6 in other words april3 2014 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 job. 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 WILL DO! 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- pens. 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- parent deaf. 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 Michal Smith 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!! 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