Roth

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