Monthly Archives: April 2012

Those Difficult Parent/Child Discussions | Part 1

2012-04-30T13:50:38+00:00

The Questions Your Child Has But Doesn’t Know To Ask

Children are innately curious creatures.  Ask any mom of a toddler and they will tell you how they spend their day answering the seemingly limitless amount of questions.  Why, or in my son’s case, what happened? At some point though if we are not careful they stop asking questions.

As parents it is our job to make sure that we are open and available for our children to ask questions to.  It is very easy to quickly answer a question and continue on with what we are doing.  Often these are moments where our children want to know something deeper and either don’t know how to ask it or are feeling us out for how we will respond.  Take the time to truly listen to what your children are saying and look for opportunities to draw up that underlying question.

Remember we want to constantly do things that will open the lines of communication with our child and reinforce that we will always be a safe place for them to come with questions, even the hard ones.

 

Listen to today’s podcast for more insight on this topic.

Those Difficult Parent/Child Discussions | Part 1 2012-04-30T13:50:38+00:00

Separate the Relationship from the Discipline | Part 5

2012-04-09T15:39:39+00:00

Go Big on Relationship and Consistent with Discipline

The only “yelling” that we should be doing as parents is the cheering for our children.  One of the things that we are called to do is to be our child’s number one fan.  If we are cheering our child on then there will be no fear to try something new.

One of the best pictures of consistency in parenting for me has come from watching my husband in one of his stress relievers, bonsai trees.   He will get a little plant and as it grows he, slowly over time, bends the branches with wires and trims back the excess.  This helps the tree grow into the shape that it is most beautiful. If he just left it alone it would be overgrown and not pleasing to the eye. If he were to try to make the branches go instantly into the shape he wanted, they would break.  Each tree has its own unique shape and beauty to it.  When we are consistent with our discipline, slowly pruning and shaping things that don’t belong, it helps our children become the people God created them to be.  If we are too harsh, such as yelling constantly, we break their spirits.  It is our job to patiently and consistently utilize our parenting plan to grow our children to reach their beautiful potential.

“Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6

Listen to today’s podcast for more insight on this topic.

Separate the Relationship from the Discipline | Part 5 2012-04-09T15:39:39+00:00

Separate the Relationship from the Discipline | Part 4

2012-04-09T15:39:25+00:00

How to Stop Yelling Part 2

One of the big lessons that we want to teach our children is impulse control, in order to do that we have to live this out.  If we are consistently yelling at our children we are not showing impulse control.   We cannot have a rule in our house of not yelling between siblings and then yell as parents.

If we are in the heat of the moment and get frustrated give yourself permission to take a time out.  If you are yelling at your children take a moment to calm yourself and then continue the discussion.  You may just need to step away from the situation for a moment to think of a proper consequence.  Have a set place for your child to be where you can stop what is going on to do this.  For instance have your child sit down on the couch and tell them you will be back in a moment to inform them of their consequence.

If you do yell, which we all will at times, take the time to apologize to your children.  This will also help to communicate to your child that this is not acceptable behavior.  Then sit down and get out in front of the consequences for the next time. This way you will be more prepared and won’t have to resort to yelling.

Listen to today’s podcast for more insight on the topic of yelling.

Separate the Relationship from the Discipline | Part 4 2012-04-09T15:39:25+00:00

Separate the Relationship from the Discipline | Part 3

2012-04-09T15:39:07+00:00

How to Stop Yelling

Yelling is not an effective consequence.  You can literally watch a child who has been frequently yelled at glaze over when mom or dad starts yelling.  Its almost as if they are thinking, “if I can just wait this out then I can continue with what I am doing.”  If we apply it to our lives, it would not be an effective consequence for us either.  If we are consistently yelled at by a boss we consider that a hostile work environment and would begin to look for another job.  Just being yelled at by a police officer for speeding or running a red light would probably not be cause enough for most of us to stop these behaviors.  But we would think of filing a complaint.  If we would be angry at another adult for treating us this way then why would we treat our child this way?

Think about it yet another way. We would be very upset if we knew that a teacher, administrator or even another child was consistently yelling our son or daughter.  We would take action if another authority over our child berated them or called them a bad name.  However, if we do not have a plan in place for discipline then we open ourselves up to doing this to our own child.  I have heard parents at wits end say things like, “you are such a disappointment to me”.  Wow! I am sure that what they meant was “what you just did disappointed me or made me sad”.  The things that we say impact our children.  We don’t want the memories that they carry with them to be yelling or negative statements.  Take the time to come up with a plan!

Listen to today’s podcast for more insight on this topic.

Separate the Relationship from the Discipline | Part 3 2012-04-09T15:39:07+00:00

Separate the Relationship from the Discipline | Part 2

2012-04-09T15:38:48+00:00

Why Parents Yell

There are several signs for us that we need to take a step back and evaluate our parenting.  One of those signs is consistent yelling.  When we yell at our children we make ourselves the consequence and begin to remove our relationship from them.

There are several reasons why parents yell.  Yelling may be the only parenting style we have observed.  It is also a sign of exhaustion; we are so tired that our fuse is short.  Another reason is that we may forget that children will act like children, and we are taking their behavior personally. It may also be a sign that there is too much stress in our lives and our children are getting the brunt of it.

What we discussed yesterday may be one of the main reasons parents resort to yelling. .  There may not be a plan for consequences in our home so the result is we get frustrated or feel helpless.  Take the time to sit down with your spouse and come up with some consequences that fit the “crime” rather then resort to yelling.

Listen to today’s podcast for more insight on yelling.

Separate the Relationship from the Discipline | Part 2 2012-04-09T15:38:48+00:00

Separate the Relationship from the Discipline | Part 1

2012-08-06T21:17:18+00:00

Don’t Use Your Love as a Consequence

Unless we have a plan for parenting and consequences for poor choices it is easy to use our love as a consequence.  We feel unprepared to deal with behavior and that can make a parent feel frustrated and flustered.  We communicate that to our children sometimes not meaning too by using a hard tone or saying something we regret later.  If we take the time to prepare ahead of time we can use consequences that train and remove ourselves as the consequence.

The next thing we need to do after giving the consequence is, we need to make sure to restore relationship with our child.  Go back into your child’s room and sit with them or give them a hug.  Make sure you are not “punishing” them with your voice tone and with body language.  When the consequence is served it is done.  That way it truly is about the behavior and not about them as a person.  We will spend the rest of this week discussing separating the relationship from discipline.

Listen to today’s podcast for more insight on this topic.

Separate the Relationship from the Discipline | Part 1 2012-08-06T21:17:18+00:00

To Spank or Not to Spank | Part 4

2012-04-09T15:35:22+00:00

The Purpose of Spanking

We need to keep in our minds the purpose of spanking.  The purpose of spanking is not to “break the will of the child” or to “rid the child of sinful nature”.  It is not reactionary.  We also need to be careful that we are not taking our child’s behavior personally.  Our children are not doing things to us they are just being children.  That is why we need to be careful to spank for direct defiance and not for childish behavior.  The verse in Proverbs is such a great reminder, “Train up a child in the way he should go.” Some translations say, the way he is bent.  That is a beautiful picture for us as parents.  We are not breaking the will or the spirit of the child, we are bending it to fall under authority.  We still want them to be who God made them to be.

This is why our purpose for spanking is to squelch rebellious behavior or direct defiance of authority.  The reason why spanking appropriately is a good form of discipline for the young child is because it is quick and restores relationship.  And if we are focusing on restoring relationship immediately then it is not punitive.  Using spanking appropriately is a good way to train our children that our no means no.

 

For more insight on the topic spanking listen to today’s podcast.

 

To Spank or Not to Spank | Part 4 2012-04-09T15:35:22+00:00

To Spank or Not to Spank | Part 3

2012-04-09T15:35:04+00:00

Warning the Child Forces the Child To Think

Spanking should not be viewed as a punishment but as a part of the training process, the beginning of the training process in reality.  This is why it cannot be a reactionary thing by the parent.  We must begin the training process by giving the child a choice.  We are following the ICE plan, Instruct, Consequence and Exercise.  Even if it is something that is a routine behavior we must remember that we are dealing with a child who’s memories are forming.  Even if they do remember last time, they need to be given the choice so it begins to connect that they have indeed chosen this consequence.  The repeat behaviors are things that we as parents can tend to get the most frustrated with and react.  So giving the child the instruction and reminding them of the consequence removes the immediate reaction impulse.  As the child begins to grow we can even remind them by asking, “Mackenzie, do you remember what happened yesterday when you got out of your bed? That’s right you chose a spanking.” Then we reinstruct, “you are disobeying mommy right now by being out of bed.  You need to get back into bed.  If mommy has to come back in because you are out of bed then you are choosing a spanking.”

If the goal is training then we have to continually reinstruct the toddler to begin to connect the dots that their behavior is choosing the spanking.  If we are reactionary then our emotions are dictating when we spank and we are not consistent.  So not only can we harm our child but even our goal of training is not achieved.  This is why it is so important that a parent is calm.  Remember if you cannot be calm then do not spank!

 

For more insight on the topic of spanking listen to today’s podcast.

 

To Spank or Not to Spank | Part 3 2012-04-09T15:35:04+00:00

To Spank or Not to Spank | Part 2

2012-04-09T15:34:45+00:00

If You Can’t Stay Calm Don’t Spank Your Child

We discussed yesterday how spanking can be done inappropriately and hurt the child.  What does the correct use of spanking look like?  Here is a story to illustrate…

A young girl is down for her nap in her “big kid bed”.  Mom comes down the hall and hears the little girl playing on the floor.  Mom goes into the room and says, “Mackenzie,  its nap time right now, I need you to go lay down in bed.  You have a few stuffed animals in your bed to keep you company but you need to stay in your bed.”  A few minutes later mom goes to check and make sure she is in bed and hears her playing on the floor again.  This time she instructs the girl, “Mackenzie, you are not obeying mommy.  You need to stay in your bed and not get out.  If mommy has to come back in then your stuffed animals are going to have to stay on your shelf for the rest of nap time.”  Mom goes back down the hall and hears her daughter up again.  The stuffed animals are put up on the shelf as a consequence.  Mom then instructs, “ Mackenzie, you are still choosing to disobey mommy.  You need to stay in your bed and not get out. If you get out again, you are choosing a spanking. “  Mom realistically prepares herself that Mackenzie will test her on this so she is not shocked to come back down the hall and find her out of bed.  She says, “Honey, I am very sorry that you have chosen a spanking.  You need to sit on your bed and wait for mommy.”  Mom then goes to the kitchen to get the spoon, giving herself time to cool off if she needs it.  She then goes back in and spanks Mackenzie.  She sits and hugs her daughter for a few minutes making sure that her daughter knows that she is loved and restoring relationship so she (mom) is not the consequence.

Our take away from this story is to make sure that you are calm.  In order to do this, you need to maintain realistic expectations.  Your child will most likely test you to make sure that your “no means no”.  They will also probably test the system for a few days to see if mom or dad is going to be consistent.

 

For more insight on the topic of spanking listen to today’s podcast.

 

To Spank or Not to Spank | Part 2 2012-04-09T15:34:45+00:00