When you are trying to get a spouse on board you may not parent your spouse. You use it with humor with your spouse. You present it as an idea. No lecture. No condemning them. It is hard to be positive all the time. When we got married (after about 6 months) my husband said, “Carleen you are the most negative person I have met.” Those who are blue will listen. “I’m not negative. We are realists. We are practical.” He’s yellow. He lives in la-la land. Everything is a big idea. I had to learn to not put a damper on his ideas. When I learned how to not be so reactive. I learned how to live with my blue and be happy. I had to give up some of my blue control and be happy. I had to learn to allow him to take all the boys down in a wrestling hold before family prayer. You have to learn to roll more. It’s not natural for us.
Class member: I’ve taken the class for 4 years. I had an “ah-ha”. Praise & Encouragement, 10:1 positive affirmations, what we say isn’t necessarily what our children receive. Those 3 things came together. I give this kid so many things. Why isn’t he receiving it. My husband has him in the palm of his hand. They laugh and they make funny noises. My son will do whatever my husband asks. I’m a blue. I realized that I need more humor for him to receive it.
Learning their love language is very important.
Class member: We’ve tried practice this week. My youngest comes in the door and while walking drops off items. This week I watched her get out of the car. I said get your stuff back on. I need you to get back in the car. She get’s back in the car. “I need you to get buckled.” We did the whole routine. Then she said “Can I do it again?”
You say “Yes! Absolutely!”
Class member: We did the practice thing too. My son leaves his socks all over. I had him practice it 25 times. He is 12 years old. He looked at me like we are crazy. I told him that anything we do over and over we get good at. Like in basketball we practice. Sister said like in Karate Kid. He got it. I haven’t seen any socks for the rest of the week.
Class member: We did the family council. Practicing for church works. I never thought we would be that family. My kids thought of problems that I could already see. Then they thought of solutions on their own. They woke each other up the next morning. Because early morning schedules was a problem. They came up with it all by themselves.
Class member: Choices is natural for us, but I have a daughter that thinks of a 3rd choice or a loophole. Gating worked for us. She has ADD and couldn’t focus well. It was super relaxing for me. No one was tense. It was a huge problem solver. We did make ups with the 3 and 4 year olds. My 3 year old is really good to hug and kiss. Let’s think of something else. She didn’t hit her again for the rest of the day.
Class member: I figured out that she is a white. I thought she was a blue. My other daughter is a very strong red. Can she overpower the oldest? Can they change?
Hopefully we are all changing, by seeking to develop the strengths of the other colors. If you are a blue strengths and weaknesses come natural. We need to get the strengths of all the colors. The chance of them going from a strong red to a white is not likely. What is more likely she has always been white, but overtime they become more obvious because of the other kids. White are not “mice”. A white is very hard to get moving again. Your challenge to get her involved in other things.
HOMEWORK: Read it and ponder it. I want you to do something about it. It’s the cliff notes for the class. “Raising Resilient Children” March 2013 Ensign.
We are getting good missionaries going into the MTC that are saying give me the list and I’ll do it. He was in one mission they had a goal in the mission of approaching people and introduce the gospel. They had a goal of going up to so many people each day to introduce gospel. That’s good and motivates them, but it doesn’t help them get into people’s lives. The AP’s came in and told the president, “If we just had one more.” They had been talking with someone and that person was engaging them in a conversation and someone else walked by.
The point is that when we are giving these lists “to do”. We are taking away from them their ability to think. School gives them a list and they get an “A”. They haven’t been taught to think. Then they get out in the mission field. Mom’s not there and the mission president isn’t there and they don’t know how to problem solve. When your children have a problem what do you do?
You talk too much. We want to teach them how to problem solve. What if you just stopped and said, “What would you like me to do to help?” Blues need to get in there and solve it for them. In this process we get frustrated. They aren’t paying attention. Our responsibility is to teach them to think. Don’t solve it for them.
Highlights to look for….
Our children don’t bounce back. If children hit something hard they quit. The focus in this article talks about “resilient”. They take defeat and hard things and bounce back. One of the things is that you focus on what you cannot do. We focus on the “can’t”. You are right you can’t do them both, but what can you do. We need to teach them that. There are 2 things that undermine this ability to bounce back. One is your definition of perfection. We want them to be perfect. Our discipline is harsh when they aren’t perfect. You blues get really harsh on yourself if you aren’t perfect.
“But they do not understand that the Lord works through weak, simple servants (see D&C 1:19–23) and that striving to be perfect does not mean we never make mistakes but rather that we become fully developed or complete through the Atonement of Christ as we strive to follow Him (see Matthew 5:48, footnote b).”
“This misunderstanding may also stem from what society teaches our youth: that their worth depends on talent and performance. In schools and communities, sometimes even at church or at home, youth see their peers get acceptance, admiration, approval, and praise for being talented at something. So they try to measure up. As they do so, they start to fear failure and mistakes. They choose what to do based on how successful they think they will be. They procrastinate when they do not feel confident. They worry about what others will think if they make mistakes. They fear loss of approval. They view their performance as the measure of their worth. Their perfectionism becomes a mean taskmaster, and it wears down their resilience.”
“Raising Resilient Children” March 2013 Ensign.
What is the Difference?
Doing Your Best
You will cover Praise & Encouragement, Competition, Setting too many rules, Trying to solve children’s problems.
Look at it. Take one of the areas and work on it. Change what you are doing a little bit. We will have covered everyone of these in our classes.
Class member: Is there a certain age that you can give them ideas and let them problem solve?
Age 4 they can do problem solving by themselves. “What do you think we ought to do?” The ability to ask good questions is a spiritual gift. We don’t’ know how to ask good questions. That is exactly what gets them to be self taught. They may not know, but ask them first. “I have a couple of ideas. Do you want some ideas?” That’s ok if you don’t like them, but what would you like to do.
In teaching kids to think don’t feel responsible to entertain little people. You need to provide some raw materials, but they need to entertain themselves without electronics. You are not telling them what to do. They need to learn that process of filling their time with good stuff. You have to provide raw materials for that to do. You may have to provide some teaching…crochet, knit, sew. If you want your time you plug them in.
Class member: I teach the 12 and 13 year old class. I was afraid. The first month or so their were blank stares. Now that we are opening up…after 4 months. Think as they are speaking and draw it back to the lesson to give them validation. Instantly hands go up now.
We have to allow them the time to think. We always stop and fill in the blanks if the silence is too long. We need to keep waiting. If they really can’t come up with something “Think about it for 10 minutes and then we will come back and talk about it.”
Class member: What do you do with an adult child that sacrifice themselves until they become a door mat? She is coming up with their own solutions, but it’s damaging her self esteem.
She’s an adult. You do exactly what we have been talking about. You take what you just said, put it in a question. “Do you think that will help her in the long run or just buying peace for the minute?” “Are you helping her learn to fish or are you giving her the fish?” She is going to be miserable in marriage. You pray for your latest solutions. Follow up after asking her the questions.
Level 1: Undue Attention
Granddaughter is very sweet, charming, but lives in this “undue attention”. She is very polite, but she is trying to constantly get attention. It’s positive good attention. It’s repetitive. It takes her forever to say what she’s trying to say. No concept of personal space. This is positive undo attention. She only feels valuable if she is right in your face all the time. It doesn’t have to be negative. They have to be taught that they have value even when you are paying attention to someone else. It’s important to teach them self control. If you need me come put your hand on my arm, but don’t talk to me and I will know that you need me. When I’m finished I will turn and talk to you.
At the moment of their demand, to calm them down with a hand, or a finger, don’t say anything. You need to teach them that in the moment they demand they don’t get attention. Find lots of times during the day to give them positive attention during the day when they aren’t demanding.
Reinforce lots when they aren’t demanding and help them wait when they are demanding.
Undo attention combined with praise this carries on to marriage. If their husband isn’t always calling them or making a fuss then their marriage is on the rocks. They are high maintenance people. They always have an empty bucket.
Not being demanding (example)….She is reading a book on the couch. Sit down by her and talk to her about the book. It’s not long. “mini moments”. You are telling her she is valuable without demanding attention.
Start training them VERY young.
What you feel: You are feeling a little annoyed. It’s like a mosquito. You know that their goal is undo attention. If you stop and pay attention, it stops momentarily, but as soon as I turn away they are right back at it. They feel like if you aren’t right with me I’m not good.
What to do: Ignore the behavior at the moment. It can’t be on their immediate demand.
Class member: 5 year old is not reverent getting ready for prayer.
Start with the older kids. Help them understand that they need to help teach him what to do.
Level 2: Power Struggles & Red Child
Red child will do power struggles by nature. They become good and you become worse because most of the time they win. When they are teenagers you have your hands full unless you can work with them when they are young.
Truth (their point of view): Reds want power and will give up intimacy for the power. They just want to be in control. They want power. They feel valuable as a person when they have power. You have to recognize that and help reds be in charge of as much of their lives as they can be. Give them power where it’s appropriate.
Example: I have a very vibrant red child. When she left for college she told me that I didn’t obey you when I was young because if I did that then I would be part of you and I wanted to be me.
What you feel: Anger. You will do what I say. I’m the mother. A little bit of revenge in you. You just want to get even.
What to do: When a child is in the middle of the power struggle you want to make them do what you want them to do. In the moment their desire is I’m not doing what you say. You can’t make me. In the moment you can’t teach them anything because the Holy Ghost is not there. You have to understand that up front. You have to withdraw from the conflict. What you want to do is control the child. You cannot control them. The only person you can control is you. That is against all of your principles. You lose the battle if you don’t disengage. You withdraw from the conflict, but you don’t give in.
Question: Does that include timeouts?
Answer: It is appropriate you both probably need it. If you have let it escalate you probably need it too.
You power struggle by withdrawing. Sometimes you continue the power struggle by the silent treatment. You say, “Fine, I’m not going to argue about it.” You can’t resolve anything by not talking. The silent treatment is an adult temper tantrum. Power doesn’t always have to be yelling/screaming. It can be withholding affection or the silent treatment.
Question: How do you withdraw?
Answer: When you have a child that is really in the middle of it with you. That angry feeling every time they come in the room. That is withdrawing your love and affection. You feel like you are winning.
You need to withdraw in love. I’m just not willing to talk about this right now. It’s what’s in your heart. What you do is stop fighting with them. Give them choices. Don’t lecture about power struggles. Work on building a cooperative attitude. What can we do to make this work? You have good ideas.
Question: Can a white behave like this?
Answer: Whites can get into silent treatment and withdrawal to buy peace. You have to recognize sooner that he is getting into that. We get sucked into what they throw out. Don’t allow yourself to be sucked in. You don’t have to prove that they are wrong. You can just say, “I can hardly wait until you have children.” We get sucked too far in. Stop it before you get too far in.
The word disengage is a great tool. You are still actively there with them, but you are disengaging in what they are doing.
Class member example: Mom can you get me on the computer? You need to get the vacuuming done. I need you to give me your cell phone. If you don’t turn it in I will turn your service off. I’m not turning it off. We lost the phone can you cut the service off. She had opened every door in the kitchen. I see you want my attention. I turned around and walked out the room. She pushed the door to push me out. The sun was shining I sat on the ground. She had shut the doors and was fixing dinner. I just had to walk away.
99% of the time in the power struggle you say too much.
Class member: This is a great sibling too. As a blue with 2 red in my family, we power struggled horribly. It’s a powerful thing to teach your blues and whites to be able to do that.
We just feel like we have to get it resolved right now.
When you have a power struggle it is critical that after it has been diffused you have to let them know that you love them. You have to let them know that I understand. You need to leave the lecture off. Do not lecture a red. You lose. They win. They need to feel that they still have value and that you love them. You love them not because of or in spite of. I love you as a person. That has to be felt by them.
Question: How do you differentiate between she’s giving in and I still don’t agree with them?
Answer: If you come in and try to validate before they have reached “zero” they will still be in power struggle.
Example: You have a rule in your home that says no TV until after jobs are done. You are tired of nagging and them breaking the rule. You take a sheet and put it over the TV and put a smiley face on it. When they come in they got the message and you didn’t have to say a word.
Example: I have a plaque that has 1st son’s picture with Eagle scout. It has the picture, badge, medal. I didn’t have to nag at 2nd son. He wanted his name and date on the plaque.
Example: If you have a dog and of the responsibilities is to feed the dog. Talk to him. I’ve noticed that you are having a hard time getting the dog fed. I promise I won’t forget. I believe you, but just in case let’s figure out something. Can I just make a suggestion? What would happen if when it’s dinnertime and the table is set I will turn your dish upside down. Come have prayer with us and then you and I will know that you need to get up and feed the dog before you eat. Ok Mom, but I promise that I won’t forget. For 2 days he will do it, but by the 3rd day he will forget. You don’t say anything.
Example A letter on the mirror. Notes in their lunches. It can be positive too.
Tool #7--Putting Children in the Same Boat
Usually in tattling--Child #1 teases. Child #2 hits. Child #1 tattles. When you start seeing the pattern that’s when you put the kids in the same boat.
Example: You do the outside of the sliding glass door and the other on the inside of the door.
Example: I need you to play one ping pong game together.
Example: I need you to make brownies together.
Sometimes we put them in the bedroom together to resolve it. Watch because you will have a dominant and one will be passive. The dominant one will say this is what we have to do. You get to have the toy 2nd, but I get to have it 1st. You watch. If it is consistently a one sided resolution then it’s not a negotiation.
Some of you will say I know this one started it. You aren’t taking sides. You aren’t allowing them to pit you against one another.
Tattler (something fun)…Ok, I really want to hear what you have to say, but you need to tell me 3 good things about that person. You are trying to change the way they are thinking.
Tool #8--Natural Consequences
Example: If they forget to do their homework they get a “zero”. You don’t call the teacher and make an excuse for them.
Example: They stay up reading too late. They still have to get up early and they will get tired.
There are definitely times when we get in a pinch and we need to help each other. We need to do that, but you will notice children habitually forgetting or rescuing them. You need to back off and let them suffer some consequences. We are not wise in letting “life” teach our children. It’s a good thing. Be careful about rescuing them. You don’t always do them a service.
Tool #9--Logical Consequences
Rules: Whatever the consequence is it has to be related to the behavior.
Example: If child comes in and watches TV when they aren’t supposed to you say we are going to get rid of the dog.
Rule 2: It has to be realistic.
Example: You didn’t get your job done so you have to stay in for 3 weeks.
Rule 3: It needs to be respectful.
“Love and Logic”---Take it with a grain of salt. It’s a little harsh. Filter it through the gospel.
Can never be done in anger or it becomes punishment. That totally has to do with your heart. You can do the exact same thing and be in control. It’s not always what you do, but how you do it.
Some of you feel like there should be a logical consequence for everything. Sometimes the consequence is just that they do it again.
Example: They did the dishes, but they didn’t wipe off the cupboard. They don’t have to do the dishes for the next 3 weeks. They just need to come back in and wipe off the counter.
Example: You have 2 children that have been fighting all morning. A logical consequence is for 1 hour they have to play apart because they can’t get along. Then you can try it again. They have a quiet time for an hour. They start fighting at 2pm when they come out. Separate them again until dinner time…one upstairs one downstairs.
Tool #10--Time Out/Grounding(for teenagers)
Example: If you have 2 of them that are fighting you send them to timeout. Sometimes the child hits the door and turns around and comes back. You send them back. We think that by sending them back they are thinking about “I shouldn’t hit my brother”. They think “I hate my mother.” Now they come out bawling. Then we say…ok now you are showing proper remorse. They are mad. When they hit the door the first time and come back and they have a happy attitude. You know they aren’t quite. They key is to teach effectively. You talk about what happened and what they can do that is different. If teaching doesn’t follow time out you have lost the value of it. It is for them to get composure so you can talk to them.
Tool #11--Distraction/Change Direction
Distraction also works with older people.
Example: I have 5 boys in a row and they express affection with wrestling, but if you watch there is that line and you know that one of them isn’t having so much fun. You can feel it as a mother. At that point you need to distract them. I used to go into the family room and take the belt of the one of top and yank it. They knew that I was there and they would get their attention. I would say, “I need you to empty the garbage”. “I need you to feed the dog.”
Distraction works best if you redirect energy. If you try to stop the energy and then try to restart them it’s hard. If you just direct it in a different direction.
Example: It’s time for you to go outside and shoot some baskets.
Tool #12--Learn To Ask Good Questions
- How did that make you feel?
- What do you think is the right thing to do?
- How do you think your sister feels? Think outside their box
- What do you think we should do about this?
- Do you have any good ideas how we could have handled this differently?
- What do you think the consequences of that choice might be?
- I know you are angry and you probably had a good reason to be, but how could you have handled it differently?
Tool #13--Role Playing
Example: We hold them accountable to problem solve. I really want to have my turn first. I want it now. Use your words. Can I have a turn first?
You need to teach them dialogue. Yelling, screaming, crying…use your words.
Example: “I’m sorry you are angry.” While touching their back.
Do not touch a red!
When they are at “zero” and teachable share with them some of your own experiences. Some of your learning experiences. Be careful what you share. You don’t want to share so many experiences that it validates them being disobedient. Always at the end bear testimony of what you learned. Share the experience and tell them what you learned from it.
Be sure they always feel loved.
Works well with teenagers---Kneel in prayer with the child and at your discretion, you say the prayer, child says the prayer, or both of you say the prayer. As they act the spirit testifies. Seeking spiritual guidance. It’s an important part that we don’t use.
Another resource we don’t use…go to the scriptures. Find someone in the scriptures that had the same problem. Help them find answers in the scriptures. The answers are there.
The bottom line is to come to understand change comes about through love. That is how Heavenly Father works. Change comes when we feel loved then we have the courage to change. Harsh discipline makes us feel useless and like we can’t. Love is empowering. Our discipline needs to be grounded in love. Heavenly Father loves us no matter what.