Tag Archives: Parents Are People Too

Punishment Is Not Abuse: Ten Discipline Tips

Punishment required. Cartoon

When it seems the little ones and not so little ones are out to get you the time has come to discipline and probably even punish. These tips might help.

Discipline Tips

First tip: You are the person responsible for teaching right from wrong. 

Matters not what others teach or how you are related to the child when you are interacting with the child you are the one responsible for teaching . Except when the parents are in charge which is in their house, but in my house, my rules.

Second tip: Keep the rules simple. Safety; respect for self, others, all living things, and property; obey reasonable laws. Respect means following both versions of the Golden Rule whether religious or not: treat others the way you want to be treated; do not do to others what you do not want done to you.

Third tip: Punishment is not a dirty word. Not punishing gives permission to do wrong and is almost as big a problem as too harsh punishments.

The official definition of punishment is something bad happens after doing something someone else does not like. This means withholding praise or a smile is a punishment. The trick is always to make the punishment fit the crime.

Fourth tip: Teaching right from wrong starts as soon as the child starts walking. The best source of parenting advice for this age is Thomas Phelan’s One, Two, Three Magic . One and two serve as warnings, three is punishment, usually a timeout.

Fifth tip: When your child enters adolescence, let go. Thomas Gordon’s Parent Effectiveness Training  focuses on letting go and letting life teach.

Learning to avoid Gotcha Wars and part of letting go. Here is a Wikihow I started on that subject

Sixth tip: Talk less. Both Phelan and Gordon say actions are more important than words. A good book for helping you talk less is The One Minute Manager by Ken Blanchard.

Seventh tip: Allow as much choice as possible. We all want to feel we choose our way. Choice empowers. Starting offering choices as soon as your child starts walking and talking, but choice should be on-going.

How do you offer choice? “This cookie or that one, your choice.”“Do you want to watch TV or go for a walk with me?” “Are you doing your chores or letting me keep your allowance? Your choice.” “Obey” or “Timeout.” “Homework or bad grades?”

Warning: make certain the choices are ones you can live with.

Eighth tip: Follow John Gottmean’s “Five to One Rule.” Gottman discovered that to overcome one negative encounter in a relationship five positives encounters were required. Why smiles, praise, thank yous, fun time, and sharing healthy laughs matter.

Ninth tip: Good enough beats perfection when it comes to living the good life.  Praise effort, honor good intentions, forgive mistakes – yours and your child’s.

Tenth tip: Remember what matters.  It might be time to buy and read my eBook Know Your Mission So You Can Reach Your Goals. 

THANK YOU FOR ALL YOU DO

Practice kindness by liking, commenting or sharing this post. Liking encourages others to read. Comments say you have read and thought about the post. Sharing is a gift to three people: me, you, and those who benefit from your sharing.

Katherine

LINKS OF INTEREST

These links are for those not familiar with Emotional intelligence or the idea of Emotional Fitness. 

 

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Think About Your Legacy

Bradberry quote

As grandparents who married late and may not be around as our three grandsons enter adulthood, we are creating legacy boxes, Something you might think of doing if you are a grandparent. And yes, a bit egocentric, but who does not want to be remembered and to pass a bit of  hard learned wisdom to our children, grandchildren, and perhaps great-grandchildren.   Sharing knowledge has been one of my life’s mission and a legacy box lets  me keep sharing.

What goes in a legacy box? Ours hold photos, childish letters, family history and genealogy, bits of jewelry, some wooden toys, a few my poster coaches, copies of my books, lots of other books, and  a personalized letter from each of us to our grandchildren.

An example, one of my favorite novels remains T.H. White’s Once and Future King. Many children’s stories about King Arthur have spun off from this as well as the musical Camelot and the movie Excalibur – another favorite of mine.  The book is a satire written as Hitler was coming to power and much loved by many people. Reading it as a teen changed my thoughts about life and people. I am hoping  my grandchildren will  think more critically if and when they read it.

Not a grandparent? Better yet. Being a parent focuses most people on hopes and dreams for their children. The life you live whether planned or not forms part of your legacy. The best way to control at least some of your legacy is to know your mission and to insure it focuses on what matters. As the sages and researchers make clear what matters is treating others as you want to be treated.

A warning, however.  A part of our inner child as well as all real live children want what they want and need help learning what matters. Children until the age of eight or nine, need to learn good manners, how to practice kindness and forgiveness, as well as how to deal with not getting what they want. Takes a bit of tough love and best when leavened with  soft love.

Then the process of letting go can begin so by their teens, children are ready to navigate the real world.

Not clear about missions and SMART goals?  Consider getting my ebook Know Your Mission So You Can Reach Your Goals. Costs less than a latte and every sale keeps me going.

THANK YOU FOR ALL YOU DO

Practice kindness by liking or sharing what  you find of value on the internet.  All who post crave recognition. A like says “Thank You.” Comments say you have read and thought about the post. Sharing is a gift to three people: the blogger, the people you share with, and you for your kindness blesses you. I know that when someone does this, it keeps me going.

Stay strong, it takes some effort for parenting is both pleasure and pain, effortless and a struggle.

Katherine

Links of Interest

These links are for those not familiar with Emotional Intelligence or the idea of Emotional Fitness.

Disclaimer two: Take all advice even mine, carefully.  Don’t just listen to your heart, but also think; don’t just think, listen to your heart.  Heart and head working together increase the odds you will find useful advice amid all the promises and hopes pushed at you be others.  As others have noted, take what seems useful, leave the rest.

Disclaimer two: Forgive my grammatical errors

If  you need perfect posts, you will not find them  here;  I will understand if you don’t follow, like or share what  like me.  Not only am I dealing with an aging brain, but all of my life I have been plagued by dysgraphia–a learning disability,  Some of my posts might be peppered with bad spelling, poor punctuation, and worse words that make no sense.  If  you want to hang in with me, thank you; you are kind. If a post doesn’t make sense or bugs you too much, stop reading, I will understand.

Thank

 

UPDATE

Aging and health problems slowing me down. Still grateful for this opportunity to share my experiences.  Still hoping to revise and update “How To Hold A Successful Family Meeting” as well as to publish a new eBook “Defanging Fear In All It’s Disguises” before the year ends. Wish me well.

Meanwhile, for daily tips follow me on Facebook. I have an Emotional Fitness Training page there as well an Emotional Fitness Tips for Parents page.  I try to post helpful articles on these pages as well as some laughs and a bit of inspirational stuff.

Thank you all for your patience and your support. You keep me going.

Family Meetings Fizzling? Here’s Help

Well run Family Meetings improve communication, let every voice be heard, save time, ease decision making, and are far too rare.

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Every time I talked about family meetings at workshops or with parents seeking help, three responses predominated. Some parents said:

“Tried that. Didn’t work. No way I’m trying again.”
“Go to too many meetings at my job; all a waste of time.”
The third response would be a facial expression screaming “No, no.”

If I was lucky enough to get a family to talk about why their family meetings failed, the answers were pretty much the same:

“Too much complaining, too much whining, too much venting.”
“Took too long to get everyone to agree.”
“The kids sat silently and later complained we were first class dictators.”

I don’t blame the parents for failing; I blame the parent advice experts. Some of the advice mirrors my own: set an agenda, use go-round discussions, build fun into the process, have opening and closing rituals. Good advice.

However, is a sample of advice that made me screech like someone stepped on a sore toe; it is from an article in Parenting Magazine:

The best approach to planning family meetings is probably to set up the expectation that the whole family will meet to try to make decisions and solve problems together.

Hog wash, humbug and a set up for dissent and difficulty. Mostly a plea for democracy. However, democracy works when there are strong, caring leaders who know what needs to happen, who know what is possible, and who don’t let the kids vote until they are at least eighteen and in many places, twenty-one.

Contrary to popular opinion as reflected in most of the parenting advice floating around, a family run as a democracy does not work. Let me repeat that: A family run as a democracy does not work.

Families work best when parents take on the role of benign dictators. Be very clear, I am talking about benign dictatorships not the ones invested in getting the trains to run on time and the masses bowing or saluting un-elected and cruel leaders.

Here are my tips for becoming a benign family meeting leader and having half a chance of running a successful family meetings:

1. Repeat and believe the following mantra. For two parent families: “Us, our house, our wallet, our rules.” For a single parent home: “Me, my house, my wallet, my rules.

2. Do not work to keep everyone happy, allow everyone to vent, or allow full participation in the problem solving process. Your job as a parent is to  pay the bills, assure children kept safe and properly cared for, not to assure happiness.

3. Make the rules and punishments are clear,  fair, just,  realistic, and work for the betterment of all, are

4. Allows a few decisions to be reached by consensus or vote, but do so carefully, and if dissent arises,  exercise the benign dictator’s right to rule.

5. Do not allow pop-corning. Pop-corning lets participants speak at random. Instead use the go-round facilitation style. The facilitator asks the questions or poses a comment for discussion at the start of each go-round; the others respond one by one. As each person responds, the facilitator merely nods or say “Thank you.”

If during a go-round someone speaks rudely, speaks about another person’s view instead of their own, the facilitator says “Please stay on topic, and repeats the question or item for discussion.

A Reality Check: If you have been following the “Siblings Without Rivalry,” soft love ideas that parents are responsible for their child’s feelings and happiness becoming a benign dictator model will not be easy.

Moreover, the kids will protest. Wouldn’t you if someone instead of focusing exclusively on your happiness, started to tell you a variation of “Suck it up, Buttercup”.

What to do? Announce the change in parenting styles. Reframe it as the next step to adulthood. Say something like this:

“You are at the age, when you need to learn what it means to be an adult and that means attending and participating in meetings like a grown up. We are going to have Family Meeting and I am going to run them like a hard-nosed boss.

Second reality check: If your parenting style has been that of Marine Commander ala The Great Santini, meaning you either don’t have family meetings or use them to issue edicts to your sullen or frightened subjects. You will need to reverse tactics and follow the more usual advice of letting your subjects make more decisions, and giving them more rewards. Your mantra needs to be “Their life, their needs.”

Final reality check: Expect stress whether this is your first attempt to hold a family meeting or a renewed attempt. If switching parent styles is part of the process that will add more stress. Here’s an introduction to EFT’s Self-soothing skills. So a tip or two about dealing with that stress.

Tip one: Keep your expectations realistic. Hold six meetings and then figure out if they are working. If working, take everyone out for ice cream or to the movies as a reward. If not working, think about having a parent coach come and help get things on track be possible?

Tip two: Work to improve your self-soothing skills. Practice my Daily Twelve Emotional Fitness Exercises. Here’s an introductory link. For more on self-soothing, consider buying my eBook, Self-soothing To Create Peace In Your LIfe. It costs less than a latte and lasts longer.

Tip three: If all family times are mad or sad times, consider seeking a competent professional consultation.

Thank you for all you do

Practice kindness. Remember to share all you find of value on the internet.  All who post crave recognition. A like says “Thank You.” Comments say you have read and thought about the post. Sharing is a gift to three people: the blogger, the people you share with, and you for your kindness blesses you.

Stay strong, it takes some effort for life can be a painful struggle.

Katherine

Post Inspiration: This post was not inspired  by the WordPress Daily  Prompt:  Clean.

Go here to learn more about the Daily Prompts.

Links of Interest

These links are for those not familiar with Emotional Intelligence or the idea of Emotional Fitness.

Disclaimer two: Take all advice even mine, carefully.  Don’t just listen to your heart, but also think; don’t just think, listen to your heart.  Heart and head working together increase the odds you will find useful advice amid all the promises and hopes pushed at you be others.  As others have noted, take what seems useful, leave the rest.

Disclaimer two: Forgive my grammatical errors

If  you need perfect posts, you will not find them  here;  I will understand if you don’t follow, like or share what  like me.  Not only am I dealing with an aging brain, but all of my life I have been plagued by dysgraphia–a learning disability,  Some of my posts might be peppered with bad spelling, poor punctuation, and worse words that make no sense.  If  you want to hang in with me, thank you; you are kind. If a post doesn’t make sense or bugs you too much, stop reading, I will understand.