Thursday, October 24, 2013

The good fight

Just like any parent, I struggle dealing with my kids at times. My 5-yr old daughter is very headstrong (I can't imagine where she gets it from) and my 2-1/2 yr old is still relatively non-verbal, making communicating a challenge.

A little over a week ago, my daughter had a MASSIVE meltdown on the way to school because I corrected her in front of her friends which meant she then had to walk with me instead of her friends -- the horror!! Just a few minutes after the moms and littles got back home after drop off, a neighbor rang my doorbell and handed over this book:
I have to admit, I groaned a little inside. I've read countless articles about changing my child's behavior and never saw any real results. It sat on my nightstand for about a week before I cracked it open. Nothing in particular triggered it, other than maybe my guilt that I still had the book in my possession. Might as well take a look before I return it. You never know, right?

Wow. I mean WOW. Although this book started off like a lot of other parenting advice (give your child choices, pay more attention, etc.) it had a firmer approach than most others nowadays. Say no and walk away. Say what??? I can say no. That's not the issue. But walk away as my 5-yr old continues to ask me "why can't I have a friend over?" and not answer her? Unheard of. She and I are master debaters with each other -- making our cases until one of us compromises, or on rare occasion, caves. The same advice is given for having your kids do things. Tell them once and walk away. If they don't do it and they're late for school, oh well. Didn't eat and now dinner is over? Oh well. You mean no more having an entire meal consist of "eat your dinner?" Again, unheard of, especially in our house.

Little by little, I've been employing the tactics in the book and I am actually seeing results. There's certainly a lot less yelling on my part and my kids are figuring out that they don't need me for every single thing. Example -- as I type this, my son says "Mom, elly." (He wants his toy elephant.) I told him "you get it" and went back to typing. A few "No, you mom" whines later, he gave up, got up, and got the toy. Success!!

So, thanks neighbor. You know who you are!