What to do when you have tried “everything”

(WTVD Photo/ Lisa Tyndall)

(WTVD Photo/ Lisa Tyndall)

I recently read a news story about a boy who was forced by his mother, as some form of intended punishment, to stand on the roadside with a sign around his neck that read:

“I don’t listen to my teachers. I’m suspended. This is my punishment.”

In the story, the mother commented she had “reached her limit:”

“My 12-year-old son is constantly acting up, getting trouble, and I’m tired of it. This is my last resort. I’ve tried spankings, taking his privileges away, and nothing has worked,” she said.

There are so many things about this story that turn my stomach, but I also understand the reality that many parents also find themselves in this position. Maybe not to the extent they resort to public humiliation as a form of parenting, but to the extent they lose sleep over the fact their child’s behavior is not changing despite their best efforts.

This is when a change of perspective has to take place Continue reading

Teaching rudeness!

Photo by The U.S. Army via Flickr

Photo by The U.S. Army via Flickr

How many times do we look at our children, sometimes in disgust or with red faces and say, “that was RUDE!” Or, better yet, we ask our kids, “why would you do something so rude?” We already know the answer to this question…and they do not.

A comedian I once heard recounted a story of being at a local pool with his 4 year old son. As the story was told, an overweight lady wearing a Guess jeans T-shirt with the word “GUESS?” written in bold across the front walked by. The child walked up to her, turned his head to the side and said, “200? 250?”

GASP.

Things such as “rudeness,” “politeness,” and other social rules and boundaries are learned over time, experience after experience. Our role as parents is to show our kids where these lines are, but more importantly, to give them experiences that will result in positive outcomes so they will be more likely to engage in that socially acceptable behavior again. Continue reading

When your kid says “NO!”

Photo by Leonid Mamchenkov via Flickr

Are there times when you think your child’s favorite word is, “NO?”

Whether it is picking up socks, eating a few measly carrots at dinner, or going to bed, your kid is going to tell you “no.” So how should you handle that?

Here are a few things to remember: Continue reading

Lead your children in the right direction instead of away from the wrong

photo by vastateparksstaff via Flickr

When you were a kid, did you ever play the game, “HOT and COLD?” I am not sure what you called it, but you play by hiding a prize and your friend has to look for it based on your direction. As your friend gets closer, you say, “getting HOTTER!” and when walking away from it you say, “getting COLDER.” The final steps right before your friend gets to the prize usually results in, “HOT, HOT, HOT, FLAAAAMMMING HOT!” Or maybe your friend is way off and you say, “ICE COLD, FREEEEEZING COLD.” Fun game. I remember it well. Continue reading

5 Lessons your mom taught you about parenting

Photo by Chris. P via Flickr

The lessons your parents taught you when you were young were meant to shape your behavior as you grew. Although they might not have intended these lessons to be advice for how to best parent your own kids, I think we should revisit those things your parents told you and listen now as parents and not children.

1. “If you dont have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all”  Continue reading

Should you bring your child’s school behavior home?

Having a bad day at school does not mean they have to have a bad day at home.

3:12 PM: Mary’s pouting face at car pickup is all her mom needs to know. Her bookbag is dragging behind her as she walks slowly to the car. NOT normal.

“Did you have a good day, honey?” her mother says, knowing the answer. “NO,” Mary is quick to answer. “Can I see your folder?”

As Mary flops the folder onto the console, her mother can read the teacher’s note and see the color drawn on the calendar.

“Red day, huh? Why did you hit Joshua on the playground today? It says here you had to be reminded to be a good friend several times today? You did have a bad day.”

“Red” days happen, but should your plan at home include behavior from school? Continue reading

Make sure your child’s new “phase” doesn’t stick around

photo by Heather Ruiz via Flickr

As I talk to parents of children of all ages, it seems we are all concerned with some new “problem” or “frustration” in parenting. Whether it is getting a newborn to sleep in his bed, getting a 5 year old to clean up her room, or getting an elementary child to be organized and complete homework without having to threaten loss of life or limb.

I think it is fair to say parents should expect changes all the time and be responsive to those changes. Continue reading