"How to Parent Your Kids (Without Losing Your Mind)"
Acclaimed parenting speaker Scott Peebles presented his "slightly off-the-wall parenting" methods at a recent Chalk Talk event. Our parents were laughing out loud during his presentation and asked some excellent questions. Scott had so many great tips, we wanted to share the notes!
Question: What is the key to becoming a successful parent?
Become a "Slightly Off-The-Wall Parent," which means doing things a little differently than might seem natural to you as a parent.
Be consistent. Say it once and follow through! Just making this one change in parenting will put you miles ahead of where you are. The key is "CONSISTENCY, CONSISTENCY, CONSISTENCY"
Keep this in mind: PMMFI "Please Make Me Feel Important." Apply this rule to your children, your spouse and yourself. Everyone wants to feel important so make sure you are not only getting the attention you need but showing love and care for your partner and your children.
Question: How should I react/what do I do when my child brings home a bad grade?
Try a dialogue like this:
Parent: "Great you got an F, isn't that what you wanted?"
Child: "Well no, I wanted an A."
Parent: "Well did you study?"
Child: "Well, no..."
Emphasize that there are no failures, only results. You either get the results you want or the results you don't want, and if you aren't getting the results you want then you probably need to try doing something differently.
Question: How do I interact with my kids in a way that instills confidence?
Always look for the "gold" in your children. Make your child the star of the evening and give them the opportunity to talk as much as they want about all they things they are proud of.
Adopt the "Family Kindness Act" and every night or once a week at dinner have everyone in the family say two nice things about the other family members. Ask them, "What have you done today that you are proud of?" and let them talk.
Question: What do I do when my child starts throwing a tantrum?
Root them on--encourage them to keep on having a fit (reverse psychology)
Have a tantrum with them
Make a "Tantrum in Progress" sign to hold up if you are in public
Question: What is a good way to get my kids to bed on time?
Answer: Pick a song--make it one you like--and play it as they are getting ready for bed until they go to sleep. Over time... (ever heard of Pavlov?) they will start getting sleepy just by hearing the song.
Question: How do I say "No" without always saying no?
First, teach your children to respond to hearing "No" with the phrase that pays: "Thank you for considering, maybe next time?" Encourage your child to respond in this way when you or anyone else says "no" to a request they have.
Alternatives to No:
- Say Yes... Later
- "Give me a minute."
- "Convince me." Have them think of a way to convince you, the answer still may be No but you have given them an opportunity to think through (i.e. "Dad, Can I borrow the car?" "No" "Please Dad, I really need the car..." "Ok, Convince me..." "Well, If you don't let me drive the car then you will have to take me and all my friends to football practice.." "OK")
- Use the "Big No Sheet." Basically, they say no, you say no. Make a big sheet, or list that you have in an easy-to-find place. When you ask your child to do something, a chore for example, and they say "no" you write it down on this sheet. Later when they ask you for something, go take a look at the sheet. "Well, it looks like you said "no" to doing the dishes, so no you don't get to go out tonight". Make it a problem for them.