Class member: If you are talking to one child and another one comes in you can ask them to come back in another 5 minutes, but now it is her turn.
Cory is my 8th child. He is the 4th boy. I remember when he was in Sunbeams. I have 7 older than him. The Primary teacher called and said we are going to spotlight Cory I need to know what his favorite treat, color, what does he like? I didn’t know what his favorite is. I went in my room and cried. Here I have a little boy for 3 years. He is a good child. He flowed with the mass. He was easy to sweep under the carpet when I putting out fires somewhere else. At that moment everyone of my children become individuals. I never put them in the mass in my head again. That’s what it means when I say watch a child that day.
We need to do this often. If I did that at 3 I better do it again at 5 and 7, they change, their environment changes. I change. Every one of your children have a different experience in your home. They all learn and grown differently. As we come together now in our family…my youngest girl almost didn’t have sisters before she was old enough to really interact with her sisters. You have to be careful because you think it’s all the same. They are having the same jobs. They are not feeling all the same. You have to know what it inside of them.
You do not discipline all your children the same. It is not fair. You don’t have to justify it. Is it ‘fair’ because some of Heavenly Father’s children are at war in Afghanistan everyday and you are in a warm home. Some of your children have a greater capacity for choosing right from wrong. You should hold them to a little higher standard. Some of them need to be held by the hand and helped along a little more. Heavenly Father does this for us.
Foundation for Discipline:
Today I hope you leave a little frustrated. It will help you figure out who you are. What do you want as a result of discipline? What is the purpose of discipline?
Keep themselves in check
Help them find the way
Teach them to self-govern
Consequences to our choices
Why was it wrong or right…teach the ‘why’
What is your favorite tool of doing these things? Most often used?
Yelling from a separate room
Mom’s got the ‘screams’. J
Time outs/quiet time
Do you ever take your own time out?
Taking away privileges? I threaten to take away privileges a lot.
Class member: I call it ‘time in’. I take them into another room and play and interact with them. It helps me know what’s going on. I go play with him specifically. It’s helped him stop screaming.
Children before the age of 10 misbehave because they want something. The number 1 need of all of us is to feel loved and to feel like we belong, like we are an important part of a group and what we have to contribute is important. You think about when you get most frustrated. One of those needs are not getting met. With little people (and some adults) under the age of 10 they act out because they are discouraged. They are discouraged because one of these needs is not being met. Sometimes you think they are laying awake at night trying to figure out how to get you, but they aren’t.
Some of you have kids that are really good and then they fall off a cliff and are horrible. The more you correct them the worse they get. Now think about what I said about a child being discouraged. They feel like you love someone else more. They get discouraged or they will push against the limits to see if the limits are still there. You create security when the limits don’t change. When they fell off the cliff they are discouraged for one reason or another. They start picking on their siblings. You start picking on them. They have no energy to get off that merry-go-round because they are so discouraged. The adult has to get off the merry-go-round. You just let them ‘get away with being bad’? We think that if a child misbehaves to make them feel worse to feel remorse to repent so they can act better. When they get so low we have to give them courage to act better. We have to help them feel loved and like they belong.
Parable of the locust tree (President Hinckley)
Turning to the topic of rearing children, President Hinckley told of a honey locust tree he planted on a lot where, as a young man, he had just built a home for his family. He said he planted it where the wind blew out of the canyon and then neglected it for several years. One winter day, he looked out the window and saw the tree leaning to the west. "It had grown all out of shape. It was an ugly tree. It had not grown as I had hoped it would grow."
He said he tried to straighten it by leaning against it, and then by using a block and tackle to pull it. But ultimately, he had to get a pruning saw and cut it off so that all that was left was one straight spike.
"After I had made that terrible cut, I looked at that open wound from which the sap was coming, and almost could have wept as I looked at that wounded tree. It has grown straight and tall and strong and good, but oh, the ordeal that it suffered. If when that tree was young, I could have tied in place with a simple piece of string; that is all it would have taken to have held it in place and caused it to grow straight and tall."
He continued, "So it is with children, my dear parents. A little string gently handled can lead to an erect, wise, and great character; a little piece of string gently handled; not with harshness; not with meanness; not with abuse; but with kindness and love and forethought and faith and expectation and prayer, my brothers and sisters."
The training is so much easier when they are young than when they are teenagers. If you remember in Moses when Adam and Eve were cast out ‘thou shalt conceive in sorrow’ ‘by the sweat of thy brow and sorrow thou shalt till the ground’. It will be hard. The world teaches us if we did everything right it should be easy.
We are mortal. We will have to discipline. Most of us punish. There is a difference between punishment and discipline. You can do the very same thing and make it punishment or a discipline. It’s not always what you do, but how you do it.
“You need to go to your room.” The how…is I am mad and you are bad. Get out of my sight.
“You need to go to your room.” The how…you need to go to your room until you can calm down.
Sometimes the ‘to do’ can be a discipline and sometimes it can be a punishment.
Syllabus…pg 3 differences between punishment and discipline.
Discipline…teach correct principles. That’s the purpose.
Punishment…to get control. It’s based on my power
Punishment…short term. You can make them scared of the consequences. When they get to be teenagers and you try to use the same tool they aren’t afraid of you as teenagers.
Punishment…you take responsibility for the child’s behavior
Discipline…child is responsible and you teach them how to train that behavior.
Punishment…feels really good. You let off some steam and vent it and in the moment it feels good to you. It’s like ‘I told you so’. It is ‘You will too!” because I’m the Mom.
Punishment….closed options. You do what I say. Do it now. No options.
Discipline…open options. They can decide what the consequence will be. They get to be involved in the restitution.
You can only tell what you do. I can teach you what the differences are. Only you know which category you are actually in.
We need to discipline a child ‘early on’. It means right now and while they are young. Correct it when they are young. Early on in any given situation. If you aren’t happy with something they are doing….stop doing that, stop doing that….I said STOP DOING THAT! That is not early on. Soon right at the beginning.
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;
Betimes = early on
Sharpness = with clarity & stick to the point (1 issue)
Harold B. Lee, Morality, pg 144-145
Perhaps we should consider what it means to reprove with sharpness. Reproving with sharpness means reproving with clarity, with loving firmness, with serious intent. It does not mean reproving with sarcasm, or with bitterness, or with clenched teeth and raised voice. One who reproves as the Lord has directed deals in principles, not personalities. He does not attack character or demean an individual.
Separate child and behavior.
Spencer J. Condie, In Perfect Balance, p.160
Sharpness would tend to indicate that one concentrates on a single problem at hand without straying too far from the agenda. If I need to be chastened for my lack of punctuality, perhaps now is not the time to make mention of my baggy trousers and my unshined shoes. Reproving with sharpness would exclude expressions such as "and another thing I don't like" and "you always do that" or "you never do this." Sharpness, in the sense of focus and clarity, means we strive to resolve a specific problem without any overkill or reference to history.
“How many times have I told you….”
History means you don’t bring up how many times it has been a problem. We are discussing this only right now.
Question: What do you do if your kids do that to you?
Answer: Don’t engage. I know that is a concern we will talk about that later.
Class member: D&C 15:2 It talks about sharpness about the power of God.
When we discipline you have to show forth an increase of love. They feel like they aren’t loved and don’t belong so they act out more. What does that mean?
Class member: If your child is in trouble then when the consequences happen then you go and talk to them and give them a hug and help them feel like they can be part of the family again.
Go back and be sure they know they are loved and wanted and are part of the family.
A negative is 10x more powerful than a positive. All of our kids and you have emotional bank accounts. It is made up of positives and negatives. You need to validate them and tell them what they did good. You are going to take out 10 to 1.
Your children hear the ‘but’. You cleaned your room really good, BUT you didn’t take out the trash.
Just during the day validate them 5x. Build up that bank account. If you keep that bank account in the positive you can make withdrawals. It won’t affect their feeling of love or worth.
Question: The balance between evaluation and that it’s not just coming from you. Don’t praise your child so much that they are looking for the ‘praise’.
Class member: I feel like with my teenagers he needs even more positives. People are always knocking you down.
Part of it is how you say it.
1. Focus on what your kids really need.
2. Action line
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. They move not because you are yelling, but because you are moving.
Example: When you say it the first time (come in 15 minutes) and then go upstairs and stand in front of the TV and turn it off they will come. You are reconditioning them that when you say something I am going to do it now. Be specific about what you want them to do. They are not angry because you didn’t yell. You can radiate a more positive Spirit to them.
Erase all the middle part “It’s time to get into the car”. You may have to have a FHE that teaches them that principle. I don’t like to yell. I don’t like how I feel when I yell. I need to pull the action line back down while I’m still in control of me.
Moving the action line will improve discipline.
When you are nursing you can’t get up and put them away. You need to ask yourself (before you ask for an action).
1. Is the child capable of doing this? Can the child do by himself what you are asking them to do? A 2 year old may not be able to clean their room, but you can say pick up the blocks here in the family room. Have you taught them? Do they have the self control to do it?
2. Is the child emotionally capable at that moment? They may be really tired, hungry, crabby, ornery. When they are at the end of the rope that may not be something they can do at that moment with a happy attitude. Does that mean that anytime they are hungry or tired they don’t have to do anything? No. Be sure you are teaching them this. You can say, “I know you are really tired because you didn’t get your nap. If you can just pick up these toys.” You acknowledge what’s wrong. It doesn’t make it right, but it makes me still loveable.
3. Do you want it done right now? This is where nursing babies, dirty diapers, telephone…real life comes in. If I want my kids to get in the car right now I need to say, “we have 15 minutes to get in the car”. You decide when you want it done now. When you are ready to act makes that decision. I need to be ready to leave and be sure to leave.
4. Am I willing to follow through with it right now? Be careful what you are going to ask. Have Dad step in an encourage more.
Class member: I remember hearing this is so true. We typically parent the way we are parented. I was leaving ready to do this. That week was the worst ever. It is really hard to change. It is doable. It is percentages. I am doing a little better than the last lesson.
I’m teaching you to overcome the natural man.
Class member: What do I do with a child who just outright refuses? I’ve heard this lesson to. I click the “X” on the computer for him to get off. It’s not just moaning and groaning. Everyone is hungry and grouchy.
Let me give you a cliff notes answer….why is the child misbehaving. His bank account is deplete. Mom is tired and busy with a baby. I’m feeling dethroned and it’s not fair. It feels like his bank account is in the negative. Your job this week is to not get him to do it this week. Do it in love not as a buy off. If it’s in love and real validation you can feel his bank account. You in looking at your kids focus on him and pray about him on that day.
Class member: One thing that has helped me….HALT…Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired. How much connection do they need?
I need you to come help me stir the macaroni? It’s pulling them in and filling a need.
Truth is not absolute! Truth to a child is what they perceive it to be.
If you say, “I’ve disciplined you. I really do love you.” If they perceive that you don’t love them as much as other sibling their ‘truth’ is the truth. Your truth is not what it’s important. You need to decide what their truth is.
Children misbehave because they think it will get them the goal of feeling loved and belonging. They are not strong enough to understand that we would give them attention and really love them. They act out trying to get those needs filled. There are certain behaviors that little people do.
Teenagers misbehave because they want identity, adrenaline rush, belong to a group. They will seek peer groups to belong to.
Level of Discouragement
Level 1: Undo attention
If they are engaged with you they are important as long as you pay attention to them. Some adults never grow past this. Some women grow up and feel like their husband isn’t always asking how they are he must not love them. Little people feel like if I can keep you engaged I am important. 2nd child has to share attention. This is very threatening to them. There are certain things that happen at this stage to identify. How do you feel? You are just annoyed.
Example: Little one sitting in a high chair while you are fixing dinner. They take the spoon and bang on the chair. You look at them they grin at you. They stop. When you go back to do what you are doing, they start again. The child that throws things off the high chair.
You tend to remind or coax them to stop doing it. You are repetitive. There is not anger involved. The correction for that behavior….when a child demands attention ignore the behavior at the moment. Your value is not attached to me giving you attention when you demand. You have to give them attention when they are not ‘begging’ for it.
Example: The 3 year old when home teachers come in and show off.
They have to learn and be taught that they are always of value, but sometimes they have to wait. Now you are giving someone else attention it is imperative they get the attention.
Level 2: Power
Not getting enough attention escalates they start into power struggles. They feel like they are only important when they get their way.
Example: She was in college and she would fight me with everything. If I said the sky is blue she would say the sky is grey. She said “Mom it’s not that I didn’t want to do what you said it’s that I didn’t want to be you I wanted to me and I was afraid that I was becoming you.”
When they are little you can win the argument. As they get bigger and more powerful they will win the arguments. Mostly because you will feel hopeless and helpless. You need to help teach and train them through that. When it goes from just seeking attention your feelings inside change. You go from being annoyed to being really angry. “I am the mother and you will do what I say!”
The key to a power struggle…your part is ‘I will win’. In the moment of the crisis you withdraw. You are withdrawing from the fight. You both need time to cool down. Then you go back and address it with questions not demands.
Level 3: Revenge
This level is revenge. They will do this by quitting. It is so hard. It is easier to deal with a power struggler because they are moving. They are quitting because they are really hurting bad. They may say hurtful things because you hurt them. They are hurting. They want to hurt back. “I hate you. I wish I could live with someone else. I wish you weren’t my mother.” Don’t let that make you panic. They are hurting bad and they need to be loved. In stead of buying it start thinking about 5 things you really love about them. You are empowering yourself. It will help you reach out to succor them. Avoid punishing them when they are in this mode. You have to motivate them and not punish them.
Question: This is how I am with my parents. How do I stop doing this?
Answer: When you get in that mode think 5 good things you like about yourself. We have to validate ourselves. Write them down.
1983 Mathew Holland (Priesthood Session) “Muddy Feet & White Shirts”
One summer morning, in that same student apartment my dad just described, I told my mom I was going out to the playground. She said okay, but told me not to come running back in with muddy feet because she was in the middle of washing and waxing the floor. She repeated the statement again for emphasis as I scampered out the door in a pair of cutoffs, barefoot and shirtless. I must have played for an hour, and at least half of that time was spent in the mud. Then, knowing my mom would probably be finished with the floor and would read to me, I ran home full of boyish excitement and vigor. That same vigor kept me and my mud-covered feet going right up the steps, through the door, and halfway onto the nearly finished wash-and-wax job my mother was still stooped over.
Not waiting for a reaction and not wanting to leave my sin half finished, I ran across the rest of the floor, into my parents’ room, and slammed the door shut. Not knowing if I should jump out the second-story window or if just hiding under the bed would do, I burst into tears and hurled my small body onto the bed and prepared myself for the possibility of meeting my great-great-grandfather sooner than I had expected.
I heard the door open quietly and looked over. Oh, good, I thought. She wasn’t carrying a heated poker (paddle; switch; anything). Before she could say anything, I cried out, “Mom, you don’t love me.” To which she replied, “I do love you, and I’ll do anything to prove it.” She then picked up my filthy, muddy feet and kissed them. Needless to say, that experience taught me a great deal about the meaning of repentance and forgiveness, which lessons the Church would later reinforce.