Monday, December 5, 2016

Quit Asking Your Kids These 7 Questions




We want to be a part of our kids' lives. We strive to help them be the best they can be. We wish they would be more cooperative. We desire to raise honest children. We hope to have strong family ties that last a lifetime. 

In our quest to encourage honesty, cooperation, and a family spirit we often ask our kids questions. But many times, our questions produce the opposite result. 

Here are 7 questions to quit asking your kids.

1. How was school?
    If we want to get into our kids' world, asking a question like this won't help.  It can easily be answered in one word: Fine, Good. OK. Instead ask more specific questions like, "Who did you sit next to at lunch?" "What was the best part of your day?" " What was the worst part of your day?"     Include modeling how to converse about the day by sharing your day with your child. As your child matures he will be able to start a conversation with you or others by using this technique. An extroverted kid is ready to talk right away. The introverted child will need some time alone and to be quiet before sharing about his day.

2. Will you________? 
     We think we are being polite and nice when we preface what we want with a question. The problem is when posing a question the child has an option to say no. If there is an expectation that a job must be completed and there is really no choice in the matter, don't ask-- state. Instead of saying, "Will you clear the dishes from the table?" say, "Hudson, after dinner and before screen time, please clear the dishes from the table."

3. Do you want to______?
     This question is closely related to, "Will you_____?" Will you refers to an action. Do you want to is linked to an emotion or preference. Sometimes feeling don't matter. There are times we do things even when we don't want to. "Do you want to pick up Fido's poop in the backyard?" Who would say yes to that? Don't ask --state. You could give a choice where either outcome is OK with you. For instance, "Do you want to clean up the yard on Saturday or Sunday?"

4. What part of NO don't you understand?
     Sarcasm is a toxic verbal weapon. Avoid it at all costs. Say what you mean. Be clear and concise. Sarcasm is condescending, shaming, and dismissive. And..it will come right back at ya' as your kids mature. Most families value kindness and respect. Restate your frustration more honestly. "I feel frustrated when _______." "I can see you really want to do this, let's figure out a plan that will work for both of us." "Why do you think I said no to this idea?" Get your kids thinking. Encourage respect and kindness. Jettison the sarcasm.

5. Who did this?
     We ask this question ALL. THE. TIME.Why do we inquire when we know who the culprit is? Do we think it will encourage honesty or responsibility? It doesn't. It does the opposite. The littles think, "If she doesn't know who spilled the milk, I'm sure not going to tell her." Older kids remain quiet to see how this will play out. Instead state the obvious," I see the milk has spilled. It needs to be cleaned up. I can help you clean it up." or "I see the car has a new dent in it. The dent needs to be fixed. Let's figure out a plan to take care of that." By doing this responsibility is encouraged and we haven't put our kids in the very tempting position to tell a lie. Then while helping them with the spill or the the dent, a conversation can occur on how it happened and the best action to take going forward.

6. Why did you__________?
     Kids and their actions can be baffling. Often we just want to get inside their head and understand  their motivation. Or... perhaps we want to drive the, "I told you so" point home. Those are the moments we tend to fall back on the "Why's". However the why question comes too late. It is always after the fact. Help your kids learn from their mistakes. Ask,  "What will you do differently the next time?" Train don't shame.

7. Why aren't you more like________? 
     Theodore Roosevelt's famous quote, "Comparison is the thief of joy" is true. Today more than ever our kids are comparing themselves to others; to siblings and to peers. Social media can be the catalyst for insecurity and discontent. We do not need to add to that. Treat each child as an individual with unique strengths and weaknesses. Build sibling relationships rather than bust them with comparison.

To increase cooperation, family unity, and individual honesty and responsibility avoid these 7 commonly asked questions. Set a loving tone in your home by speaking with respect and demonstrating kindness.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, 
it is not easily angered,
 it keeps no record of wrongs. 
Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Love never fails.

1 Corinthians 13:4-8 


Lori Wildenberg
co-founder of 1Corinthians13Parenting.com, co-author of 3 parenting books, mom of four (plus one daughter-in-love) Contact Lori for your next event. She is also available for parent consulting and parent training courses.
Head over to Amazon  to get Raising Little Kids with Big Love or Raising Big Kids with Supernatural Love  for more parenting tips and strategies.











Monday, November 28, 2016

The Secret to Disciplining Well (Phase 3)



If you have been following the series of The Secret to Disciplining Well you know we are discussing Phase Three. If you have not been following the series you will want to circle back and read Phase 1 and Phase 2.

The Secret to Disciplining Well occurs in 3 progressive stages:
Phase 1 Instruction. Phase 2 Correction. Phase 3 Sanction.

Sanctions or punishment is the last phase of the disciplining well progression.

Here is what sanctions, as they relate to parenting well, look like:

  • They occur only after instruction, retraining, and correction have been used.
  • They happen infrequently.
  • They last for a short period of time.
  • They are administered following a warning.
  • They are not exercised in anger.
  • Their purpose is to change hearts and behavior going forward.
Many times moms and dads jump to punishment before solid training has occurred. We want our kids to learn the godly and best way to live. To do this the most effective way to parent is to train rather than punish. We want to reinforce the behavior and attitudes we want rather than spot light the ones we want to extinguish. 

Types of punishments commonly used are spankings, time-outs, grounding, or taking away an object, activity, item, or a privilege.

Here are some ways to approach punishment, keeping the end goal of character training in mind.

1. Spankings: Use only under these conditions. (If you have abuse in your background do not spank.) Don't spank when angry. Don't spank kids 5 and up. Spank with a purpose in mind, "You are getting a spanking for safety because you ran across the street without holding my hand." Administer the punishment quickly. Finish with the words, "I love you. This will help you remember we hold hands to stay safe when we cross the street." Hug. (You may want to check out this blog on to Spank or not to Spank )

2. Time Out and Grounding. These two are the same in principle. One is used for little guys the other older kids. I would call it a Time -In. Time to think about how to do it differently the next time. Use the time-in idea for training. "You hit your sister when she took your truck . Take a time in. Think about how you will do it differently the next time. Then come and tell me your plan." (see this blog on Time In rather than Time Out.)

3. Warning. Warnings should be given when you plan to follow through. Warnings are not empty threats. The best sanctions are ones that follow the warning. "We spank for safety." "We take a Time in if we are disrespectful." 


4. Taking away stuff, activities, or privileges. Remove the child's currency if it relates to the crime. Keep the punishment logical, use natural consequences so the child relates the undesirable  behavior to the punishment. If the teen comes home later than his curfew, perhaps he can owe you time by having to wake up early and do some work for you.

We can turn even the 3rd phase of discipline (punishment, sanction) into training. A general rule of thumb is to start small. You can always go bigger. Rather than grounding the rascal for life--administer a shorter time period combined with effectively training your child's character while correcting his behavior.

Punishment is not for parents to use so they feel they have regained control. Punishment ought to be used to help the child learn to control his actions and alter his attitude.


She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue.
Proverbs 31:26



Lori Wildenberg
co-founder of 1Corinthians13Parenting.com, co-author of 3 parenting books, mom of four (plus one daughter-in-love) Contact Lori for your next event. She is also available for parent consulting and parent training courses.
Head over to Amazon  to get Raising Little Kids with Big Love or Raising Big Kids with Supernatural Love  for more parenting tips and strategies.






Monday, November 21, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving




Have a great Thanksgiving with your family. We will finish the series The Secret to Disciplining Well next week.
If you want to prepare for the article to be publsihed next week, you can catch up by reading the posts on these three links:

The Secret to Parenting Well 

The Secret to Disciplining Well (Phase 1)

The Secret to Disciplining Well (Phase 2)


with faith, hope, and love,
Lori

Monday, November 14, 2016

The Secret to Disciplining Well (Phase 2)


Last week, The Secret to Disciplining Well (Phase 1)  was published, If you missed it you may want to read that article first.

Phase one of disciplining well comes in the form of instructing by modeling and direct training of behavior we want to encourage and character traits we hope to develop in our children.

Phase two of the discipline progression brings us to correction.

First let's go over what correction is not:

  • It is not rejection.
  • It is not shaming.
  • It is not sarcasm.
  • It is not public.
  • It is not blaming.
  • It is not criticism.
  • Correction is not punishment. ( See phase 3 next week) 

Correction is a form of training. Think of it like a captain  correcting his ship's course in order to arrive at the desired destination.

Correction is an adjustment done privately with kindness. 

One mom shared with me that when she tries to correct her preschooler, her daughter tells her, "Mommy you are hurting my heart."

I suggested the mom tell the child, "I'm not talking to your heart I'm talking to your brain."

To be effective, correction must be kind and it must come from the place of logic not emotion. 

Correct but correct with kindness.

Ask questions.

Older kids: 
 "I see you are frustrated. How can I help?"
"What have you learned from this situation?"
 "How will you approach it differently next time?"

Younger kids:
"We eat the food on the plate. I see you are not eating. You must be done with your lunch." (Since they have just proceeded to toss it on the floor) Then take the plate away and remove the child from his highchair.

Our kids don't come out of the chute knowing how to act. It is our job to train them.

Those who disregard discipline despise themselves,
but the one who heeds 
correction gains understanding.
Proverbs 15:32



Lori Wildenberg
co-founder of 1Corinthians13Parenting.com, co-author of 3 parenting books, mom of four (plus one daughter-in-love) Contact Lori for your next event. She is also available for parent consulting and parent training courses.
Head over to Amazon  to get Raising Little Kids with Big Love or Raising Big Kids with Supernatural Love  for more parenting tips and strategies.





Monday, November 7, 2016

The Secret to Disciplining Well (Phase 1)


When you think of discipline,  what comes to mind?
Punishment?
Time outs?
Spankings?
Behavior modification?
Natural and logical consequences?

Before revealing the best discipline secret, let's unveil what discipline meant to your parents while you were growing up.
Did it mean...
Punishment?
Time outs?
Spankings?
Behavior modification?
Natural and logical consequences?

How our parents disciplined us, affects how we discipline our kids. Even though we know this we often we repeat past behaviors due the tapes that cycle through our memory banks. Sometimes we swing the opposite way in order not repeat unhealthy or hurtful patterns. Once we are able to look back and evaluate our own past experience we are better equipped to move forward and discipline our own kiddos well.

I looked up the biblical meaning for discipline and found these synonyms: train, teach, instruct, correct, warn, and punish.

Did you notice the progression? God begins with training, teaching, and instructing. He then moves to correction and  warning. The final mode of discipline is punishment. These are good logical steps to take--lesser to greater.

The secret to effective discipline is to begin with training, teaching , and instructing our kids.

We talk.
                 Our kids need to know how to live well and we can help them by clearly stating expectations : "Open the door for your dad, his hands are full."

We show. We model. We describe.
                   We can demonstrate how to act and describe the heart behind the action. "I opened the door for your dad when his  hands were full because he needed help and our family helps each other ."
We train.
            Leave some room for the child to draw his own conclusion. "I noticed your dad's hands are full and the door is shut. Can you help him?" 

We acknowledge. We reinforce. 

            "I saw you helped your dad out when his hands were full. I know he appreciated your help.   That was thoughtful of you to put down what you were doing to help your dad. You are a kind person." 

There are always two goals to discipline. The first is the immediate desired behavior.  The second long term and more important goal is the heart behind the behavior, the character trait(s )you want to encourage and develop in your child.

Our kids don't automatically know how to act. It is up to moms and dads to train them. It's our job.

Watch for:
The Secret to Disciplining Well (Phase 2)
The Secret to Disciplining Well (Phase 3)

The hearts of the wise make their mouths prudent, and their lips promote instruction.
Proverbs 16:23



Lori Wildenberg
co-founder of 1Corinthians13Parenting.com, co-author of 3 parenting books, mom of four (plus one daughter-in-love) Contact Lori for your next event. She is also available for parent consulting and parent training courses.
Head over to Amazon  to get Raising Little Kids with Big Love or Raising Big Kids with Supernatural Love  for more parenting tips and strategies.