- In preparation for next week's class on Morality please read the following "The Three Things Teens Want Parents To Know" February 2019 Ensign.
My 7yr old is doing this thing where he starts to say things like, "everyone hates me, no one loves me, my family doesn't love me, etc..." when things aren't going his way or when he gets some discipline, etc... and he's very sad about it and he seems pretty sincere about his not feeling loved... but we are a very affectionate and loving family. Not sure what to do
It is normal and common for children to get upset when things do not go their way. How to deal with these setbacks are part of growing up and an important thing that parents must teach. When we feel sorry for or give in or reward children for "just participating" then we are doing them a great disservice. In order to raise healthy children they must be taught how to be resilient. Resilient children believe they can cope with challenges and view mistakes and weaknesses as opportunities to learn. They accept that losing may precede winning. They know they will make mistakes and will have to be disciplined but they can see the separation between the mistake and their self value.
Parents must teach children how to be resilient, how to believe in themselves as a person of value even when things are hard for them and that things will not always go their way. Their situation does not create their value.
There is a wonderful article by Lyle J. Burrup, a family counselor, titled "Raising Resilient Children" that will answer the "how" to do this in great detail. The article is found in the March 2013 Ensign. It is an amazing article. After you read it, if you have other questions please post them and we will address them. Thank you so much for asking, This is an important question.
How did your week go?
Class member: This morning was interesting. I had the ‘leave the kids behind’ experience again this morning. I left some kids. 2 of them did not have jackets on, but they stood there pouting, but in the mean time 7:30am the car pulls out. Both of those kids went inside. I had one of my older girls just crying. She wanted me to take her back home to walk with them. I went back home and the bus had left the boys were standing there. On the way home my compassion side kicked in. I get home they were pouting and had attitudes. I went down to the school entrance and had breakfast. I said I’m here to collect your breakfast trash. Have a good day.
The next thing I would suggest/invite you to do is to hold a FHE lesson, not specifically on that experience. Tell them you want them to know that when you say something I mean it. Use the Garden of Eden. It’s a teaching not just for those that didn’t get their coats, but for the rescuer siblings. This is part of teaching them to be resilient. I am SO proud of you. We have to have those hard experiences. Those are what teach and train. It’s the failures that are the teaching moments. It’s not when they always do it right.
Class member: Sometimes I feel like I talk too much so I decided to try the non-verbal. I have 3 teenagers and my oldest is 18. I give them their down time after school. We have a chore chart that has worked for the last 10 years. It was his job to unload the dishwasher. He didn’t do it. I nodded my head toward the dishwasher and he got up and went and did it.
Particularly with teenagers non-verbal works well. Humor is a fabulous way.
Class member: This probably combines a lot of things. My baby turns 3 and Saturday he flushes his binky down the toilet. He cried and he cried. He knew what happened to it. I took it as an opportunity for him to lose his binky. My husband and the other boys wanted to go find another one. He really mourned his loss. I had some personal revelation. We laid in bed and I thought I needed to distract him. So we drew a picture of a binky. We drew 6 pictures and he cut them out. He folded them up and put them in his pocket so he had his binky. It was what he needed to overcome his loss. He is sleeping fine and is doing great. He put his last picture on the fridge. That’s where his binky goes.
You need to keep that picture.
Class member: I had a pay day. I have a son that is a junior this year. I have a hard time with the books they are reading in school. I went through and put post it notes over all the bad words. My son said in his class that “My Mom took all the bad words out for me.” It made me feel good that he recognized something good to help him.
It takes work on the part of the mother. Just know that it does. If you want your children to be raised in purity it takes work on the part of the mother.
Class member: My 13 yr old white girl, just rolls with it. I have been telling her for all these years to set her alarm clock at night. I went up and told her that it was her responsibility from here on out to get up with her alarm. She said I’m never going to remember. We talked about consequences that could happen…no breakfast, hair not done. Two days later she forgot, but she heard her brother and woke up 15 minutes late. Today she did it again. She had a total of 15 minutes to get ready and her hair was a rats nest. She went to school that way.
Helping our children learn to be responsible is hard. You have to give them their live..
Class member: My 5 year old daughter has been on probation. She is super smart. She has lost certain privileges. During that time she was cleaning out her room and I was putting her laundry in the washing machine and there were toys that didn’t belong to us. She has been struggling with honesty. I told her to tell me the truth the first time. She said she took them from a friends house. She couldn’t find one of her toys that she had taken. She had to take all her money and put it in a bag. She wrote an “I’m sorry” note. We drove for 30 minutes to get back there. She was a nervous wreck. They weren’t there. I said I have her number I’ll give her a call. She is all panicky. They didn’t answer the phone. We left them a message. We went through the 4 step apology that talked about. After she was done I asked how she felt now she made it right. She felt good. It was hard to do, but I’m glad we did it.
If you can do that at level zero that is the best teaching you could have done. The lecture isn’t going to work. There is one more step I would have added. After the experience I would add kneeling down and asking Heavenly Father to forgive her because then she had the whole forgiveness process. Then when taking the sacrament you can be washed clean again just like you were baptized. She is free from it and you are not allowed to bring it back up.
Class member: One thing I felt like my parents struggled with is that my parents never let it go after I had repented. I want to teach my kids that it’s ok to forgive their selves and move on.
This is the Atonement. If you have done your part and repent then it is gone. We tend to help confess our children’s sins over and over so that they remember how awful that is.
Class member: If you are frustrated with a child and give them a consequence, and then decide later can I say, ‘we need to do something different.’ When do you stick to your guns no matter what?
You don’t want to go back to them groveling. It’s ok to make a mistake and then go back. “I may have been a little quick to make that consequence. Do you have some ideas of what we can do to change the consequence and pick a better one?” You can change the consequence, but don’t let them go scott free. It’s very appropriate. That is how the Spirit guides us. For you to listen to it and feel it says you are listening to the Spirit for each child. You have to parent!
Class member: I have a son with a heart defect and on the spectrum, but he’s very capable to take his meds every day. He needs to take it, but how do I teach him to be more motivated?
He needs to take it when there is no payoff. That is bribery. This is a situation of health and safety and need. If he has a little bit of autism there is still a level of giving them more leeway. You may have to help them a longer period of time. He is going to leave you some day and he needs to learn to do it. I would sit down with him. Talk about your faith in him and how proud you are in him and what he has accomplished through his unique struggles. You know that as he learns these independent living skills. You preface it with “I believe in you.” This is one of those life skills that you need to do because it’s a safety. Then help him problem solve. What can we do to be sure you remember? Let’s talk about it tomorrow. No breakfast until you’ve taken your medicine. You can come up with the non-verbal things you need. Figure out some kind of consequence that relates to the behavior. He is in charge, but you are not out of the loop. This may take longer to form those habits than someone that isn’t struggling with those challenges.
Class member: I want to thank you for “The proper way to say I’m sorry”. We added repentance to it. We did it for FHE. My 5 year old this morning was holding the poster up for her siblings at breakfast.
Class member: We did this with one of my children. She is very intense. It’s hard to believe her and hard to feel sorry. Before you can do that you need to do these steps. I wrote down the steps with blanks. She went to her Dad to apologize. He melted when she came to him with that sincerity. The next day she went to her sister and did the same thing. Her sister is very receptive. In our family counsel on Sunday night we were talking about what we want to do. We talked about this new tool for FHE and we are going to have a FHE lesson on it.
It holds the person who has offended to be accountable.
So far I've done all right.
I haven't gossipped,
haven't lost my temper,
haven't been greedy, grumpy, nasty, selfish, or overindulgent.
I'm really glad about that.
But in a few minutes, God,
I'm going to get out of bed.
And from then on,
I'm going to need a lot more help.
Your best tool in the morning is to prepare the night before. If you are still frustrated YOU get up a half hour earlier. That one thing will make your day go better.
9. Logical Consequences (Continue)
We had a large van and I would just pull over to the side of the road and wait. I would just sit. They just wanted to go and not sit. If they just said, “Fine we are done.” I would say, “No we need to work it out.” Instead of getting after them for arguing or not putting on their seat belts. They know as soon as you slow down and move over. They don’t like it. My husband made the kids get out of the car and clean the highway for an hour. Talk about good car behavior. What are good car voices? There is training. If you choose outdoor behavior in my vehicle you get to be outdoors.
10. Time Out
Usually not used correctly. You can’t teach any child anything if they are out of control. You can lecture them & yell at them. Time out is the opportunity for either you or them to get yourself calmed down so we can talk. You have to do it at Level zero. You can be firm, but not angry. “You need to go down to your room until you can be nice.” They aren’t going to go down there and sit and think about how ‘nice’ they are. That will only make it worse. You say, “I need you to go calm down.” Usually they go to the room and then come right back. Usually you say, “You aren’t calm down, get back down there.” You do that over and over until they come out in tears. They just have to get calm enough to be able to talk to them. If they have themselves under control right away let them come out. When they are calm you must teach!! Very important!!
Sometimes you as the Mom need time out. It’s ok for you to say I need to go to my room for a minute. Children tend to not like that. They repent pretty quick. If you have brilliant red children that throw amazing temper tantrums, their time out may be “That’s too noisy for the house, when you are through come back in and we’ll talk.” If they are destructive or loud remove them, but once they are calm then teach and train. You can check on them. It lets them know that you haven’t banished them forever.
Grounding…depending on how you use it can be time out. If you say, “You can’t go to the party.” It’s giving them time away for the purpose to learn.
It’s ok for them to be up there playing. It’s just a time to calm down. You need to go up there to them. You can then have them sit on your lap and talk. When you are teaching you should make it positive. That’s when it’s internalized.
You don’t have to feel bad to come back, but you have to be calm. When they are at a place where you can talk part of the discussion needs to be about respect.
Class member: How do you know when teaching becomes lecturing?
How you feel…usually you aren’t at level zero. Is the child still engaged? If they aren’t then you are lecturing. If you are doing all the talking then you are lecturing.
11. Distract or Change Direction
If they are into books you give them a toy. You change direction. There is no lecture, no punishment, it’s just you having intervention to change behavior. As a Mom you can understand and hear when the wrestling goes too far. Disengage them and go take the garbage out. The bottom one says go feed the dog. You change their direction. You can get children who are on the verge of fighting and you can say, “Let’s go build a puzzle”. Mother’s can read that.
As they are older if your daughter picks out a dress that you don’t like you can say, “look at these over here.” It doesn’t have to be a lecture. It has to be done before the battle starts. Disengage before that happens.
They have to be a little bit older. After about the age of 4 it becomes more effective. It’s very effective with teenagers. It’s part of “Come Follow Me”. This is difficult to me. This is a spiritual gift. This is one I pray for. I ask “yes and no” questions. It takes a talent to get them to engage. The object of asking questions is to get them to be self taught. You ask the question where the answer is what you would have lectured to them, but they are the ones saying it.
The person who does the talking is doing the learning! You want them to do most of the talking not you. Your job is to ask the question that gets them talking. It’s a gift, but it’s one the Lord will bless you with.
13. Role Playing
We usually tell kids to go in the room and figure it out and come back out and tell us what they have learned. This is where you work with them and give them the dialogue. You say the words and have them repeat it. They role play the situation. Have this in FHE.
Example: Sally (8) you get to be the Mom and I get to be the daughter. We are going to role play jobs. You react like they would. Let them feel what it’s like to be in someone else’s shoes.
Role play Book of Mormon stories. Let them see how it feels. They become much more sensitive and have more compassion when they are in someone else’s shoes. Have them role play what it would be like to have a handicap. Create situations where they can role play.
This is a teaching tool where you teach them things they haven’t figured out yet. You can’t hold them accountable to do things you haven’t taught them to do. This teaches them to communicate with one another.
14. Proper Apologies
Read this article---A Better Way to Say Sorry (4 step process…)
Class member: I have a daughter that will say ‘sorry and ask for forgiveness’ right after she hits, but the other child isn’t ready to forgive the other one. What do you do then?
Class member: We did this last year and did it in a FHE. I wrote on cardstock the steps. My then 7 yr old was so mad at his sister for something she had done 2 weeks before. She didn’t even care that it was bothering him. In the role play she brought up the scenario. She went through the steps and got to the end and said ‘will you forgive me?’ The anger he had held onto was just gone.
It is what creates understanding. If you feel like someone really understood how their behavior affected you it creates feelings of forgiveness.
What we really want to do through all of these tool we want to teach our children to become resilient. We want them to feel empowered in their life. At home they feel like they can fail and get up and things are good. They feel like they can lose a job and find another one. They can face failure or set backs with enthusiasm and simply move forward. That is hard to teach in this world.
Raising Resilient Children:
(Conquer a set back) How your children are going to use agency to choose to make good things happen:
1. Validate back to them the emotion.
Get them to tell you how they feel and reflect back the understanding of how you feel. “I can see how that would make you feel really sad.” “I’ll bet that hurt when the teacher lashed out at you.” “That must be frustrating to have worked so hard and not have it work out.” You have to listen and maybe even ask more questions. This sets the stage and lets you in. It creates the feeling of ‘you understand me.’
2. You are going to give them the power and the responsibility to solve the problem.
The next thing out of your mouth is NOT “Let me tell you what to do.” Instead you say, “What do you think you are going to do about that? I’m interested in seeing what ideas you have for handling that. I really believe you are going to figure it out.” You express faith in them and their ability to find a solution. If they have no clue…sometimes they really are clueless….part of teaching is to help them find ideas, but not to tell them what to do. If any of their ideas are good go with them and support them.
3. Ask permission to offer some ideas.
Be careful…you ask permission to offer choices or ideas…NOT asking permission to tell them what to do. You would say something like…”I think other kids may have…” “You might think about…” “A possibility might be….” Offer more than one idea. Offer several ideas. You aren’t there to sell them your idea. You are there to open up their box so they can think out of the box and think of possibilities. It doesn’t haven’t to be resolved that day. This is usually not an event. This is a process of thinking. The child is putting ideas through their head. First they have to get over their failure. You are trying to give them the faith and motivation that they can move forward and come up with a solution.
4. Help them look at the consequences.
A couple of days later you meet again…”What have you thought about…” They say, “I’ve decided I’m going to….” If you think it won’t work you DON’T say that. They need to learn that through their experience. Ask “What do you think the consequences might be?” They aren’t thinking past the solution. Let them fail. Let them see what happens. Don’t be sad if they fail. They learn to be resilient by failing and getting back up and trying again.
5. Let them go forward with their choice.
That sounds good. Is there anything I can do to help you? Say, “Let’s try this and see how it works.”
6. Bring them back and have the child evaluate the experience.
What worked well? What would you change next time? What did you learn? Did it work perfectly? If it’s a failure you still come back and evaluate it. Don’t let them give up!
Class member: It makes me nervous to think about the fact that I know consequences that they might not know about.
If the consequences are serious intervene. If it’s just going to be embarrassing let them try it. We become this hovering mother to protect them. They need to skin their emotional knees sometimes. If it’s a serious consequence you should say, “Do you think this might happen?” If they say, “No, I want to go forward.” You support them. They need to fail. If they fail in little things growing up, they will be far less likely to fail in big things and quit when they have grown up. They need to fail and then teach them to get back up.
Class member: Isn’t that what Heavenly Father does for us? If we think we are better than Heavenly Father then maybe we need to reevaluate.
This life is for us to learn how to handle agency properly.
“Forget Me Not” Uchtdorf
“While understanding the “what” and the “how” of the gospel (parenting) is necessary, the eternal fire and majesty of the gospel (parenting) springs from the “why.” When we understand why our Heavenly Father has given us this pattern for living, when we remember why we committed to making it a foundational part of our lives, the gospel (parenting) ceases to become a burden and, instead, becomes a joy and a delight. It becomes precious and sweet.”
What tools did you try as a new adventure?
Class member: I tried the practice. It worked well. My youngest 2 bicker. I said we are going practice saying something nice. He did say something nice. After he tried it 2 times by the 3rd time he didn’t have to practice again.
You stayed at Level zero and didn’t go into lecture series. Knowing it and doing it are difficult.
Class member: I got practice three right when they came home from school. First we are going to practice. I made them put all their things and go back outside. I did it with a clown smile on they didn’t know what to do. I had one cry. She hated it. I stayed at Level zero. I made the 2 that were fighting had to do a make up. They had to write a kind note to each other. There was no bickering for the rest of the night. The one that did something wrong in the morning had to come up with his own logical consequence. All within the first 5 minutes of coming home.
I’m proud of you for remembering all 3.
Class member: I was going off the week before. That weekend we took a trip to California. It was a busy and lots of driving. It was a wedding at the temple and my kids didn’t go in the temple. Someone talked about talking about the expectations ahead of time. Every night I went to bed crying tears of joy because my kids were so good. It was an amazing trip. We are driving to New York cross country this summer. I was talking to them about our trip to New York and they were still excited about being in the car still after as much time as we had been there. When they did it they got positive reinforcement.
This is intentional teaching & parenting. We punish them for doing it wrong, but we never taught them to begin with. Create the picture of what it looks like to be at the temple. They get a picture of how they should behave in that environment. Eventually they will know what the expectation is, but you need to teach up front. So many of them just respond. That is fabulous!
Have you heard about a Mary Poppins bag on the trip? You talk about it ahead of time. You take your road trip and break it up into segments. You say when we get to Missoula, Montana you get something out of the bag. When you get to Nebraska you get something out of the bag. There is just Dollar Store stuff. It may be a game. I used the lemonhead candies to see who could keep them in their mouth the longest. It kept them quiet for a little bit. It comes out at that point. If you have a DVD player in your car maybe a movie. It’s pre-training and helping them know ahead of time.
Class member: I’m not sure I used the make up correctly. The 5 yr old was being teased by the 7 yr old. I said you can make him do anything you want because he’s teasing. He had to kiss her feet. You offended her and this will make it right in her mind. I said do you want to make it up to her? He changed his behavior and stopped because he didn’t want to have her choose what happened.
Class member: My kids had been bickering. I made them stop and hold hands and tell each other they were sorry for what they were doing and give each other hugs. They had been stuck in the house for a long time because of sickness.
Physical contact keeps them focused.
Class member: I was feeling empowered from the class so I’m going to do some natural consequences. Wednesday morning my youngest kids run late. My youngest has preschool and his sisters make him late that day. I said the car is leaving in 5 minutes and you will have to walk if you aren’t in it. I was going really slowly. They didn’t make it to the car. I called home and they were still there. I’m sorry you have to walk. They were late, but everyone survived.
Remember this next week don’t back down and don’t give them the lecture. Last week is gone. Just say the same thing. You have 10 minutes for the car to leave. You work for now forward. The consequence taught them in the past. Don’t ruin it by doing too much talking about it. Continue to be on their side. As you become consistent and they know you are telling them the truth they will step up and do it. Awesome! Don’t be afraid of that.
Class member: I probably used every consequence because I had a horrible week. I had 4 phone calls from the school just this week. I prayed for the challenge so I could participate in the class. It’s hard for me to know what to do in the moment. I had lots of opportunities to figure it out and try it differently. Thankfully that child was really good in church so he was good. He probably wanted the chocolate chip cookies that were waiting at home. I was glad I knew what to do. It takes a lot of training.
It usually won’t change the first time you try something. You need to let them know up front in a FHE that helps them. Even if they know what’s coming there is a really good chance they will become worse before they become better because they are unfamiliar with the new you. Sometimes they would rather push on you to get you to go back to what you used to do just because they are more familiar with it. If you say these kids are worse than before they are trying to get back to what is familiar. They have to start taking responsibility for their decisions.
Class member: I had a good Mom fail this week. My in-laws were here and hadn’t checked the bathroom after my son cleaned the bathroom and they were all here. I said we are going to clean everything. We were cleaning around the sink. My 6 yr old put the toothbrush in his mouth. I yelled “Why would you do that!” There was no level zero at all. I apologized later and said it grossed me out.
Children are very resilient. They are not ruined. If you continue to try to move forward they will get through it. Do you see what she said and the reaction? “Why would you do that?” That question throws them into defense and embarrassment. That very seldom works. That just puts them on the defensive. Figure out how you can ask questions before you are in the situation so they don’t feel like you are attacking them. It’s hard for them to get the courage to change when they feel attacked. When we seek to discipline in front of everyone else it makes them feel like the whole family knows and they are embarrassed. You don’t call someone’s fault to the attention of the whole group if you can avoid it. You won’t get teaching done at that moment.
Class member: My whole week was negative. What I regret not doing you said, write these down on the 3x5 card. I kept thinking when I was lecturing or yelling I thought I should put them on the 3x5 card.
I made that suggestion because that’s what I needed to do to remember.
Class member: There were times I tried to come up with a logical consequence I had him say, “No big deal!” What do I do now?
Sometimes their attitude about “I don’t care.” That is sometimes their defense. You need to know their hot buttons. They don’t want to show that they care because they want to get you. When a child does that then you want to add more so that they will ‘care’. What comes naturally to us is that we want to get even. We have this misconception that they should feel remorse and then it is working. We make them feel worse so they will be better, but we have taken away their courage to change their behavior.
Revenge with our kids and power struggles will come back to bite you. You stay at zero. Don’t react too much to that. Just bite your tongue. We are sometimes more afraid of the evaluation of the child or our peers that we give in.
Class member: I have a child that says we never discipline anyone, but him. How do we teach him that we do discipline other children?
It’s none of his business. You are not accountable to him. Don’t feel guilty about that or feel like you have to tell him you are disciplining someone else. Very often in a family you have children that a cyclic. It feels like you are always disciplining them. In that situation don’t tell them when you are doing anyone else. He needs to have things going on in your discipline that he loses privileges, but he also knows what he can do to gain privileges. You need to do things to build him. Different children have different needs at different times. He probably needs his emotional bank account filled a bit. He needs to do something fun and have a fun day with his Dad. Have a fun day, not an expensive day with him.
What did you discover about yourself this week?
Class member: I’m always pretty terrible at discipline. I called the boys to come up and set the table for dinner. I called them 5x. My husband comes home and gets the boys up there. My son wanted to have water and I told him that was his job to get it. This morning 10 minutes before I needed them to get upstairs I went down and told them what they did. I said in 10 minutes it’s breakfast time. I told them what they were eating for breakfast and my oldest wanted to help me with breakfast.
Class member: I realized how much I avoid situations.
It’s so interesting when there is no guilt and no blame for you to realize what you do. Not yelling quietly is nagging.
Class member: I had an interesting experience. My little girl (4yr old) is very strong willed and she has been sort of easy to freak out. On Sunday I decided I would spend 30 minutes in the morning overwhelmingly showing her love. There is a sanity level if we don’t say this is the line for us to stay calm. Showing her that excessive love in the morning she was so much more willing to listen. I think that’s where it should start.
That’s filling the emotional bank account. If their account is full, little people don’t misbehave as much.
2,4,6,8 are hard years. 11,13,15,17 are hard years. It just seems like every other year they are pushing against the line, but they are pushing to see if it’s the same.
Class member: It’s painful to watch your children pick up your habits. She was nagging her sister to be ready to leave and go to school. I taught her that day to say I am leaving at a specific time and then just leave.
Class member: It takes my kids so long to do their jobs. So this past Saturday instead of ‘machine gun’ parenting I went upstairs and wrote down what they needed to do and their time to do jobs finished in less time.
Class member: I realized that I go from 0 to 100 in a second.
Class member: I have a 3 yr old that is very difficult. He bothers his older brothers. I have been thinking that I need to show him more love. One time I went downstairs and told them that we just needed to show him a little bit of love. I tried and then got mad and threw him in his room.
Class member: My husband helped me recognize how critical I am of my parenting in public. How I’m constantly judging myself thinking that others were judging me.
Bottom line is it doesn’t matter what anyone else things. If they think you are awful so what. If they think you are great so what. If you get what I am trying to teach you most of your peers won’t like you. You are winning if they don’t approve. Today’s society, what is looked at as good parenting, is teaching just do what it takes to feel good. Parents buy that. Why do you think 4th graders have cell phones and 3yr olds are on Ipads all the time. We are raising entitled disrespectful children. Looking good in the sight of their peers because of a ‘level’ in a game is happening much younger. They are more worried about being approved of by peers.
I had parents come to me and say you are so mean. You are so strict. You have good kids. Why don’t you let them do this…
Spirituality is overcoming the natural man which is self control. If we want to raise our children to be spiritual we teach them self control. Life is for doing hard work and doing hard things.
We want our children to look at our home as fun. If their friend group was hanging out they would ask what we were doing at home and wanted to stay at home.
Triangles…discipline early on and don’t discipline beyond the balm you have to heal.
We tend to let our children get away with a lot of things when they are little. There is nothing wrong with that except that we don’t teach. When you have a 1 yr old that is cute and she goes to see the home teachers and climb on their lap. At the age of 4 when she is doing the same thing and that’s not appropriate. We try to pull in the reigns. They will revolt. We need to do the other one. We need to start out extremely structured and as we teach them and train them their privileges open up.
That is how it is in the Lord’s kingdom. He gives you 8 years to learn and train and then you are given privileges.
I am the parent and you are the child. You do not get parental privileges. Parenting is collapsing because we are trying to make them our peers. We create children who look to their peers for guidance and that is not how it should be.
The purpose in everything we are going to talk about today is to teach your children what you want them to do and not hammer on what you don’t want you to do.
Example: Stop jumping on the bed. Instead say…You can go outside to jump on the trampoline or you can jump on the floor.
Example: Don’t slam the door. Instead say…Shut the door softly.
Most mothers say…”Stop hitting. Stop jumping on the bed. Stop yelling.” Watch how you talk to your children.
You have got to parent with intent!!! You have to have focus in your parenting and parent with righteous intent!
Class member: To train them up so they can be prepared for life and they can have self discipline and make good choices in the face of temptations.
If you don’t have a vision of what the intent is it doesn’t matter which road you take if you don’t have the intent.
Class member: They are your investigators. You need to help them become converted which means being filled with our Savior’s love. If they feel that love they will do what they are supposed to do for the right reason.
I like lists. As I talk about righteous intent here are 3 things.
If you adopt this as your picture to parent with real & righteous intent when you discipline your children and they throw a fit you can say ‘it’s ok’ because your intent is to move beyond the moment. You don’t have to question that you are a good mother or a bad mother. We have to do it in love and kindness. In this day and age it is so important to parent with real intent and it can be a joyful journey it doesn’t have to be a burden. The best part of life is having your kids at home. Find joy in this journey!
HOMEWORK: I want you to try at least 2 different methods you are not used to.
Most of you are stuck in one mode of discipline or maybe two. There are 14 on your list. It will be uncomfortable for you and you will think it won’t work well. You have to practice it for a bit to become good. Take a 3x5 card and put them up inside the cupboard door so in the moment you can say I will try one of these. Anytime you do something different your children will get worse before they get better. Anytime you change what you are doing that you have a FHE on these before you do them. Make them part of it so they are anticipating this change.
Reds will push you into a fight. You have to withdraw and let them cool down before you can teach.
When do you impose punishment…when a child misbehaves. We think that a child has feel worse before they can be better. That’s not true for discipline. Discipline is to correct wrong behavior and to teach correct behavior.
This prevents misbehavior. This can be applied before they misbehave.
Rules: You can’t go in with a preselected answer. If you have predecided don’t give them a choice.
There are times you can give children choices.
I want to teach my children that they need to dress appropriately. When they are young you can say, “You can wear this outfit or this outfit”. As they get older you can talk about what kinds of things you can wear together. You have to teach and train them first and then you can say, “Pick an appropriate outfit”.
If they are cleaning you can say “Do you want to do the bathroom or the family room?” As they get older you can tell them that they can write down the 3 jobs that you did.
Don’t feel helpless. You are in charge. You are the parent.
“You can put your phone face down on the table or you can dock it?” No! “No, wasn’t an option. You can put your phone face down on the table or dock it. If you don’t want to choose one of those I will choose for you.”
This is fabulous for reds.
This only works if you have a child that has a hot button. The hot button can be a privileged activity. They could have friend time or play time. This is a way to earn digital time. Good parents realize that digital time is not a right it is a privilege and it is earned. Be very careful about given children even teenagers phones. Even playing educational games is not a right it is a privilege that is a consequence of good behavior. A hot button is something that they really want. For some it’s being able to go ride their bike, play on the computer, go to a friends house.
Gating is like a garden gate that swings both ways. You do what I need you to do and you earn that hot button.
I can say “If you get all your jobs done you can go outside and play.”
Class member: Anytime the kids want to do something she says….”Yes, when…”
This is really good for teenagers.
Rules: If they don’t do their part you don’t give in, but you are on their side. You can feel bad for them that they don’t get to go to the game on Friday night because they didn’t get their room cleaned up. You can feel bad for them. You don’t go back and say…”if you…” (the lecture). Just let the gate be closed. If you are blue you talk too much.
Anything you practice you become better at. This was my favorite tool when my husband was bishop and I had 9 kids under the age of 9. I wasn’t willing to go out very often. I gave up food…no Cheerios. No paper and pencils after the age of 8. Pencil & paper before age 8, but only after the sacrament.
Example: “On the way home after church I said let’s go meet in the family room for a quick meeting. I was really excited. I told them the principle. I told them that we need practice on how to sit in sacrament meeting. Fold your arms, don’t talk, don’t touch your neighbor. Let’s see if we can do it for 10 seconds. The boys are pulling faces. I said, “Ok. Let’s try it again.” They got the idea. Next week let’s see if we can do better. On the way to church I said do you remember we had to practice after church. We went in and sat down. They started up. I leaned out and whispered, “Do you want to practice?” They got it.
Practicing cleaning the toilet, doing the dishes, vacuuming the floor. It isn’t that I’m going to punish you we are just going to do it again.
Class member: That was really effective for my 8 year old son. He is pretty active. We went home and I took him into my room and we had to talk. I told him that I need to teach you my lesson because you had a really hard time. We need to practice how to sit in a lesson. We did the whole thing just like you would do the lesson. He really felt the spirit towards the end of the lesson.
You have to do it at level zero or it is punishment.
You have to teach them what you want them to do and then let them practice it.
Class member: My Mom used this tool when I came home late from a friends. She gave me a watch and sent me outside to come back in 5 minutes.
You need them to practice the full picture. If they don’t put their backpack away when they come in the room. Mom stays in the room. You tell them that they need to put their backpack on and go to the end of the driveway. They have to practice the whole thing. They have to go out, come in and go straight to their room to put it away.
Class member: “Perfect Practice Make Permanent”
Class member: I have a teenager that only communicates with me negative and tells me how it is. What she says to me is not respectful. I say to her, “I will go out and come back in and you can speak respectfully to me.”
There is no one right way. You can do something else. The best form of discipline is humor. It has to be funny to both of you. Don’t stop, because you may not allow your children to speak disrespectfully to you. You can’t do it by yelling at them.
4. Family Meetings/Family Councils
These can be mother/child meetings, full family, couples…etc. This is more as a full family meeting. These are things that are causing grief or planning purposes. I don’t think they should be help in conjunction with FHE. It’s too long. These are planning meetings.
Example: You have children that are sharing a room. You have them write it on the agenda for the family meeting. About ½ of the items you suggest they put on the agenda won’t even make it there. They don’t want to talk about it.
This is solution oriented only. Who has ideas? It’s not parents dictating punishment. It’s family deciding solution. This is when you come together to solve a problem. This is when you assign jobs like a ward counsel. You give them assignments so they feel responsible in helping the family move forward. The more you can let them do young the better. This is training them to be in leadership. You are in charge of deciding who we will take dinner to and who we will invite in. You will lead the discussion in charge of seeing that it happens. You are still the president. Your children are counselors. They are becoming more proficient. They feel valuable.
Class member: Do you have certain ground rules? We said no negativity, but we have a child that always breaks that.
You can teach them what a family meeting is. Ask, “What kind of rules do you think we should have in the meeting?” You write them down and bring the poster out. We agreed to them together. You incorporate them into deciding what it looks like. They help establish the consequences if they don’t follow it.
5. Make ups
This is the principle of humility. Usually when our children misbehave we tell them to say, “I’m sorry”. This is not just about what I want, but me caring about you. I have the responsibility to do something to make that right. When this is done sincerely. It causes forgiveness. It changes relationships.
Example: You spend all day making a special dinner and your neighbor is going to watch your children from 6-7:30pm. You are waiting for him to come home. He doesn’t come home over and over. At 6:30pm he’s not home. At 6:45 he walks in the door. I got stopped in a traffic jam, my phone was dead, the boss kept me after. You say, “Fine. You couldn’t do anything about it.” You accept it and understand it, but women particularly can feel it. You are a little intense because you are defensive. It wasn’t my fault I was trying to get home. You are defending that you are innocent and she is feeling discouraged. Now a make up….same thing happens. You stop at the store and bring her a single rose. You say, I’m so sorry I really really tried. I wanted to be here and I love you. It diffuses the negative emotion and creates closeness.
Take it to a child…I’ll do your part of the dishes tonight. Little people can draw a picture. At 15 if they write a sweet apology that is ok. Our words are good, but our actions are better. It creates more meaning.
Do they have to do something every single time or corrected every single time? No. Sometimes they just have to do it.
6. Non-verbal communication
Blues talk too much. We didn’t have TV on the weekdays. I had one child that would always push me on it. One day I just took a sheet and put it over the TV and put a smiley face on it and taped it on the sheet. I didn’t say anything and they didn’t say anything.
“Disaster area…this area has been condemned” for a messy room.
A love note on a pillow.
Put a note on the mirror with a dry erase marker. Some people that is their love language. You can do it for discipline or positives.
President Eyring “Called of God”
“My brother and I were in front of the TV one Saturday night around midnight,” says Henry J. “A tawdry comedy show that we shouldn’t have been watching was on. The basement room was dark except for the light from the television. Without warning, Mother walked in. She was wearing a white, flowing nightgown and carrying a pair of shears. Making no sound, she reached behind the set, grabbed the cord, and gathered it into a loop. She then inserted the shears and cut the cord with a single stroke. Sparks flew and the set went dead, but not before Mother had turned and glided out of the room.”
Unnerved, Henry J. headed to bed. His innovative brother, however, cut a cord from a broken vacuum and connected it to the television. Soon the boys had plopped back down in front of the television, hardly missing any of their show.
“Mother, however, got the last laugh,” Henry J. says. “When we came home from school the next Monday, we found the television set in the middle of the floor with a huge crack through the thick glass screen. We immediately suspected Mother. When confronted, she responded with a perfectly straight face: ‘I was dusting under the TV, and it slipped.’ ”
Non-verbal can be things like “thumbs up”, a smile, a pat. It doesn’t have to be something big.
7. Putting Children in the Same Boat
As parents we feel like we need to know who the good guy is and who the bad guys is. Usually we try to rescue one and punish the other. If you are fighting I’m not going to find out who caused it. You can both have the punishment.
Example: You can put them on either side of the glass door to clean it. They start pulling faces.
Example: Send them out to shoot baskets. They both have to make 5 baskets before they can come in.
Example: Go into the bedroom and figure it out. This is not a good one.
If you have one that has a dominant personality he will take charge and bowl over the other one. Be careful how you use this.
Example: Sent them to dig dandelions for the afternoon, not allowed in the house, could only have a drink out of the hose.
Don’t acknowledge the “It’s not fair”. Use the magic word. “Nevertheless…”
8. Natural Consequences
This is hard for mother’s to follow through with because it involves a child having to suffer to learn the lesson. This is what would ever naturally follow if no one intervenes. It’s really sad when mother’s run to the school and get mad when the teacher imposes consequences.
Example: He forgot his lunch. He will be hungry.
Schools don’t believe in natural consequences. Sometimes those things are difficult.
Example: If a child stays up too late at night they still get up at the same time in the morning. I’m not going to rescue you so you won’t be tired.
When a child is in the midst of the consequence you may have compassion or empathy. You should have understanding. You don’t say, “If you had gone to bed you wouldn’t have been tired”. It only retains value in a positive way if you can allow the consequence, but be on their side. Some of the lessons though hard to learn are better to learn early on.
What if Heavenly Father had rescued his son Jesus Christ on the cross what would have happened at that point.
It’s not what we do, but how we do it. If in love we can convey what we are saying it’s good.
9. Logical Consequences
This is where you impose a consequence. There are rules that have to be followed. We often use this one. Be careful how you use it. 1. You have to be careful that it doesn’t deteriorate into punishment. If you are enforcing it with anger it’s punishment. 2. It has to be respectful. 3. It has to relate.
Example: If you misuse your phone you lose the phone. (correct)
Example: If you don’t feed the dog you lose watching TV for 2 weeks (not right)
I would recommend a book to you. Jane Nelson “Positive Discipline A to Z”
Consequences should focus on the future not the past. Discuss what you are going to do about a future thing. You don’t rehash all the things they did wrong.
Be careful of ‘why’ questions. Don’t say, “Why did you do that?” “Why are you so angry?” Those are very judgmental. They can’t answer those questions and maintain their self respect.
Acting responsibly will give you additional opportunities or give you additional consequences.
Example: I came straight home from school tonight. You may take the car another day.
Example: I took friends home and stopped at the store before I came home. You lose the opportunity to take the car.
Kids are ok in helping them select the solutions. Establish consequences up front. You will win the cooperation of your children more. It’s not secure to them it’s a threat if you say, “You will just have to find out.”
Example: I have a son who was valedictorian, straight A student, seminary president, good kid. The seminary counsel was going to go to Salt Lake for general conference. I said yes you can go. He left and later that day I went to the grocery store. I ran into some of the kids on the student counsel. They said it was cancelled we didn’t go. I was going to later so it was arranged that I would pick him up and drive him home. We drove home. My white son talked for 7 hours. He told me about all the sessions of conference. Obviously he had gone. I didn’t tell him I knew yet I just let him chat. It was late. He came in and said Mom I need to talk to you. We went for a walk. He just started to sob. Not like him. He said I know you are going to find out. I didn’t go with the counsel. The other 3 just played, but I went to every session of conference. I said I appreciate you telling me. I feel bad because you have really rocked my trust in you and something will have to happen. You think about it and we will talk tomorrow night. We all sat down to talk. He was careful to tell us that the other 3 told their parents. They got the lecture of not doing it again. He said I think I should be grounded for 2 weeks. I said ok. That was the agreement. About 3 or 4 days later he come back and said Mom I just realized that out Senior Prom is the 2nd weekend. He got off being grounded that Monday after prom. He said if I give you another week of being grounded will you give me that night. I said No I won’t. I went in the other room and bawled and wondered if I had done what was right. The next day the seminary teacher called and said I know that he isn’t going to prom would it be ok if he took this girl that just moved it. I said no. He didn’t go to prom. He graduated. When I got in the car to leave after dropping him off at college he said thank you for not letting me go to prom. Now I know I can always trust you.
I have yellow son that has no hot buttons. He is a slob. I told him he needed to clean up his room. I said you need to clean it up before you go to the game on Friday. His friends are in the driveway and I said no you can’t go. He didn’t go and didn’t clean up his room. Monday it wasn’t cleaned up. I went in Monday and cleaned up his room. I put all the stuff I found on the floor in black garbage sacks and hid them. He came home and he looked at it and said “thanks”. That weekend he had a date. He said do you know where my brown pants are. I said you can buy a sack for $20. You can’t look in them just buy a sack for $20. He dumped it out on the floor. He said Mom my pants are in that one. Can I trade you? You can buy one for $20. That’s the fee for maid service. Before the end of the weekend the room needs to be cleaned up. It wasn’t done. At the end of the week…next Monday I put everything back in the sack. I didn’t take his suit, or good jeans, or good shoes…and took everything else to DI. He went to DI and bought back some of his stuff.
You have to take control. You can’t allow them to be in charge. If you have built a relationship of respect they will give you flack, but most of them will not get defiant. If they get in your face you have different kinds of problems. You may have to sit down and have contractual agreements. Things get a little bit tighter. You being responsible gives you the opportunity to go or consequences for doing it. They get to set some of those to some degree.
I would never buy my kids a car. We had a kids car. The other thing is a cell phone.
Class member: Is there a point where even if you are at level zero it’s too mean. I would be like ‘I am going to just get rid of your bed.’
Love and Logic has pretty harsh consequences. I don’t believe in harshness. That is revenge to me. If I was to ere I would ere to firmness not permissiveness. With that being said you have to show lots of love. You have to have joy.
I told you a harsh thing we did, but we flew our boys into the back country and backpacked.
Family Fun Magazine…”Sibling Peace Talks”---The conversation started to heat up. Who had more fun with their friends. They were trying to one up each other. My husband said, “Kids…heads or tails”. They chose opposite sides. Everyone into the kitchen. I have a secret to share. I set the timer for 5 minutes. It’s our way of learning to listen. She would have 5 minutes uninterrupted to tell what was bothering her. Mom and Dad were still standing there. Then they would continue taking turns until the conversation was underway. They come to a census at the end of how each other feels. This is better than sending them into a room by themselves. They can feel safe in expressing their feelings.
Class member comment in a letter years ago: It can be overwhelming in teaching and training my children. To me there is a common thread. Those times that things went smoothly coincided with when I took care of me. I got enough sleep and was able to take care of myself…reading my scriptures, getting a nap. We can’t neglect ourselves until we have nothing left. Take care of the vessel.
Those of you who haven’t taken this class will hate me today after this class. If you don’t then I will feel like I haven’t taught you enough. Today we will present all the problems, but won’t resolve anything. I won’t give you any solutions.
HOMEWORK: Study…Read with a piece of paper and pencil, as you read it write a to-do list. I want you to learn to read Conference talks. Then pick those things the Spirit will prompt you that you need to work on in your family. “Come Follow Me By Practicing Love and Service” Elder Robert D. Hales
HOMEWORK: Read and Study….“The Truth of Consequences” by Carol McAdoo Rehme April 2000 Ensign
HOMEWORK: Without feeling guilty or feeling discouraged, become aware of 3 things. How do you feel when they misbehave? Do you get frustrated, defeated, helpless, angry. What do you do when they misbehave? Do you lecture, yell, give time outs, withdraw from them, pounce on them. Does it work?
Children’s Bill of Rights
In order for a child to succeed in the world they have to have a good relationship with parents. The parent had to become an authority (a bonded relationship of respect). How is that bonded relationship formed? In our society, parents things that relationship if formed by giving in to our kids. You don’t ask questions that gives them all the power.
Example: Would you like eggs or Cheerios for breakfast? Not What would you like for breakfast?
Example: It’s time for bed. Would you like to go to bed? No ok you can stay up a little longer. (incorrect)
We abdicate power to our children. Everyone in your class has a cell phone and you are in 6th grade let’s get you a cell phone. In my day, schools taught basic values of respect. You respected an adult. You use please and thank you. Schools have now stopped teaching any values, but are focusing on academics instead of social behavior. Our children are not getting smarter.
In 2000 the ability to start a business and make it productive the United States was #1. In 2011 the United States had dropped to the bottom. The question is Why is that happening? His answer is Parenting. Parents have quit parenting. We are simply reacting to our children.
What do you think is the most important factor to focus on to make an 11 yr old turn out to be successful at 31…IQ, GPA, ability to accept new ideas, friendliness, and self control. The key is “Self Control”.
This is the same thing as the “Marshmallow Test” by President Uchtdorf.
We just have gone to drugging our kids instead of parenting. How do we make parenting intentional and relevant? How do we produce successful helpful children?
Class member: I see so often parents having kids in front of screens so they can do various things. Those moments are teaching moments not to be controlled by screens. I think technology and screens are too convenient in not teaching them something.
Are we teaching reverence or entertainment when we use electronics in church?
We want it to look like they are well behaved children. We need to teach it of them and requiring them to do it.
Choices have consequences. We are rescuing them from consequences and they don’t learn responsibility and self control. We want peace and we want them to be our friend.
We have developed a disrespectful society of youth. Children grow up to the age of 2 and parents are very careful with them. At that point parents back off and start just giving them electronics. As the parent backs off instead of the parent bonding to the parent they begin to bond to each other and devices.
Example: One girl whose self image was that she was bright. That was her self esteem. Then she got into a Physics AP class and got a “C”. Suddenly she was destroyed. Her image was bonded to being smarter than anyone else. She went into a depression. The cycle begins.
We have to stay bonded so we can help them create the self esteem and the image that “they” are of value and they ‘do’ things. You have to build this relationship and it doesn’t come from being permissive. You help them understand that they can fail and get back up and try again or try something else. You individually are good…even if you fail.
We teach that concept by how we discipline our kids.
Example: I love you. Why can’t you get your room clean and keep it clean? Kids feel like your love is conditional on their room being cleaned.
You have to turn off some of the electronics. Your children have to have experiences that they bond to you.
In a note give 10 yrs or more ago….My 14 yr old boy loves to boss or antagonize the 7 yr old boy. They argue all the time. I yell at them to shut up!
Is my yelling really going to motivate them to change?
Do our children learn responsibility if they get a trophy for just appearing. They begin to feel like they should never have to work hard or put anything out that is difficult. If it gets tough they quit.
We have to look at what is the purpose of discipline. What comes to your mind?
Discipline means….Training, teaching, changing, learning. We are teaching them to be disciples of the Savior.
When you discipline are you thinking “I want to teach them correct principles?” OR are you thinking “I want them to stop that behavior right now?” I can do the same thing and it could mean both.
Example: If you send them for a time out…is your attitude “You will not do that. You will change. I can’t stand you right now.” OR you can say, “I need you to go to your room to calm down so we can talk.” That’s the opportunity to talk.
It’s not ‘what’ you do, but ‘how’ you do it!
Most of our disciplining is punishment.
Punishment you do as a response to their behavior. Discipline starts way before the wrong act. Discipline is an ongoing process. You are teaching them to be ‘self’-disciplined or have ‘self-control’. Punishment—in the moment, focuses on the child, reactive, making the child bad or wrong for doing something. Discipline—focuses on separating the child and the act. The child is good and can make other choices. You help them understand that.
Discipline is done at level zero when you aren’t angry or mad. Punishment is when you have already reached anger.
When we punish we talk too much. We think if we tell them what they did wrong and why they would be happier if they didn’t. When we go on and on they aren’t listening to any of it. If you are disciplining you talk very little. You get them to talk and have them decide what they did wrong, and problem solve how to change it and make it better.
The goal is to learn how to discipline not punish. We want to change behavior in a positive way.
Discipline---firm and kind. As we do that our children may kick and scream, but they learn to respect us and they learn to begin to have self control.
We still parent. We need to get them to talk to us, but they shouldn’t have the power to make all the decisions in their life. We need to be more firm helping them in kind ways to do new things.
“Reproving betimes with sharpness when moved upon by the Holy Ghost then showing forth afterwards an increase in love”
“Behold the Enemy Is Combined” Neal A Maxwell
Betimes—early on in time and in
Sharpness—exactness/clarity, but stay on course
“If you are ever called upon to chasten a person, never chasten beyond the balm you have within you to bind up.” Brigham Young
“If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got.”
Class member: We would go to church functions and I would come home and be so angry in their behavior. In the car I turn off the radio and then I say…”We are going to a wedding reception what is our behavior is like.” Before we get there we are talking about their behavior. They were only reacting because they haven’t been taught.
We assume they know and are mad at them, but have never taught them.
Class member: I have been listening to “Mother’s Who Know”. She was talking about a ‘prayer fight’ at home. It helped me to realize that sometimes it’s just Satan working on them and we just need to pray for them. Not always do we need to have that lecture.
Class member: We set boundaries in our house. We don’t yell. We don’t call people names. We don’t intentionally hurt someone. Is that punishment? You negotiate up front. They know.
We all lived in heaven. The Lord created the Garden of Eden. The first thing he did was walk with them and talked with them and taught them (age 1-8yrs). He gave them consequences. You are parenting the Lord’s way. When Adam and Eve partook of the fruit Heavenly Father came down and followed through with the consequences. He asked a rhetorical question, but you did this and this is the consequence and you have to leave. He said this is what you can do to repent and fix it. I will be walking by you, but you won’t see me.
We teach upfront. We withdraw and allow them to make choices. We get made when they make a mistake. They are going to blow it. We do to. Next week I will give you at least 15 tools. You are going to use that Tool in love.
Example: Children are in the family room watching TV…you want them to help you get ready to eat. You say, “Dad’s coming home, let’s turn off the TV and get the table set.” You are at Level “O”. We think if we do it with a little more volume and emotion. Now we do it louder. Another 10 minutes pass. Where is your emotional level? “You kids get down here. I’m tired of telling you to get down here. When I tell you the first time you get down here.” You go upstairs yelling and turn off the TV. The next day you call your Mom you say, “I don’t know what the problem is. They don’t do anything unless I yell at them. They just won’t obey if I yell.” It’s the children’s problem. Children are taught…we have taught our children to be disobedient. They know through conditioning that when your voice is soft you aren’t going to do anything. They still have 15 more minutes of the TV to watch. When you are yelling and stomping up the stairs they are on their way down.
You think what is causing them to move is you yelling, when in reality what is causing them to move is your action. You aren’t ready to do anything until the 3rd time through. Your children respond to your actions. If you move the action line down to “O” then you are teaching them to obey with exactness.
When the action line is out too far we are teaching our children to be disobedience.
When we ask our children something it has to be with respect. Give your children a chance to disengage.
Example: In 10 minutes I need you to come help me with dinner. You aren’t mad. You have given them 10 minutes. You gave them that. They are still watching TV. At the end of the 10 minutes instead of talking again, instead I will stand in front of the TV and say Let’s go...you do this and you do this. They will grumble, but they won’t be revolting. You are at Level Zero. You can tell them how to do it in a happy voice. You “ACT” while you are at Level Zero.
This is one of the keys to getting your children with good behavior.
Build A Positive Relationship With Your Children When Things Are Good.
All of us have an emotional bank account. This is your emotional level. It’s like a money account. You are emotionally deficient or you are in the positive and you have emotional power. You can handle things. This is not ‘Pollyanna’. Our children have emotional bank accounts too. A misbehaving child is a discouraged child. A child that is not discouraged does not misbehave. One of their basic needs is not being met. (Those 4 needs in self esteem last week). If you wonder, you look at how you act when you are having a really bad day and you have no emotional energy to handle anything. We learn to overcome that and deal with that. As we get older we can do that, but it has to be in the learning curve.
An Emotional Bank Account is 15 (positive) to 1 (negative). This is any touch or anything that is positive in life…smile, note, words, etc.
Class member: They have a love languages on children.
What is a deposit for one child is not a deposit for another child.
Class member: Because I adopted and went through the system. There are tons of books about this exact thing. I’ve had to mess kids with traumatic pasts with my 2 own kids. “The Post Institute” book.
Filter anything you read through the gospel for truth.
Anytime you make a comment with the work “BUT” in it, it negates the comment.
Example: I like your room, BUT you should have cleaned your dresser better. They don’t hear anything after the BUT. You can say….”I like how you cleaned your room. Is there anything else you can think of to do.”
Keep Your Word
If you tell them something you better do it.
Example: If your room is not clean by Friday and 9pm you cannot go to the basketball game. On Friday his friends are out there waiting. You cannot say, “Ok you can clean it after you get back.”
Be careful what you say to them.
Example: If you get into those cookies one more time I will cut your hand off. You really won’t, but they need to trust you.
You cannot withdraw your love from them. They need to know that you always love them, but may not love the behavior.
Continually strive be consistent
Improvement rather than perfection is the best way to change. Change percentages.
You have to be at Level Zero. You have to keep the anger out of it. If you are afraid you tend to give in. They feel entitled. You give in and they don’t love you and don’t respect you.
As we give orders and directions there are no follow throughs. Be careful what you ask them to do. If you ask a child to do something, you need to follow through and make sure that they have done it properly.
Levels of Discouragement:
Little people misbehave because they are discouraged. Teens misbehave because they want power, you aren’t going to tell me what to do.
Level 1: Undo Attention—This happens very often. They do this because there is a payoff. They get what they want. We train them to this. This is when a child feels like their value is when they demand attention and they get it.
Example: When you have a first child and all you want to do it hold them and look at them. You finally put the baby down and he grunts and you run pick him up. As they get older, but you have other things to do you think “Why won’t you sleep?” What have you taught that child? If I make a noise you will come and get me. This is just something that is inappropriate for the social setting. You have to remember they are discouraged and they are only important when you are talking on to me.
Example: Sometimes you have one child that does all the talking. If they can’t allow respect for other people it is inappropriate behavior. The child’s goal—they have to have your constant attention or you don’t love them. They feel competition with others that have your attention. Your feeling as a parent—you are annoyed and you tend to coax them. When we do that the behavior temporarily stops.
Example: an 18mo old is sitting in the high chair. They are banging and you say, “don’t bang on the tray” they grin from ear to ear. You turn back around and the banging starts again. That is undo attention. The way to teach a child is to ignore the incorrect behavior. You have to control you. Never give attention on demand, that reinforces the fact that it works. After that moment you give lots of positive attention when they are not misbehaving. You are trying to help them understand that they are important and don’t need to misbehave.
Level 2: Power Struggle—The child only feels important if they get their way. Your feeling—you are mad. Instead of being irritated you feel angry…I am the mother and you will do it. In this if you correct the child the misbehavior intensifies. It gets harder and harder. The more we engage in them the better they get and the worse they get. Most important is you need to withdraw from the conflict. This is painful for blue mothers. You feel like you need to lecture them until they understand what’s right. A child isn’t into learning at that moment. They are not listening. For you to try to teach it won’t work. They will only get more angry. You need to withdraw from the struggle and be very firm about what you will do. Their power comes when you engage with them. Late on in the evening…you have to discuss what they did and teach. With a ‘red’ you use questions…”How do you think that made me feel? Consequence…you need to fix dinner tomorrow night.”
Class member: I heard “I love you too much to argue.”
Remember if you take the wind out of their sails they can’t fight. You get them to rant until they run out of air until they have nothing else to say. You are not arguing back. You aren’t contradicting anything they say. You keep them talking. Then you say…”Nevertheless….” Don’t argue back. Let them say everything they want to say and then say, “Nevertheless…” You ruin the relationship if you argue and try to make them understand. Their goal is to get their own way. Afterwards you always follow up with the training part of discipline. Go back and discuss what it is. In that moment there is not a child in the world that cares what you have to say. They aren’t listening.
Class member: Is it ok to disfuse them with a little humor?
Yes! If they can do it with humor and it works for that child.
Class member: My favorite line is “You asked me and I answered.”
That is a way to withdraw from the conflict. Power struggles are hard because we want the power and it makes us angry.
Matthew Holland, “Muddy Feet and White Shirts”
How we discipline sometimes teaches more than we would learn in FHE. This doesn’t mean he didn’t have a consequence. Mother’s reaction was in love. They will feel it. They will internalize it over time, not in the moment.
We will continue this lesson next week when we talk about tools. I want you to understand the vision of the importance of how we discipline. The Lord ALWAYS disciplines us in love even though our trials may be difficult. That is our goal.
Notes from classes and other information will be posted here. Also you can order syllabus and CDs from the store or check out the "Traditions" that class members have shared. You can also ask a Parenting and/or Marriage Question.
I will be posting my class notes from Thursday Parenting Class within a few days after class.