First there was the father that called the police to supervise as he spanked his 12 year-old daughter, then Megan Fox revealed how many parents are being arrested for allowing their children a bit of independence. A sobering thought emerged: parental authority is no longer trusted or honored.
Today’s parents feel the cultural sword of Damocles hanging over their heads.
What we are seeing is a form of progressive parenting. The social current sweeping parents off their feet treats children like a class of oppressed people dominated by adults, then makes sure they are coddled and protected by the state from any would-be offense or danger.
Take spanking for example. It is legal. However, it’s now considered a moral crime. Letting a child play outside without the watchful eye of an adult is considered neglect and endangerment. While allowing children to become obnoxious brats without the ability interact with adults is now an acceptable norm.
Over at Parenting.com, the current wisdom is on display as “Creative” discipline. Tricks, apparently have replaced parental authority.
I call it ineffective manipulation.
5. Choose a code word.
The idea here is to choose a “special term” to”work magic” for a kid that throws fits when he doesn’t get his way. Anytime the word is spoken, he’s supposed to be quiet and stop moving for 60 seconds. That’s when parent and child are encouraged to “breathe deeply and think peaceful thoughts.”
Words do have power. But that power doesn’t come from magic. It comes from the integrity of the person speaking.
Using magic words while breathing deeply with peaceful thoughts will not transform a brat into a someone other adults actually enjoy being around.
Here’s a code that’s worked for generations:
“Because I said so.”
If those words don’t work magic then you have no power
4. Put it on paper.
“To change a habitual behavior, use a letter, list, or colorful sign to get your child’s attention — and cooperation. When your daughter forgets to give the dog his breakfast (again), tape a note to the front door: “Please feed me before you go to school. Woof!”
So, all little Sally needs is a note? Apparently, telling her didn’t work, and there is no adult supervision as she runs out the door–so bring out the neon construction paper that’ll get her attention.
“Since you can’t remember to feed the dog before you leave for school, we have a new rule. You feed the dog his breakfast before you get yours.”
3. Pretend you’re a broken record.
“If you’re met with whining every time you ask your child to turn off the TV or come into the kitchen for dinner, pick a phrase, such as “It’s time to come in now,” and repeat it after every argument he presents.”
Death by a thousand mindless responses.
Here’s an idea that has the official Robinson stamp-of-approval, and is much more fun.
When you say, “It’s time to do the dishes…” and the whining begins, with a calm and quiet voice add “… and sweep the floor.” With each complaint, add one more chore. You will be amazed at how fast they catch on.
2. Have her “pay the maid.”
The premise here is that if she has to use her own money to pay you to clean up after her, such as put her bowl in the dishwasher, she will not be happy watching her money pile up in your jar– and Mom doesn’t have to nag.
The problem here is that, unless the princess has a job–most likely “her” money was not earned. There is no value in money that isn’t earned. Here’s a story problem, any kid could figure out.
Sally gets 5 dollars a week for her allowance.
Sally pays “the maid” with said allowance 3 dollars a week to clear her bowl and wash her spit out of the sink.
How much does maid service with a gag order cost? If Sally has any sense at all she’ll see this is a sweet deal. Her direct deposit, subsidized income pays for outsourcing chores, shuts mom up, and she’s still two bucks ahead.
1. Play “Behavior Baseball”
“Three strikes and you take away one privilege.”
Mom said, “Each time you don’t put the Legos away after playing with them you will earn one strike. Once you earn three strikes, I’ll take the toys away and put them on a shelf for the rest of the day. They’ll be off-limits.”
Kid heard, “You can play with the toys and I’ll put them away the first three times. After three strikes, then you hit the home run, it’s time to find something else to do.”
If you really want children that are a pleasure to be around don’t play games or manipulate them. Children need to understand that there are clear boundaries in life — beginning at home — and there are consequences to their actions.
Most importantly, if you use mind games in an attempt to get your children to behave then all you will do is sharpen their manipulation skills. The day always comes when they discover that those skills don’t work on a judge like they did mom.
Then all they have left is the victim card.