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in other words
Better Parenting: Never Lie to Your Kids
By Sonia Spackman
A parenting trainer once said
that perfect parenting is not a matter of
keeping up with the Joneses, (whoever
they are) or having perfectly groomed
kids to show off to our relatives. Let’s
be real, parenting kids is a demanding
Why do you lie to your kids? Parents
can make themselves into liars.
“Susie, you have to eat your dinner be-
fore you get ice cream and cake.”
“Yes you may go to the ball game on
Saturday if all your chores are done.”
If Susie gets cake and ice cream no mat-
ter the reason or John goes to the ball
game and his chores are not done you
were not telling the truth. This was false,
they were lies and you became a liar.
Once you say something you must im-
pose it. Each time the behavior happens
the consequences need to happen.
same job: your boss ignored your work
and then threatened you because your
work wasn’t done when he wanted it?
Young children think in terms of right
or wrong- black or white. Children are
concrete thinkers they do not understand
the gray areas very well and become be-
wildered or insecure when you don’t do
what you say.
Should I be a strict parent or an easy
parent? Studies show that inconsis-
tency in the home can be damaging to
children because they can never feel
secure in a world they do not under-
stand. Inconsistent love and inconsistent
consequences confuse the children. If a
child is punished for a certain behavior
every time, it makes sense to him. To
get in trouble sometimes and get away
with behavior other times is confusing.
It would be easier for a child to adjust to
a strict home, or to a parent who is easy
than to go back and forth. Do not be too
strict. How severe the consequence is, is
less important than the CONSISTANT
use of it. SAY WHAT YOU MEAN,
MEAN WHAT YOU SAY AND DO
EXACTLY WHAT YOU SAY YOU
How do I get off track? If we are real,
we will admit that we make excuses for
our efforts because we want to do as we
please. Doing as we please in our fami-
lies is what gets us off track. Hit and
miss parenting produces hit and miss re-
sults with our kids.
How do I start? Remember when you
start that it is “short term pain for long
Why do humans need order and consis- term gain.” Decide on a short list of be-
tency? It brings us a sense of security. haviors you want to stop or start. If the
When parents are inconsistent a child kids are old enough have a family meet-
doesn’t know what to expect because ing and explain the behavior you want
his surroundings are unpredictable and to stop or start and the rewards or con-
confusing. Imagine if you had a job sequences. Allow the kids to help in de-
where you could come in late and noth- ciding the final list. Make sure that you
ing happened, but sometimes you were pay attention to their behavior, by giv-
severely reprimanded? Imagine this ing rewards or consequences each time.
The rules have to stay the same if you
are having a bad day or a good day. Once
you have consequences for a behavior
you must do it each time. Each time the
behavior happens the consequence hap-
privileges that should be for arguing. 2
You are rewarding arguing by allowing
the music. 3. You are letting your child
disrespect the rule. 4. You are training
her to argue in the future because there
is a payoff.
Should I give them a break once in a
while? Stick to the rules! The rules and
consequences need to stay the same.
Let’s say that your rules have been in
place for over a year and you decide
to make an exception and give them a
break. This will be a mistake. Your child
will misbehave more often looking for
the next exception. “If my parents did it
once, they’ll do it again.”
What if my child thinks I am being un-
fair or cruel? One of the characteristics
of a great parent is in the determination
to do what is right and what is best for
the child rather than what is most con-
venient for the parent. Stick to the rules,
if you don’t, your kids will lose respect
for you. Keep the same consequences for
the same behaviors on good or bad days.
Let your words always be the truth.
Make an issue of truth. The kids will see
Why don’t my kids listen to what I you as the model and put it in their hearts
say? They do not listen because we lie and minds.
to them when we do not follow through
with what we say. We train our kids not What if an unexpected behavior hap-
to listen to us when we say things that pens that’s not on our list? If your child
do not happen. It destroys credibility and does something that was not on your list
trust. Kids only pay attention to what we of behaviors and consequences say: “I
do and not to what we say. They become am unhappy, I do not want this to hap-
pen again, the consequences will be -----
-----. Feel free to bring the incident up at
When is it OK to negotiate conse- the next family meeting.” Then add the
quences? NEVER! Once the rules are information to all the copies of the list.
in place, they can only be negotiated at
the family meeting. If lost stereo privi- Are there pay offs for not lying? Yes!
leges were for arguing over the volume, #1. When you tell them “no” they don’t
you must make it stick. Do not let them argue because they know it will be use-
talk you out of it by bargaining with you. less. #2. They do their work because
“Mom, please, can I please, this is my they know the promised consequences
favorite music, I’ll lose it tomorrow.” If will surely take place. #3. You tell them
you do this, you become a liar. You also once, and they listen.
invite begging and bargaining about con-
sequences in the future. In other words Resources: Dr. James Jones, Family-
if you negotiate now - here is what is hood Education Foundation, C. Harri-
happening: 1. You are not taking away son, GOODKIDS
Creature Comforts ~ Spring Cleaning
Spring has sprung and once again it’s time for
cleaning - your pet! We provide full spectrum groom-
ing services from cute poodle cuts with pom poms to
lion cuts with full manes to full body shave downs. Our
groomers do it all! All “Bath” and “Full” dog groom-
ing services always includes a good brushing to remove
mats, debris and loosen dirt and dander before the bath,
customized shampoo and conditioner, nail trimming,
ear cleaning, anal gland expression (if needed), fresh
breath spray, and lots of one-on-one attention the en-
tire session. Grooming does require an appointment
but it’s well worth the effort for the results.
For the Do-it-Yourselfer that doesn’t want the
mess of giving the dog a bath in their bathtub, use our
“U-Wash” and leave the mess to us!! For only $15.00
you have access to our tub, shampoos, towels and
tools! BYOT (towels) and get $2.00 off ~ AND, after
every third U-Wash, the fourth is FREE!! Now that’s a
For those washing at home, we carry several
types of shampoo and conditioners including those to
kill and repel fleas and ticks; natural oatmeal for sen-
sitive skin, hypoallergenic formulas for extra-sensitive
skin types and very fragrant.
Clean is one thing and comfort of our pets is
another. One easy way to ensure your dog is comfort-
able on walks around the lake or even just running
around the house is to keep their nails trimmed back
so they don’t impact the foot on each down step. This
will not only keep the dog happier and anticipating the
walk, it may keep bigger issues like lameness, arthritis,
and spinal pain at bay. Creatures offers nail trims by
appointment but once the nails have been left long it
may take a series of trims every couple of weeks to get
the “quick” to retract back to a healthy length.
If you haven’t ventured into the store in a while,
Meyer’s Auto Body
•493 Bridge St•
make it a destination and plan to take your time look-
ing around. In addition to our grooming services, we
offer kitten/cat and puppy/dog vaccination sales and/or
administration. Alongside our great product selection,
you’ll see the Melissa & Doug line of high quality and
educational toys and gifts for infants to tweens- along-
side pet supplies, food, large animal tack, supplements
and supplies, saddles and many other unique items for
both animals and humans alike.
Open Mon-Fri 10-6pm; Sat 10-5pm; Sun 12-
4pm call 503-429-PETS(7387).
Vernonia’s Voice is published
on the 1st and 3rd Thursday.
Our next issue will be
out April 17th.
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