Originally published on April 13, 2018 on my FB Page with the same name as this site. Here’s the link: https://www.facebook.com/leannehintzlifewelllived/
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On Monday, I started listening to/reading Dr. Kevin Leman’s book, Have a New Kid by Friday (it’s a bit old school, so I really liked it). That day after school when Mackenzie came home, I started implementing some of the principles. In four days, I have definitely seen a change in my oldest. She is the reason I need(ed) the book. She can (could) be very nasty at times … to all of us. She speaks (spoke) rudely and disrespectfully. She complains (complained) and grumbles (grumbled) when she was asked to do something. After hounding her and essentially begging her to “clean up her act” without any results, I turned to this book.
Here are some of the basic principles I picked up from the book:
1. “B” does not happen until “a” is complete.
2. When an issue arises, speak calmly, turn your back, and busy yourself with a task. DO NOT engage in an argument with your child (essentially, be sure to keep your own emotions in check).
3. Determine if the issue is a mountain or a molehill??? RESPOND accordingly.
4. Say something ONCE. If you repeat something over and over again, you are essentially saying your child is too stupid to figure it out the first time (author’s words, not mine). If your child doesn’t respond the first time you ask her to do something, remember “b” doesn’t happen before “a” is complete.
5. Follow through and consistency are key.
6. Determine what you want for your kids / who you want your kids to be in the long term.
7. Do not do things for your children that they can do for themselves.
One example from the book … mother picks up child from daycare, child throws a huge fit, mother remains calm and does not engage in an argument. A little while later, the child asks for something (in this case, milk and cookies). The mother responds with “we are not having milk and cookies today.” When the child questions the mother, she responds calmly with, “I didn’t like the way you were acting in the car today when I picked you up from daycare, so we are not having milk and cookies.” Of course, the child lost it, but the mother remained calm and stuck to her guns. Will the child think twice before throwing a fit next time? Yes!
In our home, the girls have figured out that they will lose “the next thing” … if you are nasty with your sister, you lose the “next thing” you want (like dessert or to read a book or to listen to music as you fall asleep or maybe even the IPad or a favourite TV show). After a few losses, it doesn’t take long for kids to figure out how to be kind or to cooperate.
Will there be “backlash” as you start implementing these principles? You bet! This week I have been screamed at, called “the worst mother ever” (multiple times), smacked, and the like. Through it all, I remained calm though (in the past, I might not have).
Did I experience a bit of discomfort as a parent? Absolutely! I WANT my kids to do things they enjoy. I don’t like taking things away from them. I don’t like them to be sad or hurt or angry. BUT you know what? The “taking away” and the sad feelings are temporary. My children need to know how to be respectful, they need to be kind to others, and they need to mind their mother and father far more than they need to listen to their new favourite song on YouTube.
This week, I have seen a big change in my oldest. Are things perfect? Nope. They never will be. But I have definitely seen more cooperation, more thinking about her actions, more kindness, and because of all this, there has been more peace. Instead of dreading my time with her, I am looking forward to having her around.
I definitely recommend checking the book out. Here’s the purchase link: Have a New Kid by Friday: How to Change Your Child’s Attitude, Behavior & Character in 5 Days It’s a quick read … just be ready to do the work … our kids need this. We need this!