The first thing we have to do to change we have to have a vision of what it looks like. We are still trying to teach our children self control. That’s what the Lord is trying to teach us. How many times has he told us to say our morning prayers.
As you correct your children how do they feel? Mean, mad, withdraw
We have a problem in how we discipline. Part of that problem is the view of what we think the purpose of discipline is. We are going to talk about why they misbehave, what we do to correct it, what our purpose is, and how to correct that purpose.
Next week I will give you 13 tools that will not include spanking or yelling and I will tell you what you are doing wrong with time outs.
Ponder these questions….
- What is your course of action to change your children?
- What kind of reaction do you get from your children?
- What is the feeling you have inside you when you try to change your children’s behavior?
- Do you have some children who respond well and some who don’t?
- How many different tactics do you use to change behavior?
- What is the purpose of parenting?
HOMEWORK: I want you to answer every one of those questions.
Most of us do ‘refereeing’. You have something in your head that you think is right. Your kids do it wrong. You blow the whistle and throw the flag and give a penalty.
We feel like if we correct misbehavior by telling them what they do wrong that they will do it right. Those are the ‘traditions of the fathers’. That is how you were parented and you now parent that way.
Example….Tracy go clean your room (4 year old). 15 minutes later I walk past and say (a little louder) let’s get your room cleaned. 15 minutes later I know the room hasn’t been cleaned, “Tracy it’s time to clean your room! Go do it right now!” Then the next time you see her you say, “Tracy, I’m tired of telling you to clean your room up. You are grounded. Get in there right now.”
How come behavior isn’t changing? The truth is if you continue to do what you have always done the end result will change. We just do it with greater intention and we think it will create obedience from them. We need to have a paradigm shift. What is correction? How often do I need to correct? How does the child come out wanting to change rather than hating us?
What we unconsciously teach our children is, “I love you if you have a clean room. If you don’t have a clean room I don’t love you right now.” They begin to feel love is conditional. They translate that to Heavenly Father if they do everything right he will love them. You always love your children. You may not like them very much. They need to know that you always love them, and you want them to make good changes.
Elder Ballard “Daughters of God” April 2008
“There is no one perfect way to be a good mother. Each situation is unique. Each mother has different challenges, different skills and abilities, and certainly different children. The choice is different and unique for each mother and each family. Many are able to be “full-time moms,” at least during the most formative years of their children’s lives, and many others would like to be. Some may have to work part-or full-time; some may work at home; some may divide their lives into periods of home and family and work. What matters is that a mother loves her children deeply and, in keeping with the devotion she has for God and her husband, prioritizes them above all else.”
Everything I say you will not use in your home. Just because someone else does something doesn’t mean that is what you need to do. You and your spouse need to be on the same page. You need to teach respect for your spouse.
You are both coming from different backgrounds and have different philosophies for raising children. You need to talk together and decide what you want your parenting skills to be. We had some very different opinions on certain topics. You have to decide together. You may not play against each other. You need to discuss what you want this picture to look like in your home. Both of you (husband and wife) need to give up some control.
Example….Mother decides when she puts kids to bed they brush their teeth, they have scriptures, she sings to them, she talks to them, in 2 hours later she comes back down. One day Mom has a really bad day. He takes all 6 upstairs and 25 minutes later he’s back downstairs. You start questioning everything they did.
We say it’s my way or the highway. We can’t do that. We have to give up control.
Example….I believed that you do not drive a car until you have a learners permit and he said that is ridiculous. He would take the kids out to the church parking lot and let them drive out there. I had to back off.
There is a whole bunch of stuff where you have to give up control.
We make our spouse the bad guy and then we don’t support them. “Wait until your Dad comes home!” Learn to be fun. Have some fun in you too. You have to back each other up. You can’t demean each other to the kids.
Example…I am a curfew guru. Mike was doing the kids…pizza, movie night, no jobs. I talked to one of my sons. He said I wanted to let you know I was late for curfew, but I called Dad and he said it’s ok don’t worry about it. It’s ok because I grounded myself for the next night and didn’t go out.
I couldn’t say anything about what his Dad said.
As you discuss it with your spouse share reasoning and ‘why’ you feel strongly about it. You need to come to common ground. You need to talk specifically about what you want. You need to know what you want. Men are logical thinkers. We need to know exactly what you want as you discuss these things together.
Build a good marriage. Do good things in your marriage. Take time out for you.
Reproving betimes with sharpness, when moved upon by the Holy Ghost; and then showing forth afterwards an increase of love toward him whom thou hast reproved, lest he esteem thee to be his enemy;
Care is even needed in our renderings between God and Caesar. (See Matt. 22:21.) Even patience is balanced by “reproving betimes with sharpness, when moved upon by the Holy Ghost,” betimes meaning early or soon. (D&C 121:43.) “Behold the Enemy is Combined” Elder Maxwell
Early on in age. Early on in the event.
Sharpness = exactness…..Focus on one thing at one time.
Brigham Young, “Never chasten beyond the balm within you to bind up.”
(triangle with large side on the left going to a smaller point)
This is how we usually parent. When a home teacher comes and they climb on their lap, they climb into bed with you because they can’t sleep, they get in stuff in the pantry. When our children are little we give them a lot of space.
(triangle smaller point on the left moving to the right where it's larger)
This is the Lord’s way. He gives us a little. As we grow our responsibility opens and broadens as we show accountability. It needs to be tight in the beginning. Then as they prove themselves by the time they are seniors they should be totally independent. Start off very tight and then open them up and let them have more responsibilities as they earn them. At any time privileges can be drawn back. Privileges are not rights.
If you choose to give a child a cell phone and they misbehave with it and they say, “It’s my phone. You can’t take it back.” Those are privileges that can be revoked and should be.
What most of us do when we want to change behavior in our children we punish them. We ground them, lecture them, etc. We are good at talking! We lecture! We think they will internalize it and listen. Punishment focuses on changing behavior quickly. Usually it is imposed from external power. That’s the parent imposing something on you and you will do it my way because I said so. Punishment is a power externally imposed. That’s what our judicial system does. We feel like if we punish them enough their behavior will improve because they won’t want to suffer the horrible things we impose on them. It just makes them more sneaky and not want to be caught.
It’s hard to teach a divine principle when you are yelling at them. The Holy Ghost isn’t there. The goal is that we want to discipline them. Discipline comes from the root word “Disciple”. We want to teach them through training how to become a disciple of Christ. Misbehavior simple becomes the opportunity to teach Christ-like behavior.
We feel that pain creates positive behavior. You cannot build a positive on a negative foundation. We want to discipline them.
You can do the same thing and make it punishment or discipline. It’s not always what you do, but how you do it. It’s what’s in your heart.
The goal is to change percentages!
Typically what we do when a child misbehaves is lecture first and then withdraw affection. How many of you lecture the child and then when they throw a fit you say, “When you can be nice then you can be with me.” We tend to emotionally withdraw.
Punishment….external power, I’m going to get even with you.
Discipline…consequences (natural or logical). It involves them coming up with answers, listening to them. What you want it to become is self governing.
Punishment is imposed. Someone else brings it on.
Discipline comes from within.
Punishment is closed options.
Discipline has open options, various things can happen, they get to be part of creating the consequences.
You need to be very firm in teaching correct behavior.
Punishment…verbalization demeans them on their feeling level.
Discipline…the conversation at the end means they have value, they made a mistake, but they can fix it.
Punishment is done in anger.
Discipline is that it has to be done at level zero.
Punishment is quick.
Discipline takes time and energy. You have to think about it.
Emotional Bank Accounts….
If your child has an emotional bank account that is full, they feel loved, and accepted they won’t misbehave or they will quickly come out of it.
You have a child that ALWAYS creates problems in the child. What are your feelings…annoyed, exasperated…do you think that child feels that from you? The child gets so discouraged they misbehave more.
A discouraged child will act out. If you can keep your child’s account full they will have the courage to do what is right.
Always acknowledge positives first. The negative withdrawal is 10x a positive input. During the day you need to pepper them with positives so when you have to withdraw there is something to take out without them going in the red.
They need to feel good about themselves.
Keep your word. If you say you will do something you do it. It doesn’t matter what the reason is…to the child you didn’t keep your word. Don’t say something that’s not true in these situations. Humor is a good way to handle something. Be careful what you say. If you say it you need to stick to it.
Be consistent. Be consistent in how you act.
Before you ask a child to do something ask yourself….
- Is the child capable? Not only have you taught them how to do it, but are they emotionally capable of doing it at that moment.
- Do you want it done right now? If you don’t want it to be done right now then don’t tell it to them right now. You can say “We have 10 minutes then we need to get in the car.” Say what you mean and mean what you say.
- If you say something…Are you willing to follow through?
As time goes on your anger goes up. Your children are not learning to obey to your command or request. Children obey to action!!! The action line needs to be moved earlier in time. Don’t ask until you are ready to act. Your action requires them to move.
Why do children misbehave?
Children misbehave when their basic emotional needs are not being met. These are little people (younger than 10 or 11 years old) Their reasons are not necessarily truth, but their ‘perceived’ truth.
If you get a child that you think you need to just keep punishing…pull them out of school, party for the day, go to lunch, bring that bank account up. If you get one that is really broken and discouraged you have to build that bank account before you can fix them. It’s not a reward it’s to help them feel loved.
Teenagers (older than 10/11 yrs old) will misbehave because they want to feel loved and accepted. A teenager feels loved and accepted when they get their own way. If they feel powerless they misbehave. This comes in choices and consequences. Teenagers need to feel a sense of independence. If you are always on them about what they are doing wrong they feel glued to you. Teenagers will also misbehave for an adrenaline rush. If they tend to be that kind of a teenager they will always want to do something to give them a bigger and bigger rush. Teenagers will misbehave for peer pressure. That’s what the group is doing and they want to be part of that group. They want to feel loved and accepted in the group. You can give them a way to feel loved and accepted in the family.
The 3 things that create value in little people…belonging, identity, belonging, and worth. If those are not being met in their eyes (even if it’s not true) little people will misbehave. Your goal is to help them feel all of those things for the right reasons. A little person may not feel they are important if they don’t have all the toys. They need to feel important when they share the toys.
You need to understand yourself so you can understand your child.
The chart in the syllabus is for children under 10.
1. Undo attention….this means I feel valuable when you give me attention when I demand it. This is attention that they haven’t earned, but they just want it on demand.
Example…Some of us will take our babies and love them and never put them down. Then we start to put our baby down and they scream every time you put them down. They feel loved when they are held. This is not colicky, sick, ear infections, etc babies.
Example…What about the child sitting in the high chair? They start taking their fork and pounding it on the tray. They look at you and grin. You turn around and start doing something else. When you are interacting they are happy/cheery, but when you look away they start the behavior again.
The feeling it creates in you…is frustration, irritation, annoyed
How do we deal with the undo attention? We don’t give them more attention. You withdraw your attention at the moment of demand, but afterwards to be sure you give them lots of attention afterwards when they are doing the right thing.
Example…A whining child…”I need a drink of water?” You are giving them attention for a drink of water, the whining gets worse and worse. You aren’t mad. You are a bit annoyed. Tell them what you want them to do. “Ask me in your big girl voice and I will give you a drink.” I’ve told you what to do and what I will do. They keep whining you remove yourself from the situation or you remove them from the situation without further dialog. When you repeat yourself you are interacting with them.
2. Power Struggles….
Most of these are reds. They only feel good if they are in control.
You will do what I say. You can give them an answer, but they just keep coming back to you. When you get mad you are going to stay in the fight until they know who is boss. As we stay in that situation they become better and we become more defeated. By the time they are teenagers they become very good and you are worn out.
The way to deal with it is to step out of the conflict. They can’t argue if you aren’t in that conflict. When they are yelling and screaming do you think they are willing to learn and listen?
Keep them going. Keep them telling you everything. You don’t engage back. Then when they stop you can say….”I can see this is frustrating for you…NEVERTHELESS…you still can’t go.” Eventually they will stomp off.
They ALWAYS needs a time to cool down. After they cool down go back in and explain the reasons. You MUST go back and teach.
Example… Carrie wanted shoes with heels that were too high. I gave her choice. You may choose from these styles. Carrie kept going after her about why she couldn’t have the high heels. I walked away and said, “I’m going to see if they have anything in my size.” Carrie followed her. I finally said, “I’m going to sit in the car until you make the choice.” Finally 45 minutes later she came out to the car. She was still arguing. I said, “Let’s talk about it.” She got in, the door was locked and they left. I told her that she was out of time, and she had things to finish at home. Carrie kept trying to make a deal the whole way home. After dinner Carrie came to her and said, “Fine, I’ll buy the ones that you want.” I told her, “I’m out of time right now, but I will be glad to take you next Saturday.” Carrie threw a fit. The next day she wore her tennis shoes to church instead of new Sunday shoes. The next time they went to the shoe store Carrie was much more compliant. Next Friday I said do you want to go to the store and find some shoes for you next Sunday. She picked out some appropriate shoes. Everything was like that with her.
Think about these things this week…
What happens is because of how we said something. It’s the feelings that are created. Instead of winning compliance we win the power struggle. Always make the child feel of value. That’s keeping that emotional bank account full.
1. Ponder questions.
2. How do you feel when the child misbehaves? Bring back an experience. We need to have the experience and how you are feeling and how you behaved.
3. Watch for this kind of verbiage….
- “This book is interesting when your TV show is over check this out.”
- “I’d like to do more reading for fun at home. How can we make that happen?
- “I’d like to spend time together at home. Let’s work out a schedule for when we can read together. What would be a good time for you?
- “We spend a lot of time in the car. Let’s put some books in the car so you can read to me while I drive.”
- “Keep an eye out for books we might enjoy reading together.”
Do you get the feeling? Just phrasing things like this creates the need for discipline or not.
- If you have a yellow age 4…”I’m queen mother. You are my servants today. We have to clean up the castle. I am going to bake cookies and you clean up that room.” You can make it into a game.
It creates humor and fun and you are on their side. They are having fun. It’s more fun to read together. One pulls them in. The other one pushes them away.
I just want to testify that you are never going to get it! Just when you think you are going to get it you have grown children and grandchildren. It’s going to change. Change percentages! You always make mistakes. It’s ok. Just come back and try to do better. There’s not a time in your life when you get it and don’t have to keep fixing it. I’m trying to change those percentages that some day we can all become Christlike.