Thursday, August 11, 2011

Book Club Thursday | Making Children Mind Without Losing Yours

We are currently reading through the boo Making Children Mind Without Losing Yours by Dr. Kevin Leman.  All direct quotes are in bold type.

From Giving Choices to Pulling Rugs

The last portion of chapter 5 deals with actually "pulling the rug out" from under our children in a loving way that ultimately teaches them life lessons and impresses upon them that their own choices have consequences that they must be willing to accept. 

Do you remember this example from an earlier post in this series where Addie didn't want to eat the breakfast she picked out?  The basis for my response to the situation was based on this portion of the chapter (which I had already read).  By telling Addie that she had chosen the blueberry pancakes and if she did not want to eat them that was fine but she would not be eating anything until lunch time, pulled the rug out from under her and made her realize that there are consequences to the choices that we make. 

When parents are brave enough to pull the rug out, they are giving their child the best training possible.  They are giving him the opportunity to make a good or poor choice.  I believe home should be the place to make good or poor choices. The last place home should be is a place where you are punished for making poor choices. 

I was talking to a parent the other day and after hearing about the situation she was having with her child, she asked me what she should do.  Of course, my first response was "You need to pull the rug out from under (your child)."  I explained that if she did not let go, and give her child the opportunity to make mistakes and then deal with the consequences of those mistakes her grown child would never grow up.  She responded that she did not want her child to make mistakes so she couldn't let go because her child would not be the only one suffering from the consequences, she would be too.  Then she asked again, what should she do.  I simply said, "I don't know."

"These are your choices," has become a familiar phrase around here.  The choices are usually the poor choice that Addie wants to make or the right choice that Mommy wants Addie to make.  But ultimately, Addie makes the final choice.  Sometimes Addie chooses well, and sometimes she doesn't.  Sometimes her choice means that she needs to lie down for a few minutes, and sometimes her choice gives her (and us) great joy.  But she is learning how to make choices, and it reassures me that as she gets bigger and the choices get harder and more difficult, that I am doing my job as her mother to help her learn how to make right choices.

It takes real commitment, perseverance, and courage to discippline your children.  It is never easy, but it always worthwhile.  And it pays off.

We spent Monday with Aunt Faye. While we were at Faye's house, Addie began to disobey.  She was given two options: obey and continue having a grand time or continue disobeying and have Mommy take her to the bathroom for loving discipline which included a time out.  Addie, unfortunately, chose the latter.  At the time, it would have been easier to "let it go"  or act like I hadn't given her instructions to obey.  But what would Addie have learned?  That when we are out and about or at someone else's house, Mommy isn't serious about her word.  What a terrible lesson to teach her!  After her time out was over, she promptly said she was sorry to Jesus, Mommy, and Aunt Faye and life went back to normal.  Did it pay off?  I had no obedience issues with her for the rest of our visit, so that inconvenient moment did pay off. 

I'll leave you with Dr. Leman's closing words on this chapter....

Never be afraid to pull the rug out and let the little buzzards tumble.  I promise you they will land right side up- and so will you!


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