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.
- They understand and are converted to the real meaning of life. That they truly understand that.
- They learn to live in humility. They learn to put others above themselves. They learn to serve out. They learn to not seek to aggrandize themselves, but to live out. You understand you are overcoming the talk on pride.
- Men are that they might have joy. This means they have fun in this life. I think he wants us to have joy…not pleasure, but joy. That you do fun things together as a family. That you play volleyball together as a family. When you bond and create those bonds in your family and then they create those bonds in theirs. It’s not meant to be a burden. If we know the Plan of Happiness we will be happy. We have to help them learn how to help them discover the joy. Joy fills space! The joy you create is like putting sunshine in your home. It comes through feeling that love and bonding together.
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.