Prevention: Lay a Foundation

Source: alivecu.coop

Earlier this week, I talked about the benefits of outdoor play and cultivating the imagination in our children. Both of these ideas speak to the heart of what it so important in training our children: laying a foundation. By laying a foundation for our kids and our parenting, we do more to prevent problems with our children than to deal with them after they occur.

A few weeks ago, I asked you all what you wanted to read more about. Many of you said you wanted to learn more about consequences. I feel like I’m shirking my duty in giving you what you need. But I also feel like you’ll have more success as a parent if you lay the right foundation. It’s better to do your work ahead of time and set your child up for success than it is to discipline a child after the fact.

I certainly relate, though. When I first got my hands on On Becoming Childwise, I skipped ahead to the chapters on discipline. I felt like I needed a fix and I needed it now! I felt like if I could just get my hands on the right discipline method (timeouts, logical consequences, etc.) I would have my answer. That was so short-sighted of me. If there is anything I’ve learned in my 8.5 years of parenting, it’s that there is no quick fix in parenting.

This idea is even a primary focus in my e-book. Before I get into the specifics of training our children in first-time obedience, we need to set the stage. We need to do all we can to avoid child-centered parenting (couch time), give them independent play, schedule their days, make sure they eat healthy meals and get quality sleep, and more.

This applies to everything we hope to accomplish with our children. It goes beyond behavior. So whether you’re hoping to improve table manners or wanting them to get ahead in school, it’s all about laying that foundation. We need to set an example and create an environment that allows them to succeed.

An example of this is giving our boys outside time. While our greatest desire for our child may be creating a piano prodigy, we need to recognize our kids’ needs and give them the things they will need to succeed. It’s only by giving them outside time that we can expect them to sit still at the piano for any length of time. It’s only be cultivating their imagination that we can inspire creativity. It’s only by scheduling their day that we make sure we have time for it all.

This idea of laying a foundation forms the basis of my parenting. I believe in it so much that it affects everything I do with my kids. If we’re having issues with my boys not listening, I won’t immediately blame them or come up with a discipline plan. I will think through whatever it is that I’m doing wrong in laying a foundation. Whenever we have struggles, rather than blame my kids or lecture them on it, I’ll reevaluate our schedule and find a renewed commitment to follow it. (Following a schedule is one of my weaknesses.)

The other wonderful benefit of laying a foundation is that it’s all under our control. We cannot physically control our kids, but we can use our authority to follow a schedule, make sure they are in bed on time, take them outside, do couch time, and more. Probably the biggest detriment in laying our foundation is believing that it’s important.

Look at it this way. Our society has gotten a little carried away with the idea that popping a pill will cure whatever ails us. Popping a pill is so much easier than changing our diets or exercising. But we all know deep down that diet and exercise are the only true ways to improving our health. The same holds true with our children. Perfecting your timeout routine or finding a new logical consequence is akin to popping a pill. Laying that foundation and setting the stage for success for our children — the equivalent of diet and exercise — ensures a healthy home and children who will live the lives we want most for them.

Holiday eBook Sale!

For the holidays, I’m offering my eBook, Live in Harmony with First-Time Obedience, for just $7.99! That’s 20% off the regular price. If you’ve been thinking about buying it, now’s the time! The eBook contains 112 pages of detailed, step-by-step instructions for any parent looking to train a child in first-time obedience.

It’s the perfect opportunity to brush up on your first-time obedience training skills before the holidays. Or buy the eBook for a friend or family member!

Gary Ezzo himself endorses the eBook. Here’s what he said:

“One of the most important parenting tasks is helping children learn to obey. This eBook offers practical advice for parents in the throes of obedience training and is high on my recommended reading list.”

Here’s the table of contents:

  • Introduction: My Story and Acknowledgments
  • Chapter 1: What Is First-Time Obedience?
  • Chapter 2: Ezzo Fundamentals: First Things First
  • Chapter 3: Preparing for First-Time Obedience Training
  • Chapter 4: Training Your Child in First-Time Obedience
  • Chapter 5: FTO Bootcamp
  • Chapter 6: Correction and Troubleshooting
  • Chapter 7: Special Circumstances
  • Conclusion: Obedience Is Just the Beginning
  • Appendices: Forms and Checklists

Still unsure about making the purchase? Download a sample to review the book before you buy. And remember, it’s now backed by a 100% guarantee.

The sale price is good starting today, December 19 through January 4, my wedding anniversary. :)

Happy holidays!

Do you unknowingly negotiate?

Source: ideaspasm.com

Do you ever negotiate with your kids? Do you let them engage you in a negotiation conversation? We all know that negotiating with our kids is wrong, right? Parenting is not a democracy. Our kids’ votes do not hold equal weight with ours. But sometimes, it’s easy to get wrapped up in conversations that are thinly veiled negotiations.

Just recently, I noticed my husband getting caught up in a negotiation with our oldest. We’re weaning William off melatonin (which he needed for a while as a result of his sensory processing issues), and he’s been getting out of bed, impatient that he’s not falling asleep. I sympathize with the child since it can be hard to break an old habit. Honestly, it’s gotten to the point where the melatonin had greater psychological effects than anything else. Anyway, my husband brought William upstairs to put him back in bed, and I noticed that he got into a fairly long and involved conversation with William about it all.

My kids know they are not to get out of bed after we say good night. It’s never been much of an issue with William because the melatonin always put him to sleep right away. But still, he’s 8 now, and should know better. Nonetheless, my husband quickly got wrapped up in William’s pleading and complaining. It became a bit of a negotiation with William wanting to stay up late.

I take a very firm stance when my kids attempt to negotiate with me. I end the conversation before it even starts. If it were me, I would have said, “Good night, William,” in my I’m-done-with-this-conversation voice and closed his door.

Scenarios like this aren’t your typical negotiation attempts. When I think about negotiation, it’s the child trying to get 4 cookies instead of 2, and you agree to a compromise of 3. But with both scenarios, the parent is accepting something other than the original instruction.

After offering a scenario about a child wanting to play with his trucks during lunch, the Ezzos say:

“The issue is not whether playing with a truck at lunch is right or wrong, but whether his mom is characterized by always negotiating something less than her original instructions. When parents become characterized by continually accepting a negotiated compromise, they undermine their attempts to bring their child to first-time obedience. If all is negotiable, then no instruction is absolute. When we negotiate the standard in the heat of battle, there is no true surrender, only an agreed upon suspension of conflict. Without a complete surrender, there will always be a member ready to wage war,” (Growing Kids God’s Way, p. 125).

That’s huge! Most of us know that negotiating with our kids is wrong, but have you ever stopped to think why? To think that it could completely undermine all of our hard work in first-time obedience makes the issue all the more important. If you’ve read my eBook, you know that saying what you mean and meaning what you say are crucial in setting the stage for first-time obedience. No child is going to obey you the first time if he can quickly and easily change your mind.

So stick to your guns and don’t let him negotiate with you! And be on the lookout for those conversations that seem like innocent conversations but are really negotiation attempts!

Simple logical consequences

Source: realsimple.comLast week, I wrote about some of the more extreme logical consequences I’ve heard about. I thought I would present an alternate view and talk about some of the more simple logical consequences that have proven to be highly effective with my kids.

My friend Manda commented on last week’s post, saying how the Ezzos’ approach to the funnel gives us a very simple, common sense approach to logical consequences. There are some parenting experts, like the authors of Love & Logic, who make us think that we have to get creative with logical consequences for them to be memorable. But some of the more simple consequences are more effective because they relate to the issue at hand. As Manda said, if you can’t handle a freedom, you lose that freedom.

I could not agree more. There are times that I worry that I rely too much on timeout as a consequence, but I always come back to the idea that a timeout is very much a logical consequence. Typically, I issue timeouts because my kids are doing something that isn’t appropriate around other people. Being isolated in their rooms is very much a logical consequence. You can’t behave appropriately around other people, you can’t be around other people. So simple!

Here are some other very simple, yet very effective, logical consequences that I’ve used:

  • Problem: Acting bossy toward your sibling.
  • Consequence: You lose the freedom of playing with your sibling. If you have a bad attitude with everyone, you go to your room (losing the freedom to be around anyone).
  • Problem: Speaking disrespectfully toward mom or dad.
  • Consequence: You lose the freedom to speak. I first learned about this idea from the Mom’s Notes, and I use it all the time. My kids don’t often speak disrespectfully, but I’ll use it when they’re too loud in the car, experimenting with potty language, etc. It’s very effective. Of course, it requires a healthy dose of first-time obedience to get them to not speak.
  • Problem: Whining during a game of catch.
  • Consequence: The game is over. My kids get frustrated if they can’t catch or throw the ball as well as they’d like, but when the frustration turns into whining, the game is over. We’ll try again when they’re ready to play without complaining.

Ultimately, the point of this post is to say that you don’t need to get creative or crazy with logical consequences. The point is that logical consequences are logical, which means that they relate very simply to the problem at hand. And because they relate to the matter at hand, they work!

What are some of the simple logical consequences you’ve used? Are they just as effective as some of the more creative consequences you’ve used?

P.S., The July 4th sale on my eBook, Live in Harmony with First-Time Obedience, ends Friday! Get your copy today!

July 4th eBook Sale!

In honor of the holiday this week, I’m offering my eBook, Live in Harmony with First-Time Obedience, for just $7.99! That’s 20% off the regular price. If you’ve been thinking about buying it, now’s the time! The eBook contains 112 pages of detailed, step-by-step instructions for any parent looking to train a child in first-time obedience.

Gary Ezzo himself endorses the eBook. Here’s what he said:

“One of the most important parenting tasks is helping children learn to obey. This eBook offers practical advice for parents in the throes of obedience training and is high on my recommended reading list.”

Here’s the table of contents:

  • Introduction: My Story and Acknowledgments
  • Chapter 1: What Is First-Time Obedience?
  • Chapter 2: Ezzo Fundamentals: First Things First
  • Chapter 3: Preparing for First-Time Obedience Training
  • Chapter 4: Training Your Child in First-Time Obedience
  • Chapter 5: FTO Bootcamp
  • Chapter 6: Correction and Troubleshooting
  • Chapter 7: Special Circumstances
  • Conclusion: Obedience Is Just the Beginning
  • Appendices: Forms and Checklists

Still unsure about making the purchase? Download a sample to review the book before you buy. And remember, the it’s now backed by a 100% guarantee.

The sale price is good for the entire week: Monday, July 2 through Friday, July 6 (11:59 Pacific).

Happy Independence Day!

Do you enjoy your child?

Source: theparentfairy.blogspot.com

How’s that for a loaded question? I think it’s important for all parents to ask themselves this question every now and then. Yes, we go through struggles with our children. Yes, they often do their best to push our buttons and test boundaries. But on the whole, we should be enjoying the time we spend with our children.

If your answer to this question is an unequivocal no, it is your cue that you need to change your parenting methods. Do be honest with yourself when you ask yourself this question. Nobody else needs to know. Have your spouse ask himself the same question, especially if you see struggles between him and the child.

Understand that the onus to change your situation falls on you. If you don’t enjoy your child, do not blame the child. Children will very happily comply with our instructions when we are clear and consistent. You might find this very encouraging. It’s all under your control!

Take the steps you need to take to change the atmosphere in your home. Keep your eye on the goal (a happy, loving relationship with your child), and do the work it takes to get yourselves there.

Here are some ideas:

1)    Read, read, read. Learn all you can about different parenting methods.

2)    Talk to older, wiser parents. Learn from their experiences.

3)    Take a parenting class with your spouse. Ask around at local churches to see where you might find a Growing Kids God’s Way class.

4)    Step back and evaluate your attitude. Are you too lax? Too strict? Yes, children need to be corrected, but don’t make your life more difficult by focusing on behaviors that make a child a child. Choose your battles.

5)    Make sure you have all the basics under your belt. Work on good eating and sleeping habits. Practice couch time and avoid child-centered parenting.

6)    Do all that you can to prevent misbehaviors. Don’t wait for the child to misbehave before you act.

7)    If you have the basics under control, work on first-time obedience. You can learn more in my eBook, Live in Harmony with First-Time Obedience. It will take work to train your child in first-time obedience, but the payoff is so worth it.

Always remember your goal. If you ever need encouragement to continue your work in parenting, remember that you are working on developing a happy, loving relationship with your child. Remind yourself of that sweet little soul you saw when he was a baby or toddler. Stare at him while he sleeps. Trust that his sweet spirit will reemerge. He wants to be that sweet little child; he just needs your help to get there.

What I’m Reading, “A Parent’s Guide to Gifted Children,” Inheritability of Giftedness

Is giftedness inherited?

I touched on this in an earlier post, but A Parent’s Guide to Gifted Children is very clear that while there is certainly a genetic component to giftedness, environment is a factor.

“Studies by researchers in different parts of the world from the 1960s to the present have compared identical twins who were separated in infancy and raised in widely different environments. Researchers in these twin studies found a high similarity in intelligence–at least as measured by IQ scores–indicating a strong heritability component,” (A Parent’s Guide to Gifted Children, p. 3).

Environment plays an important role as well.

“Young children can even show an increase in measured intelligence if they are given strong emotional and educational enrichment. Up to seven or eight years of age, IQ scores may increase with enrichment of the child’s environment by 10 to 20 points or more,” (A Parent’s Guide to Gifted Children, p. 3).

It’s also important to note that gifted characteristics can develop over time and become more apparent as a person matures.

This segues nicely to the importance of first-time obedience. If you have trained your child to be obedient, this frees time for you and your child to focus on more important tasks. It allows for more learning to take place. Imagine a child who doesn’t quite know what his parents expect, where he can push the envelope, or how seriously to take his parents’ word. It’s possible he’s devoting much of his energy to figuring out how to behave. If he trusts that you mean what you say, and he knows how to behave, he can devote more thought to understanding the world around him.

eBook Giveaway

I’m giving away a copy of my eBook, Live in Harmony with First-Time Obedience, on Chronicles of a Babywise Mom! You have seven opportunities to enter. Do all seven and increase your odds of winning. Enter now!

If you are not the lucky winner, come back here before January 9 to get your copy at the reduced price of $6.99. Learn more about the eBook and preview a sample here.

 

Live in Harmony with First-Time Obedience. New eBook!

Have you always wanted to teach your children first-time obedience but you’ve never been sure where to begin? Let my new eBook, Live in Harmony with First-Time Obedienceteach you how.

I am very proud to announce the release of my new eBook! Several months ago, I realized that it might help parents to have one easy-to-read, digital source for advice on teaching first-time obedience. After many hours and late nights, it’s now a reality!

After reading through my own posts on the topic of first-time obedience, I decided that there were several holes in my teaching that needed to be filled. So I am excited to offer this eBook, which covers just about every idea I’ve had about training children in first-time obedience. The 112-page eBook serves as a great complement to the Parent Wise books from Gary and Anne Marie Ezzo.

In Live in Harmony with First-Time Obedience, you’ll learn how to:

  • Rid your home of tantrums, whining, complaining and negotiating
  • Train your children to be respectful and obedient
  • Create peace and harmony in your home so you can enjoy your children again
  • Work on obedience while they’re young and the stakes are low
  • Reduce the stress that comes with parenting young children
  • Achieve a balanced life of love and learning with your children

Gary Ezzo himself has endorsed the eBook:

One of the most important parenting tasks is helping children learn to obey. This eBook offers practical advice for parents in the throes of obedience training and is high on my recommended reading list. ~ Gary Ezzo

Get your copy of Live in Harmony with First-Time Obedience while it’s on sale! Until January 9, 2012, it will be available for just $6.99! That’s 30% off the original price!

Click on the graphic below to learn more about the eBook and to download a sample of the eBook. Have a look before you buy.

If you like what you see, consider becoming an affiliate. Earn 30% of the purchase price for every buyer you refer. Read more.