Behaviors to avoid
Effective parenting starts when your kids are very young. Children learn at an early age, what they can and cannot do – and which parent is the weak link in the couple.
A former client, whose child was an adult when she brought him to my office, said that ‘he was always a problem.’ She continued to say that when he was 3yrs old he demanded that she take the groceries out of the car or he wouldn't get in. She put them in the trunk – but still wouldn't stop screaming. She drove home with the child on her lap - and he was quiet.
Guess who won that round?
If you can't control a child at three. It's much harder to change his behavior later in life. And this boy was typical. Eventually, smoked weed, dropped out of school, became a compulsive gambler and as much as they try he refuses to move out of the family home. They're miserable, and so is he. So they give in to his demands, hoping he’ll change. It won’t happen. They’re the ones who have to change.
It’s much easier to stand firm with little kids. Older children get into larger problems and have a longer history of manipulating you
The topic of the month of April in Powerful Living - Effective Parenting.
No child is born ‘bad’, they're simply responding to his/her environment.
These parenting behaviors DON'T work.
Nervous adults produce nervous kids. These parents are over protective and prevent the child from living a normal life.
These parents can’t deal with crying, temper tantrums, etc. They always try to please the child.
Yelling, insulting, demeaning, physical punishment etc. is used as a tactic to get children to obey. This only lowers self esteem in the child and builds resentment.
Parenting based on power and control builds fear. “I’m the boss. Do it my way or else.” This doesn't work.
Not connecting – either emotionally or physically. Paying the child off with gifts etc to demonstrate love.
These parents are too involved in their child's life. They control everything and make the child dependent on them.
You’ve been doing these behaviors occasionally, don’t worry, the problem is when these behaviors have become a parenting style.
Here are effective parenting tips
1) Don’t nag or set unnecessary limits. Choose your battles.
2) Don’t use power and control. This teaches the child to manipulate to get what they want.
3) Laugh. Use humor to diffuse situations – not ridicule though
4) Both parents should be united.
5) Don’t give mixed messages.
6) Don’t over-react. Give logical consequences.
7) Don’t delay consequences (till the other parent comes home) etc.
8) Acknowledge the good not only the bad
9) Provide a quiet space for time out
10) Don’t argue with them – keep calm but be firm
Q & A
My daughter is just a few days away from turning 21. She's still living at home with me and my husband (not her father). I know that when she goes out with her friends, she "parties hard" and I'm very concerned about her binge drinking. She says, "Oh mom, I'm just young and having fun, I'm not going to do this forever!" But, no-one sets out to become an alcoholic! My biggest worry of course has always been that she might drive while drunk, but she has always promised me she would never do this. Well, she got a DUI recently and I'm devastated by this. THANK GOD no-one was hurt. I told her that I was FED UP with her partying ways and that she needed to clean up her act and quit drinking. Of course at the time she was very remorseful and agreeable to what I had to say. My concern is that I don't think she will quit and I want to know what I can do or say to make her WANT to quit. Is it Tough Love time? As in, if she does not stop and get her act together, then she will have to move out of my home? I love her so much and I know she cannot afford to live on her own yet. My husband has not approved of her behavior for a LONG time and he's at the point where he's DONE with her BS. This is putting a very heavy strain on the marriage. What can I do to save my beautiful daughter from going down this ugly road?? I'm at my wits end.
The problem with binge drinkers is that they don't believe that they have a problem because they don't party all the time. But the DUI may be a wake-up call.
Show her this self-test. It's geared to teens but your daughter is still young enough.
Do not enable her by giving her lifts. She has to pay consequences for her behavior. Before you kick her out of the house, tell her she must get help. There may be counseling at school. Have her check on that. Find an addiction counselor who can give her relapse prevention strategies. Recovery coaching, by phone or on the Internet, is another alternative. My younger clients are very receptive to counseling by using technology. We can even see each other on the computer.
Because she’s living at home you have some control. Demand that she stops binge drinking and gets help. She should also pay her fine and if you give her lifts she will not suffer the consequences of her behavior.
Binge drinking is very common with young people on weekends, after exams, whenever…This is dangerous behavior, sometimes resulting in alcohol poisoning and death. Stand firm and don’t waiver in your demands for her to change.
Best of luck,
a loving relationship
Best of luck to both of you,
Having problems with food, drugs, alcohol, gambling etc. and you'd like personal coaching or recovery coaching to keep you on track. Get help when you need it with
coaching or a consultation
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That’s the topic for next month’s newsletter.
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