Class member: I am a yeller. I tried and didn’t yell at all I just went and it worked. Moved the action line closer and it worked.
Class member: I did a better job with my older kids. The older kids helped the younger ones be obedient.
Class member: I realized that the disservice I’m doing to my 5 year old son by doing it for them. I’m trying to make them work more. They don’t like it.
Class member: I thought I just yelled and screamed all the time. My son said you don’t yell until you have to. You ignore until you are too mad and then you yell.
Class member: I had a really bad night this week. During the day I’m not quite as much of a yeller and I’m not a spanker anymore. 5 year old staying in bed at night is a problem. The Febreeze in the bottle doesn’t work for her. I’ve exhausted all my resources. This one night we heard her climb down and come in our room. I will tuck you back in bed and she immediately started screaming. She woke up everyone. She screamed for 30 minutes. I was at my wits end. I picked her up and went downstairs. She had to sit and not sleep. It went on for 20+ minutes. She calmed down and said I’m ready to go to my bed now. The next night she went to bed and stayed there. If you have some magic fairy dust let me know.
If you had done exactly this same thing only without the anger. It is better that you do it 4x in one night than every night for 6 months.
Class member: I’m sorry that you can’t manage yourself in the house you are waking up everyone else. You need to go in the Suburban and scream inside. Then she calms down and comes in and goes to bed.
Class member: I had a daughter that wouldn’t go to bed. Real quietly I took her downstairs in the garage until she can choose her bed. You can sleep in the garage or in your bed. The other kids haven’t done that yet. It does seem kind of hard core it really works.
“Love and Logic” is hard core consequences. This book has good ideas, but need to filter it through the gospel.
You cannot be angry when you do it or it becomes a punishment not a teaching tool.
Class member: I have totally changed from taking your class over the last 2-3 years. I am still somewhat of a reactive parent. I have a loud voice. I tell them I’m loud, but I’m not yelling. I have to do the smile while talking. It does help. My Mom thinks I am the meanest person ever. She says your kids can’t move a muscle. My kids are allowed to be kids, but they can’t do wrong things. I’ve had to look at what I’m doing to make sure that I am doing the right thing. I paid a lot of attention to what I did.
Last week you weren’t supposed to correct what you were doing. We ‘ere in parenting by having the lowest expectation. Your children will flow like water to the lowest level. Unfortunately because we want to be kind and our kids to like us we tend to be permissive. We give in and buy peace instead of training. We need to step up and train our children in righteousness. Discipline with a purpose!
Question: Is there something to just picking your battle?
Answer: Absolutely, but what is the principle? Teaching work and responsibility. It may be that I’m not willing to fight that battle before school in the morning. I’m not willing to do that. Does that mean that the bed never has to be made. The principle of hard work has to be there. There is not a child that voluntarily says give me more work it’s so much fun. Just because you love hard things, children don’t start out doing that. Teach them when they are young and it’s just what they do when they are bigger. Be sure you are teaching the principle, but yes you can pick your battle. There are those times. If you know the principle and you are focused on teaching the principle then you have it.
The more consistent you are the better your children respond.
Class member: I found that I was a drill sergeant. I have a son that just does all his things the first time. I feel like I’m constantly having to remind her and she is throwing a fit.
The answer is “no” She needs to come up to that same expectation. There are those that are obedient by nature. Most of them are blue or white. Blues want to do what’s right. White’s don’t want to cause trouble. You’re reds and yellows you need to work with. Your yellows are fun and in la-la land, an hour later they are still on their way. They are butterflies. They flit. If you want to deal with that child you take what you are (red parent)…I’m right and you need to get it done and you are capable. You get it done! Or you quit. Say I’m not fighting that fight. You have to start thinking about where they are. You parent them from them. As the adult you know better. You work (it’s a job/burden for you) to make work more fun for them. You do it happier. You give them less to do in a shot. Your yellows love it.
If you will do some things up front your discipline will be cut in 2/3rd less than you are now. One thing…keep their emotional bank account full. 10 to 1. 10 positives to 1 negative you will find that your children’s emotional bank account is up. The less combative they are and the more you can require of them. If you are just reacting and not putting in those deposits they will be very discouraged and disobedient. If you praise them instead of encourage them you feel like you are putting in positives and yet they are not receiving. It only counts if the deposit goes into the bank account. If it runs off even if you think you are putting it in.
Encouragement vs Praise (Here are the links to other class notes on Praise & Encouragement) …they are both positives. We think they are both positives. Praise is focused on superlatives and generalities and can’t be taken in.
Praise Example: You are the most beautiful women in this class. (She laughed) The truth is, I may think that. It’s my truth. Can she take it in? No. Why not? The first thing you think is she’s prettier than I am. It’s because you were raised with praise. This is the product of praise. You taught a RS lesson. They say that was the best lesson I’ve ever heard. You say thank you, but you think I should have put in this quote. You look at everything related and you demean the comment. Does it build you? Does it lift you? That’s praise. The giver thinks they have given a positive. They don’t feel it.
Encouragement is very specific, it focuses on effort. Praise focuses on win/lose. If you are giving praise at home they are pitting themselves against each other. If you are the best then I’m the worst. The value of the person comes from inside of them. They validate themselves.
Encouragement Example: With your brown eyes I love that tan jacket on you. Can you take that in? Yes. Her value comes from her internalizing it herself.
You want to get your children and yourselves to be validated on your own. When you give praise your children become addicted to it. They will come to you seeking praise. It is like a bucket with a hole in it.
I really appreciate it when you take your dishes over. (“I” message and very specific). Can everyone accept that and take it in individually? Yes. If you say You are the best little girl for taking your dishes to the sink.
Class member: I was always told I was perfect. As a teen when I made mistakes I wasn’t going to go to my parents when I did make a mistake.
When you grew up that way then got in your teen years how did you think your Heavenly Father thought about you? I thought I was disappointing them both. I try to be really specific with my kids.
Good grade…instead of saying you are so smart. You can say, you worked hard on that test.
Class member: There is a whole page of examples of what you are talking about. Page 6 of Praise vs. Encouragement
Class member: I have one son that is really difficult. I give him 20 minutes and he should get it done in 5 minutes. He only writes 3 words.
You have given him too much time. Do more up front. You are holding him accountable, but you aren’t showing him what accountability is. What do you think you need to do to get that done in 7 minutes? I feel like that is a possibility for you. Do you think you can? You come back in 7 minutes and say, “What can we do better?” You are taking the accountability from him. How can I help? We talk too much. They know what they need to do, but they also know that we are willing to accept the responsibility for it.
We need to teach them to problem solve. We think too much for our kids.
Question: What if you have other kids that rescue them?
Answer: When I come to Heavenly Father say I really spent a lot of money this month, I don’t have enough money for my tithing. Would you accept 8% this month? Does he stop loving you? No. He walks beside you and shows you how you fall short but he doesn’t do it for us. Say “I appreciate your desire to help, but this one is her responsibility.” “She’s going to be hungry and not have lunch.” “I know.”
Question: What do you do when a child says they are finished with a job and it really isn't done....or not done well.
Answer: You make a list and post on the back of the door. What needs to be done when you clean the bathroom. Then when she says I’m done. You say, Did you check everything off the chart? You go in there and it’s not done. I’m seeing a few things on the chart that you might have missed. Can you see anything? No I can’t see anything. You look around and then come tell me when you it’s done. If they haven’t come back in 2 minutes go looking for them.
To create a good atmosphere for discipline, always keep your word.
Example: If you say I’m going to cut off your arms if you don’t leave the computer alone. Don’t say that.
Example: If you turn on the TV after school I will ground you for 3 weeks. You better do it.
You watch what you say in the first place. Don’t say something that you aren’t willing to follow through on. Your children need to know that what you say is what you mean.
My children knew that curfew was sacred. 1 minute late I’m waiting up for them at the door. Cory called me in Utah one week to confess his sins about dating. Mom I got home really late last night. I was 30 minutes late. I checked in with Dad. Dad said that doesn’t matter. I knew it mattered. I just want you to know that I’m not going out for the rest of the weekend because I missed curfew.
Consistency teaches them that what you say is what you mean. Too often we give idle threats and don’t follow through, but we have taught them that they don’t have to be accountable. Watch what you say and then follow through on it.
That also goes with positive things you say, “If you do this we will play legos.” They start to not believe you. You be a person of your word. Heavenly Father does not tell you one thing and do something else.
For example: Yesterday your child gets up and is having breakfast. Wednesday was a good day. The child knocks over their milk. Honey that’s ok just clean it up. This morning you get up and 2 kids won’t get their work done and they are fighting, now someone spills their milk. How come you spilled your milk? Can’t you put your cup behind your bowl? Clean it up now!” You need to be consistent in value. What things do you just need to do again.
Question: What happens if you do get upset? Is it ok to say, “Forget what I said, let’s just clean it up.”
You will have children that will play that. We are not groveling. There are times that we do owe them an apology.
“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.’ ”
If you have tool that you have been using that doesn’t work use a different one. We become very fond of one or two things. They are the ones we always use.
If you are having a problem with discipline change the tool.
Example: Do you want to wear red or blue?
Example: Do you want cereal or toast?
Rules: You have to be ok with either choice.
If you don’t want them to wear the blue ones then don’t give them that choice.
Example: Would you like to stop crying and come play or keep crying and don’t play?
Example: Would you like to clean the bathroom or the living room first?
Cleaning isn't the choice, but which room they do first is a choice.
As the kids get older you can say, "When you get to come home from school and write down 5 appropriate jobs after school." They know what needs to be done and they can make that choice.
If they aren’t willing to take responsibility to make the choice then don’t give them choices and choose a different tool.
Choices can be used as early as 3 years old. Choices become good with teenagers.
They can even start to pick their choices. They will pick harder ones than you would. Don’t rescue them from that.
Their behavior will get worse before it gets better. If you have only been yelling and now you are going to try something different, their behavior will get worse before it gets better. Things are bad now I don’t want them horrid. You have conditioned them to that. They are going to try and push you to what they are comfortable with. It doesn’t mean they like it, but they are familiar with it. They feel really uncomfortable. You are different. They don’t know what your buttons are. If you notice their behavior getting worse…smile, chuckle, laugh and walk away. Don’t give up.
It’s a gate that goes both ways. Some of your white children have no buttons.
Gating is you do what I need and you get what you want.
Example: Your room needs to be clean by Friday night before the game you can go and take the car. I promise I’ll do it as soon as I get home from the game. You say No. Maybe next week. You always give them another chance.
Rule: You don’t nag or lecture. There has to be a hot button.
If you don’t produce what I need you don’t get what you want. No nagging, no reminding, no lecturing.
It teaches them that privileges are earned. They are not privileges.
Rules: Only use at level “0” otherwise it’s punishment
Example: Favorite tool with young kids in church. One Sunday they weren’t angels in Sacrament meeting. On the way home I said “Ok guys we are going to have a meeting in the family room before we eat.” We have just been to church. How should we behave? That’s right. We are going to practice. We only have to practice for 30 seconds. On your mark, get set, go! They can’t do it for 30 seconds. They can’t do it. Darn we didn’t do. Try 45 seconds because we aren’t getting it. Now they are getting a little bit unhappy, but they are starting to realize that I’m serious. They got up to about 20 seconds right. Once they get angry it will turn into a punishment. We’ll see if we can’t be a little bit better. If we can’t do it then we will need to practice. In the car on the way to church you remind them. What kinds of things do we do? Let’s see how well we can do it. I don’t take toys for my kids. By 3 years old there are no toys for my kids. After sacrament it starts up. I leaned out and mouthed the words, “Do you want to practice?” They straightened up.
Works for church behavior, toilet seats down, backpacks away, closing doors.
Example: Children come home every day and drop backpack by the door. Everyday they do the same thing. Today when they do it, say I think we need to practice. Put your backpack on, go all the way back to the bus stop and walk back in and practice putting it away immediately. They are getting the whole picture. 2 or 3 times they will put it away.
Sacrament meeting problems with only one child, everyone practices. After a few weeks if there is still a few problems pull the child aside and practice alone. They need to know what they can do. 3 year olds can go until after the sacrament without anything, afterwards maybe need a book, they might need to sit on your lap. They are still learning. They are learning self control. It’s a process. Be sure your expectation is in line with their capability.
You can still use it with teens, but you better use it with a lot of humor so it’s not a punishment and I’m not putting you down.
Tool #4--Family Meetings
Example: Johnny & Sammy share a room. One is clean. One is messy. It is disrupting the peace in our home.
If you have sat in a ward council meeting
Guidelines: Elder Ballard wrote a book read it as councils in the family.
My rule---not the same night as FHE
Rule—Need to be regularly. Have a prayer. Have an agenda. Presided over by Priesthood.
It’s a council to work on issues and to problem solve them. You are not there to blame an individual. You look at a problem and say how can we deal with this problem. Your goal is not to attack, criticize, find fault, with an individual. We are each willing to do a part. What can we do to help the problem. What can everyone do to solve that problem.
Younger children…if it is short have them in the same room coloring. They are learning how to problem solve. You are teaching them how to be married and how to be missionaries. They have to learn how to get along with that problem. We have to teach them how to handle hard things. That is life! We solve them by helping each other not blaming.
Question: Would it be appropriate as a mother to call the meeting if spouse isn’t there?
Every family and schedule is not the same. Go home and pray about them.
Do not EVER undermine your spouse!! That doesn’t mean there won’t be times when you won’t preside, but their priesthood responsibility is for them to preside. Make sure that your heart is in the right place to magnify their calling. They have no clue how to hold a family meeting. You may have to help them understand what you want. Use questions for them too. How can I help? Do you think that will work? It may take more than one suggestion to make that work.
As you use it then you can reach the point where you have the 10-11 yr olds fighting and tattling. That’s sounds like that’s really bothering you. I say, I think that’s something we need to take up at our family council. Why don’t you write that on the fridge” They sometimes say never mind and work it out on their own.
Class member: I love the idea of asking them before hand and find out if there is something that you want to address.
Most of your children will have to experience this before they understand it. Have a meeting to plan a family service project. Plan a vacation. If you are smart as you get this going you will call together and assign someone to be in charge of the next family. It’s not a court.
We need to have a family council once a month. (Church guidelines)
Class member: Dad would take that time to congratulate them on something they did well.
Each member of the family had a calling in the family and a specific responsibility.
Tool #5--Make Ups
Example: Child smacks someone and then hugs them and says I’m sorry. It carries no meaning except to appease mother.
This is important as adults for us to do. It says that I really mean what I’m saying.
Example: You are planning a big Valentine’s dinner for your spouse. You call him and he says I’ll be home by 5:30. You get someone to watch the kids. You spend all day to fix his favorite meal with candles. 5pm comes you get excited. 5:30pm comes he doesn’t walk in. 6pm you start getting ticked. His cell phone isn’t working. 6:30 comes he’s still not there. 6:45 comes and you are supposed to pick up the kids at 7:30. He comes walking in the door and says I am so sorry I got stuck at work. You say, “That’s ok. I have to go get the kids at 7:30pm.” Let me just tell you my boss came in and he was showing me these plans I couldn’t get out of there. There was an accident and traffic was stopped. There was nothing I could do. What if instead he came home he came in the door and he had his hand behind his back and said the same thing and pulls out 1 red rose. I just want you to know that I’m sorry and I love you. You felt within you the difference that would make. Now when he says he’s sorry he did something you know that he means it. It erases all the bad feelings.
You do the same thing with your children.
Example: I said I was sorry. Now I want you to do something for them to show that you really feel bad that you did that. Can you think of something kind you can do for them? No. Let’s come up with a couple of ideas. Maybe you could do the dishes for them or make their bed. Maybe you can read her a story. Maybe you can share something right now.
It needs to be right now and tangible! It helps them understand that.
Class member: We say, “That’s ok”. If a sibling hits you, you don’t say, that’s ok. Instead you say “Thank you for saying sorry.” So they don’t realize that it’s “ok”. It teaches kids that it’s not ok to be hit or called names.
President Hinckley Ensign October 1993 Bringing up a Child in the Way He Should Go”.
Not long after we were married, we built our first home. We had very little money. I did much of the work myself. It would be called “sweat equity” today. The landscaping was entirely my responsibility. The first of many trees that I planted was a thornless honey locust. Envisioning the day when its filtered shade would assist in cooling the house in the summertime, I put it in a place at the corner where the wind from the canyon to the east blew the hardest. I dug a hole, put in the bare root, put soil around it, poured on water, and largely forgot it. It was only a wisp of a tree, perhaps three-quarters of an inch in diameter. It was so supple that I could bend it with ease in any direction. I paid little attention to it as the years passed.
Then one winter day, when the tree was barren of leaves, I chanced to look out the window at it. I noticed that it was leaning to the west, misshapen and out of balance. I could scarcely believe it. I went out and braced myself against it as if to push it upright. But the trunk was now nearly a foot in diameter. My strength was as nothing against it. I took from my toolshed a block and tackle. Attaching one end to the tree and another to a well-set post, I pulled the rope. The pulleys moved a little, and the trunk of the tree trembled slightly. But that was all. It seemed to say, “You can’t straighten me. It’s too late. I’ve grown this way because of your neglect, and I will not bend.”
Finally in desperation I took my saw and cut off the great heavy branch on the west side. The saw left an ugly scar, more than eight inches across. I stepped back and surveyed what I had done. I had cut off the major part of the tree, leaving only one branch growing skyward.
More than half a century has passed since I planted that tree. My daughter and her family live there now. The other day I looked again at the tree. It is large. Its shape is better. It is a great asset to the home. But how serious was the trauma of its youth and how brutal the treatment I used to straighten it.
When it was first planted, a piece of string would have held it in place against the forces of the wind. I could have and should have supplied that string with ever so little effort. But I did not, and it bent to the forces that came against it.
I have seen a similar thing, many times, in children whose lives I have observed. The parents who brought them into the world seem almost to have abdicated their responsibility. The results have been tragic. A few simple anchors would have given them the strength to withstand the forces that have shaped their lives. Now it appears it is too late.
We need to correct betimes with sharpness. He defined what betimes meant. It means early on. Sharply means with exactness.
We teach our children that if they choose right they should have health, get the money. This life is hard. Our children need to know that. Wonderful and good does not mean easy. It means staying on the path and cling to the rod and give up the natural man. That is the goal of discipline.