Best-selling Author, more than 30 books, his latest Have a New Kid By Friday (Revell Books
Has appeared on The View, Today, Oprah, Live with Regis, etc.;
Founder/ President Couples
of Promise, an organization designed to help couples stay married. Married with five children (youngest 15).
Dr. Leman's Weekly Parenting Plan
Dr. Kevin Leman says this is the kind of book that scratches where parents itch. Society talks about how kids have changed, but really it is the parents that have changed. When it comes to parents and children, we really don't know who is in authority in the household.
Many times kids don't feel like they are a part of something or that they belong. Dr. Leman says we should ask ourselves if we are raising our kids in a home or a hotel?
Many parents provide their children with food and comforts without having the children do anything for it. Have a New Kid by Friday has practical tips that parents can use immediately. With each day of the week, Dr. Leman gives a few parenting tips per day. Friday is the day to continue to implement and review your game plan for the last four days.The differences in the family dynamics are amazing.
PARENTS ARE THE KEY
Parents are the key to changing their children's thinking and actions. For this to work, it requires them to become the kind of parents they want to be. Parents need to stand up and be parents, and not pushovers. Parents need to change their thinking and actions. Kids need to realize that the world does not revolve around them. They need to be considerate of other people. If kids grow up to believe they're the center of the universe, where is the room for God in his/her life?
On the first day, Monday, parents deal with power struggles with their children and seeing children as creatures of habit. When parents "battle" with their children, the parents never win so they shouldn't go there. Parents just need to learn how to establish authority in the home. Children are creatures of habit (this is also why engaging in battles with them can be futile). There are ways to teach them new habits and change their relationships with their parents.
How do you do that? If parents want their children to take them seriously, parents should only say something once. If parents say something more than once, they imply that they think their children aren't smart enough to get it the first time. Once parents have said something, they should expect their words to be followed. There's no back talking or arguing. Once parents have said their words calmly, it's over. Dr. Leman says the following principles should be used with the top challenges parents are having with their children right now: 1) Say it once. 2) Turn your back. 3) Walk away.
Here is an example of these principles in action. Four-year-old Matthew disrespects his mother in a grocery store. When the mother and son return home, he usually gets a snack of cookies and milk. This day, because he was disrespectful, mom doesn't give him cookies and milk. Matthew doesn't understand. Mom calmly explains that he would not be getting a cookie because he was mean to mommy at the grocery store. He apologizes and still asks for his snack. Mom sticks to her guns and says no and goes about what she was doing. The outcome of this scenario will make Matthew think twice before he disrespects mom again.
THREE SIMPLE STRATEGIES FOR SUCCESS
On the second day, Tuesday, parents need to be aware of the top 3 long term concerns for their children, or a new kind of ABCs - A
ehavior, and C
haracter. The key to changing a child's attitude is changing the attitude of the parents. Behavior is learned. Children will model their behavior after the things they see their parents do.
Character is everything, the only thing in the long run. It is the foundation for attitude and behavior. Here are the 3 Simple Strategies for Success in this area: 1) Let reality be the teacher. Don't rescue kids from the consequences of failed responsibility. 2) Learn to respond rather than react. Don't answer or act without thinking first. 3) B doesn't happen until A is completed. This strategy never has to change, it works with any age. For example, if a parent asks a child to do something and it isn't done, the parent shouldn't go on to the next event – no matter what that event is.
WHAT KIND OF PARENT ARE YOU?
By Wednesday, Dr. Leman suggests parents evaluate what type of parents they are: permissive, authoritarian, and authoritative or responsible. A permissive parent is a slave to the child; places priority on the child, not on his/her spouse; robs the child of self-respect and self-esteem by doing things that the child can do for (him/her) self; makes things as easy as possible on the child – does homework for the child, answers for him/her, etc.; invites rebellion with inconsistent parenting.
An authoritarian parent makes all decisions for the child; uses reward and punishment to control the child's behavior; sees him/her self better than the child; runs the home with an iron hand and grants little freedom to the child.
An authoritative or responsible parent gives the child choices and formulates guidelines with him/her; provides the child with decision-making opportunities; develops consistent, loving discipline; lets reality be the teacher; and conveys respect, self-worth, and love to the child which enhances the child's self-esteem.
Parenting style influences how children respond to their parents. Rules will not be effective if a parent doesn't have a good relationship established with their child. It is also important for parents to decide not to "make mountains out of molehills" and pick and choose which issues are really important to address.
THREE PILLARS OF SELF-WORTH
For Thursday, The Three Pillars of Self-Worth are Dr. Leman's second group of ABCs: Acceptance, Belonging, and Competence.
For Acceptance, children long for the approval of their parents. Unconditional acceptance of children is very crucial for their development. Parents need to think of ways to show unconditional acceptance to their children. Children also need to know they Belong. Parents need to emphasize that children belong in the family. If children don't feel that sense of belonging in the family, they'll find other places to go for it. For competence, a good way to develop this is to give children responsibility. When a child does take the initiative to do something around the house, encourage them. It is also good to know the difference between praise and encouragement. Praise will connect a child's worth to what he/she does. Encouragement will emphasize the act.
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