So you’re worried about your child, and you’ve brought your concerns to your pediatrician, and your pediatrician has uttered the three least satisfying words in the English language: “Wait and See.” Welcome to Worry Limbo! For three or six or eight months, you will be neither relieved of your anxiety, nor empowered to do anything about it. If you’re more proactive than passive, give yourself the go-ahead to try these five calls to action. No waiting required!
Over the last few months I’ve been sharing some insights from Dr. Kevin Leman’s book, Have a New Kid by Friday.
These are the last two strategies from Dr. Leman that we will cover in these letters. Strategy one, “Let reality be the teacher.” And the second strategy is, “B doesn’t happen until A is completed.”
Allow natural consequences to teach lessons:
He stresses that as much as possible allow natural consequences to teach lessons to your child. Don’t be constantly reminding them of the consequences, just let them feel them. Don’t micromanage your child’s experiences.
Dr. Leman has a technique that he uses for a lot of different behavior problems. This one works particularly well when the purpose of the misbehavior is to get your attention and to control you. It goes like this: 1. Say it once. 2. Turn your back. 3. Walk away.
Telling your child more than once, he believes, just teaches your child that you think he/she is too stupid to understand you the first time. I tend to think it teaches children that they don’t have to obey until you have gotten worked up about it. That’s why counting is usually a bad idea.
Turning your back keeps your child from the reward of your attention. Children sometimes want your attention so much they don’t care if it means being punished. Not giving them attention when they are misbehaving breaks that link. Later, when they are doing well is the time to reward them with your attention.
Walking away is the hardest part of this method. When you walk away your child begins to panic, “Why isn’t mom giving me what I expect?” Dr. Leman says not to even say why you are walking away, just do it and it will result in a teachable moment.
Over the last three months I’ve been sharing some insights from Dr. Kevin Leman’s book, Have a New Kid by Friday. In February I reviewed the three pillars of a child’s self worth: Acceptance, Belonging, and Competence. Then in March I reviewed the first of the top 3 long-term concerns of parents, Attitude.
In April I reviewed what he had to say about Character. Of course most of his book is about the third concern, Behavior. It is written for parents with children of all ages; much of the book is beyond the scope of babies and toddlers. Laying good foundations of discipline is so important, though, that I want to take some time to talk about some of his specific approaches.
Over the last two months I’ve been sharing some insights form Dr. Kevin Leman’s book, Have a New Kid by Friday. In February I reviewed the three pillars of a child’s self worth: Acceptance, Belonging, and Competence. Then in March I reviewed the first of the top 3 long-term concerns of parents, Attitude. I planned to talk about Behavior this month, but since I’d like to expand on that topic over several months, I’m going to skip forward and cover Character this month.
- Here are some things Dr. Leman says about character: Character is “who you are when no one is looking.”
- “Character is not only everything, it’s the only thing in the long run. It is the foundation for your attitude and behavior.”
- “Character doesn’t mean you are perfect. It means you have an inner standard that cares about others more than yourself.”