Thursday, September 25, 2008
A New Kid in Five Days - Part One
I haven't finished Have a New Kid By Friday by Dr. Kevin Leman, but I wanted to blog a little about it. First, let me say that I don't like the title, because I don't want a new kid. I love my H, but I would like him to listen and respond more easily, without threats and punishments and endless repeating of requests. Please don't think he's a "bad kid," he just has his moments and issues. IMO, a lot of the book's points make sense. I for one didn't want to hear this, but the author explains that a lot of the reason for a child's bad behavior is you, the parent. Does your child yell at you? You probably yell at him. Does he not behave well when you are out? Are you expecting him to behave well, or do you constantly remind him that he must behave before walking in a restaurant? Yikes! One of Dr. Leman's instructions is to "say it once and walk away." Believe it or not, I am finding that this actually works, not every single time but way more than expected. Another of his tenets is "do not get angry." This one is a hard one for me. I have a bit of a temper (and guess what? so do my children!) However, I am really trying hard on this one. I take a deep breath, do some inside-my-mind counting, and then respond not react (another of his tenets). Another of his points is to encourage children and not praise them, and honestly, I am not completely sure I get this one. He says not to tell them they are the greatest, but to say "Oh you did so and so. I know you've been working hard for that. I am proud of you. We need to tell Dad." I may just be a bit dense, but it doesn't completely make sense to me. It just seems a bit like splitting hairs. I understand emphasizing that they worked to do something and praising the effort and all. He also stresses to not make threats because they are often empty. Aha, finally I do something right as a parent; I generally follow through on my threats (which are usually taking a favorite toy away- not sure that works so well when you appear to be living in a Toys R Us thanks to the grandparents). I am not sure if I'll go full out with all of his teachings, but I do believe that to change my children, I am going to have to make some changes in myself. If you're feeling alone in your parenting struggles, have a piece of cake. I promise it made me feel better after a pre-bedtime cluster.