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How to be an amazing parent

Two weeks later the mother arrived back with her daughter and began to tell me how much the child had changed. The mother went on to tell me that her daughter had begun to work around the house, was being nice to her brother and sister and staying at school. When it was the daughters turn to come in she was angry and upset. She told me she had done all I had suggested but that her parents had not said well done or anything.

This is typical of many parents who don't even know how to give praise, let alone see times when the child needs praise. I spent most time with the mother explaining my idea of her daughter building a bank of jobs and good behaviour in exchange for special treats like having a friend over to stay the night. The mother went away and began to praise her child even more. They were both very happy the last time they came in all because we retrained both of them to look at life differently.

Change What Doesn't Work

Jack was an 8 year-old boy out of control (mothers description) who attended my practice for anger issues. The story was that the mother had lost control and Jack was winning and loving every minute of it. When I asked the mother if Jack misbehaved in front of his dad, the answer was no.

This is a very popular situation and often can cause big trouble in the marriage or partnership. The child's view of his father is very different from the view he has of his mother.

Little Jack had his mother running scared, the mother forgot who was the adult. She spent most of her day running after him, literally. If she was trying to get him to school on time he would be too quick for her and run around the house with her chasing and yelling at him.

However if dad was home little Jack was an angel. Do you get what's happening in this household? Yes Jack is in charge and mum is not.

My work had to begin with mum. I found out that mum did most of the parenting while dad was at work. However dad was fed up with mum because she couldn't control the child, so the parents were in crisis.

The simple difference here was one parent represented fear to young Jack while the other parent didn't. The dad would just have to look at the child and Jack did what he was told. Mum however had to scream, chase and often smack Jack to get him to behave.

Of course like all mums do she would attempt to sit Jack down and talk to him about why he should have behaved. This technique of talking to a young child using adult language like the word respect does not work. She did this all the time and all the time it didn't work, she kept doing it.

Please remember this as long as you live your amazing life. When it comes to children and behaviour fear is a greater motivator of than pain.

The dad produced fear in Jack and the mother produced pain. In screaming, chasing and smacking Jack all mum produced was short-term pain that only slowed Jack down.

It also trained Jack to never look for any other attention other than pain. He became used to the smacks and the screams.

I always ask every parent this question. "Did you treat your parents with this much disrespect when you were that age"?

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