“End Daily Battles Over Food, Stop Serving ‘Special’ Meals Every Day, And Relieve Your Worries Over Your Child’s Health!”
“The Easy to Follow, Step-By-Step Action Plan To Transform Your Picky Eater
Into A Healthy Eater”
Dear Worried Parent,
Are you tired of losing sleep? Do the worries over your child’s eating? Are you frustrated from cooking special meals every day? Are you just playing exhausted from battles over food? If so, then you will want to read every word of this article. Look, I have been helping parents who are just plain worried sick over their child’s picky eating habits, and the potential health problems that come with it.
Most of these hard-working, exhausted parents struggle, plead, cry and sometimes fight and even scream out loud because their child refuses to eat good, healthy food! It’s enough to make you crazy!
As a Licensed Psychologist working with families for 23 years, I accidentally discovered that there is one UNIQUE STRATEGY that Mom and Dad must master TO QUICKLY ELIMINATE THOSE STRUGGLES AND BATTLES OVER FOOD FROM YOUR HOME.
If you give me the chance, I will show you how to:
|Never have a battle over food…|
|Forever end cooking separate meals for your children…|
|Make certain that they eat healthy food consistently…|
|Get rid of tantrums, crying and all upsets over food…|
|Hang up your ’short-order cook’ hat for good…|
|End All Your Worries over their unhealthy eating forever!|
|Even if - you’ve unsuccessfully tried other approaches that worked for a while and then stopped.|
|Even if - your child’s picky eating is so bad they will refuse to eat at all.|
|Even if - your son or daughter is unusually strong-willed, stubborn or even diagnosed with some other condition.|
This approach has been tested and proven with hundreds and hundreds of children, with all variations of picky eating – from only wanting to eat junk food to not eating much at all.
Dear Mom or Dad,
Are you ready to pull your hair out because you are fed up with fixing special meals? Are you worried that your child doesn’t eat healthy? My daughter weighed 42 pounds
The common advice doesn’t seem to work, with YOUR CHILD… and you wonder why? You have tried everything (you think). You have negotiated. You have been kind. You have tried to talk it out. You have tried being firm. You have gotten angry. You have gotten frustrated, and you have done the time-out thing! It’s really frustrating… right!
And You Wonder If Something Is Wrong
With Your Son Or Your Daughter?
But guess what. There is nothing wrong with anyone here. When I first started helping other parents who had children who would refuse to eat healthy, I just followed the traditional ways I had learned and used myself. Sometimes this strategy worked, and sometimes it didn’t. Then I tried other approaches I had been taught in graduate school, and again…it was hit or miss… especially with certain children.
Then, I Discovered The Key! It Was Like
A Hidden Secret Ingredient That Made Everything Come Together
I would like to claim some genius ability in pulling this out of all my research and experience, but that is not the case. I really just discovered this solution because I worked with so many families who were struggling, and I had so many chances to learn the ONE ESSENTIAL CHANGE that every parent must make to end fussy eating… regardless of whether your child is 3 or 13!
This may surprise you: The truth is that most of what causes fussy eating to get worse is the misleading, and inaccurate advice you are given, in magazines, books and yes… even your pediatrician’s office. When you discover how easily you can change these eating habits. You just may want to write a few letters of your own!
Okay, I did say “How easily you can change your child’s eating habits.” Didn’t I? Well, compared to another tantrum over dinner, or another “special meal” you have to make, or any more missed vegetables… this easy to follow, step-by-step action plan will be a walk in the park. Yet, I don’t want to deceive you here… there will be a few tough days ahead… and for a select few of you, you may have a week or so where you have to stick firmly to the action plan.
But the learning is quick, and the change become immediately noticed. Even with the most stubborn and oppositional kids. My system works, and it works quickly. I guarantee it.
Picky Eating Is Not Just A Phase
Important Point: Most Kids Don’t Grow Out Of It.
Do you realize that your child’s picky eating can lead to developmental problems? Or even unhealthy eating habits that can follow them into adolescence and even adulthood?
You have every right to be concerned. Children begin developing their lifelong eating habits at a young age, and it is up to you to make sure you have to tools to stop their picky eating in it’s tracks before it becomes a bigger, more stressful problem.
I’m sure you have heard, “don’t worry, they will grow out of it” or “it’s just a phase”. But this is not something you should take lightly. Your child is growing and developing right now and it is up to you to make sure they eat what you fix for them – instead of just the same thing every day.
I know every parent wants the best for their child, but waiting for them to grow out of it is not an option unless you are willing to risk your child developing unhealthy eating habits or just simply not developing properly.
You Are Not Alone… Because Picky Eating
Has Almost Become An Epidemic
I see it more and more, parents are concerned about their children eating healthy, as they should be. I have worked with thousands of families, guiding them with tools that transform children and create healthier, happier lives.
I see more and more families struggling with not just one, but two or three kids who are very picky eaters.
Like you, these parents want their children to eat healthy. In their efforts to make sure that their children eat, parents give in to demands, tantrums, and stubbornness around picky eating.
Sometimes that means parents just walk away. Sometimes there are arguments over eating habits. Often it means that Mom or Dad becomes the family “short-order cook.” Regardless, the result is a growing trend of children who are becoming picky eaters.
Picky Eating Has Grown Out Of Control Because Well – Intentioned Parents (Just Like You) Have Been Given Bad, Unhealthy Information
If you answered “Yes” to any of these questions, then you have a picky eater on your hands.
Hi, my name is Dr. Randy Cale and for the past 23 years I have helped thousands of parents, just like you master and overcome the daily struggles that all parents face.
My passion to help parents by using practical, real life strategies that gets real results has lead me to be featured in the Wall Street Journal, on NBC and on Fox News— just to name a few.
I am often referred to as “The Parent’s Psychologist” by pediatricians, teachers and the media… as well as the parents I work with. The reason for this is the fact that I focus (well… let’s call it an obsession) on helping parents master the skills to get you through the daily struggles and challenges we all face.
Why You Should Trust Me To
Help Your Picky Eater
I developed the Help Your Picky Eater formula after I kept running into a ‘brick wall’ with my families who had picky eaters. Over and over, I heard the same struggles, and to be honest…I had lived with a picky eater and I knew these battles personally.
But in the spirit of openness, let me be clear. I really stumbled upon this formula after seeing how the common advice we get from magazines, books and even the pediatrician fails us…over and over. You have been led down the wrong path. How do I know? Because…the battles just get worse. The worries over health just become more intense. The negotiating just feels more and more ‘wrong.’
And it is…WRONG. It’s wrong that you have been so misled by the news media, and by the popular press about how to handle this. I know this now…because when you are doing things ‘right’— your picky eater will begin eating healthier in just days… and most of your battles and struggles will be over in less than 21 days. From that point forward… smooth sailing. (I guaranteed it…or you get your money back! More about this later.)
Imagine… just two weeks from now… being able to plan your meals with complete peace of mind, as you have surrendered all worry about picky appetites and fussy eaters…
If you’d like to end those useless battles over food, bring peace to your mealtime and have a normal conversation (without mention of food), then this might be the most important letter you’ll ever read.
And Here’s why:
I know you may be skeptical, In fact, I would hope that you are a bit reluctant to believe everything you read here… because I know my results may be hard to believe.
But the ‘Help Your Picky Eater’ is a no-nonsense approach to attacking these daily struggles head-on. You get a specific, step-by-step guide that tells you exactly what to do and what to say. No detail is left out.
There will be no more begging, pleading and negotiating over food when you complete my ‘Help Your Picky Eater’ guide. It’s been proven time and time again. And the best part is you can rest easy knowing that your child will eat exactly what you prepare for them.. without any fighting or complaining.
It’s Time To Get Control Of Your Picky Eater, and Teach Them How To Eat Healthy
(Without Battles & Struggles)!
I feel certain that you want your children eating healthy, and that it’s likely that you have had many conversations about good eating habits and children.
You just need real-life practical strategies and tactics that will guide you step-by-step to discovering the road to ending healthy eating once and for all.
You can turn that picky eater into a healthy eater, with this powerful information aimed at transforming those picky eating habits. Here’s a proven formula that is remarkably easy to implement.
And, unlike the psychobabble you read elsewhere… there’s nothing for you to figure out. You know exactly what to do and when to do it.
I have created a step-by-step guide that has successfully worked with hundreds of families struggling with mealtime battles. This step-by-step guide has been refined with years of clinical experience, and walks you through a simple, but remarkably effective process that you can start today!
When It Comes To Picky Eating…
Less Talk Leads To More Action
In many ways, it’s about the old saying, “less is more.” In other words, when it comes to eating problems with kids, you must become parents of action… not parents of words.
Now the secret is not random or punitive action… it’s action that actually teaches your kids what you want them to learn. In the ‘Help Your Picky Eater’ step-by-step guide, you will discover precisely what actions will predictably teach what you want your kids to learn… that’s how to eat healthy!
Now, I know you’re probably skeptical. That’s normal and beneficial. Let me give you three good reasons why you should keep reading, and consider my step-by-step guide carefully.
My ‘Help Your Picky Eater’ Step-by-Step Guide Gives You
|A clear formula for relief that you can easily follow… so…|
|You can raise fit, healthy children that will grow into fit and healthy adults.|
|A simple and practical step-by-step guide for healthy eating has a proven track record… so…|
|You are not going to waste your time and energy.|
|A complete solution you can master in less than an hour… so…|
|You can get started right away… without days or weeks to read a book.|
|Principles based in the psychology of learning… so…|
|You begin to get results in a few days… not weeks.|
|A strategy that will end all useless battles over food… so…|
|You won’t have to continue to worry if your child is growing and developing properly.|
|Relief from your constant dancing around food demands and worries… so…|
|You can have peace of mind that you child isn’t developing unhealthy eating habits.|
Parents Are Constantly Sending Letters And Emails Praising The Help Your Picky Eater Step-by-Step Guide
Parents that have used my step-by-step guide find that their home life is much more relaxing. Just read a few of these letters and see for yourself:
Ready To Try The ‘Help Your Picky Eater’
Step-by-Step Guide For Yourself?
You can get your children to eat healthy, quit fighting over food and you can have a calmer, more peaceful home – Just like the thousands of satisfied parents who rave about my Help Your Picky Eater step-by-step guide!
You Owe It to Yourself And Your Child
To Help Them With Picky Eating
With an understanding of the lessons I have learned over the years, you can alter the immediate and the long term future for you and your children. Not only do you save your time and energy, by not wasting it with endless theories that only work with some children some of the time. But you get an action plan that includes the key ingredient that I have found essential to success for every picky eater.
While I write this, I know some of you are skeptical and that’s okay. I probably would be too. But I have created a simple, step-by-step action plan that has helped hundreds and hundreds of parents, just like you, finally get peace at their own dinner tables. The ‘Help Your Picky Eater’ step-by-step guide is an easy to follow action plan that will show you the secrets to ending picky eating right now so you and your family can have a better, less stressful, more peaceful life… for only $37!
You see, from my side of things, I know that life can be better. Not next year. Not five years from now. Not after they graduate from high school. But things can be better in just a few days! Why would you keep suffering when relief is so close? I have seen it hundreds of times in working with every type of family, every style of parenting, and every variation of a strong willed or oppositional child. They all get it! Every child gets it. WHEN you get it.
Ready To Try The ‘Help Your Picky Eater’
Step-by-Step Guide For Yourself?
Get The Only Proven, Step-By-Step Behavior Guide To Help Your Picky Eater!
Help Your Picky Eater step-by-step guide gives you a clear, straight forward game plan that tells you exactly what you need to do and how to do it. No more theory and untested approaches. You get the formula that works time and time again. This plan is different. The results you get will be different… it will transform your home. I promise it, and stand behind your investment.
Look, I want to be very clear with you in your struggle with picky eating. This step-by-step guide brings you a solution that works the wide majority of time. If it doesn’t work for you, you will see that I stand behind this unconditionally. It either works like it has for hundreds of families and you wake up a week or so from now realizing that this was an amazing bargain, or. You let me know it didn’t work for you, and get your money back.
By the way, if you were to consult with me to get this information, it would likely involve 4-6 sessions of family therapy at a cost of $680.00 to $1020.00. You get the advantage of this information that distills years of clinical experience into a simple, practical step-by-step guide with a proven track record. But I’m not charging $1020.00 for this valuable resource. I’m only charging a fraction of that for ‘Help Your Picky Eater’ step-by-step guide. I’m only charging $37.
Why Only $37 Dr Cale?
This is a common question, and I think I would ask that too. Look, my practice is booming and I am as busy in my office as I want to be. I could publish this in a traditional way, but that takes years and years of effort and still. The publisher may not accept it. So here I am, reaching out with a solution that can make a difference for you, and you get it right now…
I often wonder why parents hesitate to take action now… since the benefit of this step-by-step guide will bring daily peace to your home and ensure your child eats a healthy meal… everyday. For less than a couple of movie tickets you get ‘Help Your Picky Eater’ step-by-step guide sent directly to your email, there is no waiting and no shipping cost.
And there’s no risk for you! If you apply the principles in this step-by-step guide, and it doesn’t work for you…just send me an email and you will get your money back!
You Really Get Much More Than Just A Step-by-Step Guide, You Really Get…
|Psychologically, you get peace of mind… and relief from the daily battles.|
|What is it worth to have NO MORE BATTLES?|
|Physically, you get healthier kids… and an end to rotten eating habits|
|How much would you give to end your worries?|
|Practically, you get saved from the enormous drain of being “short-order cook”.|
|How much is your time worth?|
|Emotionally, your energy and enthusiasm is no longer squashed by the fears of where these unhealthy patterns of eating could take you and your family?|
|You begin to get results in a few days… not weeks.|
|A strategy that will end all useless battles over food… so…|
|You won’t have to continue to worry if your child is growing and developing properly.|
|Relief from your constant dancing around food demands and worries… so…|
|If I could guarantee you a healthy eater… Would you hesitate… or would you Take Action Right Now!|
In the ‘Help Your Picky Eater’ step-by-step guide, I provide you with a step-by-step guide to end your picky eating problems. You can transform your home…and bring relief to your family today!
What You Need To Do Right Now
You can end the struggle, frustration, and frustration that picky eating causes. It’s all up to you, if you are ready to discover the secrets then you need to order ‘Help Your Picky Eater’ step-by-step guide today.
You will instantly have access to ‘Help Your Picky Eater’ step-by-step guide that gives you the tools to stop picky eating and get back your life. It’s not like they grow out of it. Unless you show them the way, their picky eating will just continue to get worse.
Order right now and give your child and yourself the life you both deserve…. you really have nothing to lose but the fights over food that is wrecking your sanity…
Here’s what you get with the Help Your Picky Eater Download Package:
In the Help Your Picky Eater Package, you get a downloadble E-book which you can read right away. This is a PDF document you can read on your computer, or print at home. You also get my Picky Eater Guide on mp3 audio program, which you can listen to immediately. In addition, as my gift to you, I have included several bonuses. In fact, I have more bonuses in this offer than any other program package I have put together.
Included is my complete Guide to Healthy Eating and Healthy Living. This is a new program, focused on the core lessons that allow you to gain control over your kitchen, as well as the routines in your home. At the core of this program is a method to help your family get healthy again, without the battles, the worries and the constant sense of failure.
In addition, I have included “Cooking Fast and Cooking Healthy” This is a recipe book, created specifically for Terrific Parenting by a privately commissioned chef. These recipes are both healthy, and easy to prepare. Great tools for making progress.
Finally, I have a research summary, on what we know about picky eating, it’s causes and solutions that work.
Let me break the package down for you:
Help Your Picky Eater Step-by-Step Guide ($47.00 value)
First, you get Dr Cale’s Help Your Picky Eater step-by-step guide. Dr Cale walks you through every detail to make certain you are ready to get success. From the changes you make in your home, to the message you give to your picky eater, to the way you handle the battles over food, THIS IS THE ONLY STEP-BY-STEP GUIDE that will take you from picky eater to healthy eater in just a matter of weeks.
If you are looking for a bunch of theory, this isn’t it. This is Dr Cale’s practical guidebook that doesn’t waste any time getting you started. You can read through it in an hour or so, and by tomorrow…you will be on your way. This program has been featured in newspapers, TV and applauded by desperate moms and dads across the country.
|Ways to talk to your children about divorce|
|Key lessons for preventing emotional trauma|
|Guidelines for beginning a co-parenting plan|
|Essential considerations for custodial arrangements|
|Specific ways to protect your children and keep them out in the middle|
|Specific ways to protect your children and keep them out in the middle|
FREE BONUS #1:
Cooking Fast. Cooking Healthy. ($47.00 value… included)
This amazing bonus is all about how the correct recipes are critical to your long term success, and why these recipes fit perfectly with a healthy eating game plan. It’s not about putting sugar-like “sauce” over veggies (although that’s what most people do… making excuses like, “Well, it’s okay to do that just to get them to eat something healthy.”)
Dr Cale commissioned a nutritional expert to hand-select these recipes, and gears them toward the active family who needs healthy meals without flavors that are excessively challenging for the typical picky eater.
|How to quickly select healthy meals that everyone can eat.|
|How to prepare meals fast that fit with your picky eating program.|
|How to simplify you life on those crazy days when you need a simple recipe that’s good for everyone.|
Not bad, right? But that’s not all you get! Because I’m also throwing in:
FREE BONUS #2:
MP3 Download of “Help Your Picky Eater” ($47.00 value… free)
Are you beginning to see how valuable this package is? With this bonus you’ll be able to download and listen to Dr Cale step-by-step guide you through this program.
|Learn Better From Listening Than Reading.|
|Need Repetition and Can Easily Listen Over and Over.|
|Need Repetition and Can Easily Listen Over and Over.|
Imagine how you’d feel if you knew could listen to the program any time, to make sure you have the details right! YOURS FREE when you order Help Your Picky Eater. You are reading this, aren’t you?
Well the good news is, that’s still not all. Because I have another gift for you.
FREE BONUS #3:
Healthy Eating & Healthy Living ($47.00 value… free)
You don’t know it yet but, at the end of this bonus you’ll know everything about developing healthy routines for the whole family.
Here’s a short list of what this amazing bonus contains:
|How to manage ALL aspects of your child’s daily routines, from eating to homework.|
|How to support an active, healthy lifestyle and do so without being controlling.|
|How to easily limit unhealthy habits, whether eating, exercise, TV or video.|
And actually, there is much more here! This is a brand new program just out of the editing phase, and actually sells for $99.00 on it’s own… and you get it free!
FREE BONUS #4:
Dr. Cale’s Comprehensive Research Summary On Picky Eating ($29.95 value… included free)
Dr Cale insisted that we add this bonus. Over 25 hours of painstaking research went into this step-by-step guide. This walks you through the current state of the research, what the implications are for your family and lays the foundation for why Dr Cale’s approach works. This is a remarkable step-by-step guide, and it’s also free.
Here’s a brief list of what this science-driven bonus contains:
|How to understand the real risks of picky eating.|
|How to view the role of family dynamics, personality and behavioral conditioning..|
|Why medication is not the answer, and where to look instead.|
And this is only the beginning of what is contained in this step-by-step guide…
Phew… that’s some list of FREE Gifts and bonuses, right? A total of $170.95 in bonuses alone…
The total value is $217.95… Yours today for $37.00.
But I don’t know how long Dr Cale will keep these bonuses up there. It’s part of a marketing test we are doing. They’re worth a lot on their own, but Dr Cale wants to make certain you get remarkable value for your investment.
Key Point: It’s important to know that Dr Cale has many solutions for you as a parent. He is making this remarkable offer, in part, to gain you as a lifetime customer. He believes that your home will be transformed with these products, and that you will return again and again when you have parenting questions. Thus, he is willing to offer all of these solutions in this package to help you decide that this program will turn picky eaters into healthy eaters in your home, and that it’s well worth the investment. (This is a marketing test however, and if this approach doesn’t work, we will stop the promotion.)
And don’t worry, if for any reason you’re not happy with the content, you have a complete guarantee to protect your investment.
Reality Check: This program works, and it works well… but it doesn’t work all the time. I believe it will work for you. But in reality, nothing works for everyone every single time. I know that. With only a minuscule 1.7% return rate however, I know that most parents are remarkably satisfied and happy with my Help Your Picky Eater Step-by-Step Guide.
However, if it doesn’t work for you, no worries my friend. I will gladly refund your monies, and you can keep all of these products for yourself as my gift. I want you to be happy, I want you to be satisfied.
That’s about as fair as it gets, don’t you agree?
And hey, don’t take my word for it on how great this package is. Remember what other parents…just like you…. have to say about it.
You can’t leave this page empty handed, can you? I sure hope not…when an end to your worries is staring you in the face.
For a mere $37.00, you’re getting the answers you need… PLUS MORE. You have our absolute money back guarantee that this will stop picky eating fast… or you get every penny back. Now, you can only get this product from this website… It’s not available in libraries or anywhere else on the net. Just imagine being able to get these answers downloaded to you right away.
I am hoping that you don’t leave just wishing for something that’s free and easy. Look, I find you usually get what you pay for… right?
I promise you… This is worth paying for. Not only for your personal sanity, and to end the squabbles and fights over food—but to get your child on the path to heathy eating.
If You Knew With Absolute Certainty…
I believe… if you knew with absolute certainty that this program works… you would buy it now! Right? For less that 3-4 picky eater meals…you can be done with it! Good bye picky eating!
How could you not invest in your child’s future health? How could you not risk a few bucks on a solution to bring sanity to your home? Oh… I forgot.
You have no risk. I am taking it all away. You can try it…and if it doesn’t work…you get every penny of your money back. No hassles. No battle.
It’s your call.
Is it time to turn that picky eater into a healthy eater today? I vote yes. Click below to invest in this life changing step-by-step guide, and you will never look back. My solutions have helped thousands of families and Help Your Picky Eater will help you. Invest now…
Either way, I only wish the best for you and your family.
Randy L. Cale, PhD
Licensed Psychologist & Parenting Expert
P.S. Don’t forget, you’re getting $217.95 worth of total product value (including bonuses) for just a fraction of that price. Everything to end that picky eating and get you started in putting one meal of healthy food on the table, and putting an end to the whining, the negotiating, and the battles over food… So if that’s what you want to do, this is the opportunity you’ve been waiting for.
P.P.S. Some of you will not believe that you can really stop you picky eater in their tracks. I understand. If that’s you, I hope you remember that your child will not grow out of this on their own. And fancy recipes with chopped up veggies is not the answer either. You know that. You need a new game plan, this is a proven formula for success… right in front of you. Don’t delay any longer. Click on the “Add to Cart” button, and end your worries now.
P.P.P.S. In my early years, a long, long time ago, my coach often repeated the words of my grandfather: “If it ain’t working… then stop doing it”.
If you have a picky eater.. .then it ‘ain’t workin.’ And it’s time to do something different. Here is a solution which solves your problem. And you take no risk. If it doesn’t work…you get your money back. No questions asked.
In other words, you have everything to gain… and nothing to lose. Now is the time…
With the New Year underway, many of us pause to consider how we can enhance our children’s happiness and satisfaction. Yet, we are often somewhat disabled from taking the kind of action that can really make a difference…because we simply don’t know what to do.
In this article, I want to introduce three simple, yet practical ways that you can begin to make this the best year ever for your family.
Recent research from brain-behavior studies provides wonderful guidance to help us understand how the brain works. We know, for example, that most of our decisions occur quite literally “in the blink of an eye.” The brain seems to work at almost light speed, and most of our decisions are made without our conscious awareness.
Furthermore, many, if not all, of our day-to-day choices are activated (or de-activated) by some external event. It could be a question from a parent, a friend, or a co-worker. It could be an alarm clock. It could be someone’s voice in the background. It can also be activated by an internal thought, which turns our attention to a preexisting belief or conclusion. So…how can you use these findings?
- You Can’t Nurture What You Want By Focusing On What You Don’t Want
In the world of parenting, we would all like to “activate” thoughts and behavior that lead to happiness and success. You play a major role in activating healthy patterns by how you invest your energy and attention.
One powerful mistake that we make is a very common one. We have a natural tendency to focus on what we don’t want…rather than focus on what we do want. Think about how easy it is to notice what’s not working in your relationship with your children, rather than build on what is working. Consider how often the bickering pulls you into the lives of your children playing, while you ignore moments of cooperation when things are going well.
So…here’s the critical distinction to hold: Notice how often you want to point out behavior you don’t want, people you don’t like, moments you don’t appreciate, and situations you can’t stand. Instead, quickly drop these in your mind, and turn your attention to what you do want, and notice all that you do appreciate in your children and in your life. This is a critical first step to helping to shape an amazing year.
- Avoid Negatively Biased Questions
Another subtle, but powerful, way you shape your children’s thinking is through the questions that you ask. Almost every question contains some form of an assumption or bias. Some assumptions are bigger than others. Some are skewed positively and others are skewed negatively. Some contain bias that is harmful, pointing your children in the direction of pessimism and helplessness, while other assumptions bias your children toward optimism and success.
For most of us, there is little awareness to the nature of the questions that we ask at home. Let’s look at a few questions that “prime” your child’s brain for failure and unhappiness.
- Why didn’t you pick up your room?
- Why are you always so grumpy?
- What did the coach say when you missed that foul shot?
- How many did you get wrong on your spelling test?
- Why did you lie to me?
- Why do you keep making the same mistakes?
- What’s wrong with you son…you don’t seem to listen?
Notice where these questions direct your child’s attention. They direct your child to a thought or belief that includes a “presupposition” that is negatively skewed. It’s critical to eliminate these types of questions as a daily practice, and instead…
- Use Positively Biased Questions to Prime for Success and Happiness.
Let’s imagine you took a few moments to consider what positive and healthy presuppositions you would like to build into your conversations with your kids. I must assume it would include positive experiences such as:
- Listening in class.
- Learning, excitement.
- Thoughtfulness and kindness.
Most of you would view all of these as positive experiences for our kids to have. So let’s talk about creating questions that prime the pump in positive ways. Here are a few examples:
- Sweetheart what did you learn in math today?
- How many of your spelling words did you get right today?
- What did you enjoy about your visit to the museum the most?
- When you were in school today, what thoughtful and kind thing could you do for your teacher?
- In soccer practice, I wonder how much you will enjoy learning to be a better player.
- Close your eyes sweetheart, and just remember all that you learned last year. Now tell me, how might you possibly use that learning to make a positive difference in the lives of others?
- Who do you love sweetheart? Who loves you?
- When we go to your grandmother’s tomorrow, in what ways could you show kindness and thoughtfulness to her?
Choose your questions carefully, and presume positive responses before you ask the question. You’ll notice not only through the change of behavior, but by the reports of your children. They will tend to focus more and more upon the focus of your questions.
What if you could prevent those summertime arguments and struggles and meltdowns that bring chaos and frustration to your family during those cherished vacation weeks?
You can prevent those moments that cause you to consider packing up and coming home early by taking action now. The bad news is that it is tough to recover from these critical mistakes if you’re in the middle of a vacation. So, the good news is that you can easily make some adjustments before you go on vacation, to ensure a joyful and pleasant family experience. Let’s review each joy-robbing mistake, and then I will discuss what you can do to preserve your peaceful vacation.
Mistake Number 1: Working too hard for your children’s happiness.
This might sound a bit unusual, but it’s a common mistake. We all want to be supportive of our children’s happiness. This is a given.
However, this mistake occurs whenever you feel yourself working harder than your children are at their happiness. You can determine this very simply by turning to your heart and noticing when you feel yourself doing more and more to try to create happy moments. And yet, your children seem to become more and more easily disappointed and upset. In fact, you may notice that they put little effort into their own happiness as you work harder.. If this is where you’re at…you are headed down a path that will ultimately fail them and you..and make both summer and vacation a possible nightmare.
When your children are experiencing moments of boredom, or moments when things didn’t work out exactly the way they want, you’ll find that it is a disservice to continually “rescue” them from that moment. You would like for them to be happy, given all that they have…but sometimes they can’t seem to find it.
So instead of saving them redirecting them, or always rushing to solve their unhappiness, allow them to have a moment of whining or complaining. Allow them to be unhappy with the fact that their friends cant’ come over, or that their favorite ride at the park is closed, or that you have to leave early because of his sister’s sunburn.
If you engage the complaints, you validate them. So minimize this, and let your children work their way through any repeated patterns of whining, or unhappy moments this summer. You will quickly see them become better at finding their own peace, and cope better with disappointments.
Mistake Number 2: Believing that less structure and routine during vacation will equal a more pleasant experience.
This simply isn’t true. Your kids are used to structure and routine. They thrive on structure. While they may complain or resist it at times, the research overwhelmingly supports the value of continued structure and routine.
So here’s what I suggest you consider: In advance, set the basic guidelines for the summer schedule, including times when you vacation or go on family outings. Know when you’ll get up and have breakfast, and roughly when you’ll leave to go to whatever activities. Try to have the activities roughly planned out in advance, while leaving some room for error. The goal is not rigidity; the goal is predictability. Please note that! When your children know what will be happening next, there is a sense of security and reassurance that calms and organizes their thinking and their behavior.
Overall, stick to your planned schedule. While you can leave some room for flexibility, make sure that it’s not an accommodation in response to a whining or complaining child. You can be open to input, and some flexibility, but make sure it does not flow from your intolerance of a whining or complaining child.
Mistake Number 3: Getting weak on consequences and long on negotiation.
When on vacation or embarking on a family outing, we all want a pleasant and enjoyable experience. As such, we can often get weak on our follow-through. Your kids will learn to honor the limits that you set on their behavior-not by the lectures and discussions that you offer them-but by the consequences that come as a result of their failure to honor that limit.
Let’s imagine that you’re traveling in the car and the boys are bickering in the back seat. You can remind them. You can threaten them. You can yell at them. And you just notice that it keeps getting worse and worse as the trip goes on.
What’s needed is a clear consequence….not another lecture or discussion. Let the boys know that whenever they start bickering or yelling, you’ll just pull the car over and sit there until there’s five minutes of silence. If you’re clear about where the limit is at, and what the consequence is for their hitting, bickering or yelling or screaming in the car, you’ll find they quickly learn to honor that limit. The same approach can be used wherever you travel.
This is an amazingly simple strategy that works ever time!
So to enjoy your family vacation, make sure that you don’t try to rescue your kids every time that they have a moment of unhappiness or disappointment. Establish a structure in advance, and stick to it. Finally, be firm on your limits, and teach those limits with consequences. Don’t get into negotiations, or you’ll just find yourself negotiating more and more unhappiness on your vacation.
Summary: Why wouldn’t you want to make life as struggle free as possible?
While there will certainly be struggles, why not establish a structure and routine that makes life easier? It can be done!
This is best achieved through creating a world where chores and responsibilities are completed without the need for constant decision making, without the need for nagging or prodding, and without the need for continued monitoring.
Thought-Full Routines: How to make life a struggle!
First, lets talk about how not to do it.
Here’s how you can make life difficult and create a constant struggle. This approach generally requires that you also get to “have” incessant nagging, prodding, negotiating, pushing…and sometimes even a bit of yelling, screaming, and threatening of consequences.
Make day-to-day routines flexible…make decisions based upon moment-to-moment fluctuations…and day-to-day routines will be a struggle!
That’s the rule! You can fight it. You can argue with it. You can disagree with it. But that’s the rule!
You make these daily routines flexible and changeable, and then you’ll always have a struggle as things go on.
Can I really say “always”? Well perhaps there are a few exceptions, but I rarely see them.
Why is this the case?
- Children thrive with structure.
Children thrive in an environment where there’s predictability. Behaviorally, academically, and emotionally, children thrive when there are consistent, clear routines that remain relatively unchanging.
- Children thrive on predictability.
There is comfort and security in knowing when things will happen. While children involved in chaotic and out of control family systems often rebel at the initial signs of structure and routine, they quickly adjust and their behavior calms.
With this, adjustment also comes an emotional calming. Children will often report a sense that life is easier after experiencing a consistent structure and routine.
- Consistent routines remove decision-making.
This is the true source of the magic. Daily decision-making on all routine stuff is removed, and thus there is no wasted energy. The energy is reserved for what’s really important!
How many of us actually have to make a decision to brush our teeth in the morning. Very few, I hope! And as such it presents no emotional stress or challenge. It’s not really
For those of you who buckle your seatbelts on a daily basis, it becomes routine and there is no stress to this.
In the early stages of an exercise program, the daily commitment often involves a decision and, at times, a struggle to make the decision. If you have exercised regularly for years however, there is no decision to be made. It is a given that you will exercise. It gets easier…when there is no decision to be made.
In essence, these events have been “pre-decided.” A level of automaticity then evolves that eliminates the stress of making a decision. The result: reduced anxiety, and reduced stress and greater harmony.
By “Thought-LESS” routines, I am referring to a way of parenting that does not involve constant thinking and evaluating about what kids need to do next.
By “Thought-LESS”, I mean that both children and parents fall into a structure and pattern that allows for the basic responsibilities to be addressed without a lot of struggle. Instead, these occur effortlessly.
By “Thought-LESS” routines, I mean that that you nurture “habits” that eliminate the need to constantly figure out what’s next. It’s been pre-decided.
What happens when you establish a home with “thought-LESS” routines: Lots of time is available to discuss things that are of real importance to the family. Little time is put into managing homework behavior, and instead discussion actually occurs about what is being learned.
Little time is spent getting the children to the table to eat, and instead meaningful discussion occurs about life events. Little time is spent arguing over homework or bedtime routines, and greater opportunity is available for simply spending quality time with children.
Do you have a sense how this works?
When routines become consistent and predictable, there is relatively little discussion and dialogue that goes into the completion of these fundamental responsibilities that we all have to take care of. If children learn to do this, their minds are freed from the struggle with what’s important to do in life. They don’t end up wasting their life doing battle with the fact that they have to do homework, even though they may not like to do it. They simply get it done.
This is a formula for success. This is a formula for making life easy. This is a formula for staying healthy, emotionally strong, and focused on what’s really important. Make this the way you do things at home, and watch how much easier day-to-day life becomes.
As the Holiday Season starts to unfold, we not only begin Holiday plans, but often we build in more moments to pause and express our gratitude for our lives. It is truly one of those hidden secrets of happiness. Gratitude opens the door to enjoyment of the life we have now…rather than spending our time focused on the future as salvation from the present.
Yet, many parents express frustration with the lack of gratitude and appreciation that their children seem to experience. This is not the case for all children, of course. But for many families, parents notice that the more they give…the more that their children want. And the more they want, the more they appear to lack appreciation for what they get. Many of us see this happening, and don’t know what to do about it. Here are three keys to getting started:
- Be Chronically Grateful!
When parents come to my office and complain about their children not being grateful, I first ask how often they complain about their life. Almost without exception, parents concede that their children often hear Mom and Dad complaining about each other, events at work, the lack of money in the budget, what the neighbors have done, in-laws “craziness”, or their lack of happiness with the children’s behavior. In other words, many of us who want our children to be more grateful are modeling the opposite! We model negativity…noticing much more of what is not working…rather than focusing on what is working!
So the first suggestion is quite simple: Become what you want your children to be.
Stop noticing what’s wrong! Instead…notice what is right in your world. Pay attention, and stop complaining about what you don’t like. Instead, nurture discussions around the parts of your life that you love, the parts of your life that you enjoy, and the parts of your life that you appreciate.
Also, remember that it is hard to teach your kids a trait that you don’t own. Gratitude has to begin with what we model. The more we live in a state of gratitude and appreciation, the more our children can learn naturally and easily. Without it, we are asking our children to master this perspective…when we haven’t done so ourselves. It just won’t work.
- Stop Rewarding Negativity By Giving It Your Energy and Attention.
Negativity can take many forms. It can look like a complaint, a constant problem, finding what’s wrong with everything, and always wanting more.
Okay…let’s get real for a minute. This is what really gets to you…isn’t it. When kids complain about their life…and you know that they really have an exceptional life.
Intuitively, we understand that there is no room for gratitude when your kids are caught up in making complaints, finding only problems and constantly asking for more and more.
As parents, you know that children can become upset, and can express legitimate concerns for which they need our help and guidance. Obviously, you want to respond to these.
However, if you notice that your children have learned to habitually complain about their siblings, friends, parents or their teachers…it’s time to just “allow” those complaints. Or if they have fallen into the pattern of making repeated demands, then it is time to stop lecturing or resisting the demands and complaints.
It is essential that you limit how much you “invest” in these complaints or demands, as your energy only serves to feed these negative patterns.
Instead, just “allow” the complaints to fall on disinterested ears. Show no interest whatsoever, in other words…just ignore them completely!
Teach your children (by your actions) that such behavior is NOT worthy of your attention, and they will learn that such behavior is NOT worthy of their attention either. They will learn to let go of these patterns…when you have let go of these patterns. Instead…
- Invest Your Life Energy Into “The Good Stuff.”
Are you serious about nurturing gratitude? Here’s how you get the ball rolling. You have got to put your daily energy into the behaviors and actions you value.
Don’t be lazy about this. If you are serious about nurturing gratitude and appreciation, here’s the formula that will make it happen.
- Start noticing how often things work out to serve you and your family. Find (in your own mind) how you find more appreciation for clerk at the grocery store, your neighbor, your friend, and even your health. Even when you see a lack (such as a lack of health), see if you can find a way where it serve to strengthen you, and bring you to a state of greater appreciation. NOW…start expressing that when you around your children.
- Start noticing everything that you enjoy and appreciate about your children’s behavior. Let your kids know how grateful you are that they open the door, or help carry in the groceries, or take the dog for a walk. Express appreciation for how they waited patiently in the car, or answered the phone respectfully. Use thoughtful language consistently and repeatedly as you pay more and more attention to the behavior that you want to nurture and promote.
- For every instance where you express your appreciation for your children’s actions, “catch” four more positive moments and just notice these without verbal comment. Simply smile. Or simply wink. Or simply nod. Or it could be a touch on the shoulder or a brief “thumbs-up.” In other words, give lots of non-verbal appreciation…by simply smiling and noticing the moments YOU really appreciate and enjoy.
In this way, you use your influence to nurture “the good stuff.” Your children will learn to pay attention and to notice the most wonderful and valuable parts of their life…because you do! They will be able to do so because you are taking the time and putting forth the energy to notice their behavior.
I wish you all a wonderful and peaceful Holiday Season! As you spend time with those you love, I hope you begin to put these ideas to work, so you can see the power of these simple changes.
Summer is around the corner, and we all anticipate good times ahead. Summer is filled with fun times, vacations, camping, swimming, sports and plenty of down time. We all need it, and anticipate the warm, lazy days of summer.
And yet, for most of us as parents, we also want to continue to nurture responsible habits and teach our children the fundamentals to be prepared for life. However, too often we wait until late adolescence to start teaching this. We then realize that our adolescent has no intention to take on responsibility, especially during the summer. They believe, and have often been taught, that summers are for fun only and that they shouldn’t do any real ‘work.’
The ‘Making it Easy’ Approach to Summer.
Many children face the summer with multiple vacations, hanging at the pool and an endless array of sleepovers and daytrips to have fun. They won’t crack a book, pick up a rake or make a bed. Mom or Dad are not only planning what seems like an endless array of entertainment, but they are also responding to ongoing requests for sleepovers, pool parties and sudden get-togethers. For others, sports practice and playing emerges as the primary activity, and family fun seems to hinge around these events.
All things considered, the focus is on making sure children get to do (mostly) what they want. The ‘making it easy’ approach is filled with ease and fun, and little responsibility. Parents seem to serve more as taxi drivers, day trip planners and ‘boredom fixers.’
So, what’s the problem you may ask? Isn’t this what everyone else is doing?
Seeking Balance: Easy vs Hard?
So somehow, in the middle of this overloaded world of opinions, marketing messages and exploding data, our sense of reasonableness has failed us. We have lost our compass along the way!
We seem to want our kids to have only ease and fun, not realizing it seems that this will come with consequences. Perhaps more problematic, we too easily seem to follow the lead of our children’s wants and desires. It’s almost as if the more we give our children what they want, the more we seem to think this is good for them. We see this trend growing, as six year olds carry IPhones and a Starbucks cup.
“Children do not know what they need. They only know what they want.’
Until a solid, responsible maturity is reached, children will tend to want what is easy, what is enjoyable, and what relieves any pressure or sense of anxiety. They will incessantly argue and fight for that easy path. (Some adults take this path as well, of course.)
Notice, if you walk this path with your kids, your children seem to get almost everything they want, while putting forth little effort. In today’s world, this translates to a very abundant life for your children, without any investment on their part.
Such choices come with two consequences, and many of you see this already. First, there is usually very little sincere gratitude for all your efforts. What happened yesterday is irrelevant. It’s now, what will do YOU do for me today mom? This is often quite poignant during the summer months, as week after week of effort on your part is met with minimal gratitude from your children.
Secondly, there is an inevitable building of the sense of entitlement. Kids often feel they have a ‘right to an abundant life’ without any effort or investment. We have trained them for this, and may again do so this summer.
The bottom line is this: If we make things too easy for our kids, life will be harder later.
The Solution: Balance Responsibility with Fun
When we review the literature on success and satisfaction in life, we find that hard work and effort must be balanced with some time to rejuvenate and enjoy. This is the common sense formula for life satisfaction. It is also a clear requisite for continued optimal functioning and good mental health.
When too much demand or responsibility is required, life is drudgery. We have no sense of ease and no opportunity to rejuvenate and re-group. The is true for adults and children.
We also see that muscle, that we fail to use, begins to atrophy. This is true for ‘brain muscle’ as well. When we learn a skill, and then ignore it for months, our skills decline. Academically, children consistently lose between 2 and 3 months of their academic skills. Why? Because we put no demand on those skills during the summer.
No Surprises Here: Preparation Comes from Preparation!
I know that sounds redundant, but let me explain. If we want our kids to be well prepared for the school year this fall, we prepare them. If we want our children to be well prepared to take responsibility in life, we give them responsibility.
Honestly, there is no secret psychological formula. Our children will benefit from working the ‘muscle’ of responsibility and effort this summer.
The balance is simple: Require some work, some effort each day. Not a lot. Just enough to keep the academic muscle strong. And don’t hesitate to require daily chores to help out around the house before the friends come over or the fun begins. It’s easy to start small, and yet the benefits are large.
You will be thankful as the years’ progress because your child learns lessons from life, that your words will fail to teach. Offer them these lessons, while still enjoying an awesome summer. Remember to follow me of Facebook and Twitter for great tips this summer.
Let me begin by emphasizing that this article is not about every adolescent. However, for some of you, you have become quite familiar with the teen I am about to describe. Let’s imagine you asked the question, “How was your day?”
It seems innocent. It seems that you are concerned. There was no tone in your voice. There is nothing that you are angry about. Your adolescent appears to be sitting at the table doing nothing. All appears okay.
Yet the response that you get sounds something like this:
- “None of your business!”
- “Leave me alone!”
- “Why do you keep bothering me?”\
- “What’s wrong with you?”
- “Don’t bother me!”
- “Why are you always asking me questions?”
- And so forth….
Of course, with this adolescent, you have probably been through this several hundred times….maybe more!
It doesn’t matter what the time of day. It doesn’t matter what question you ask. It doesn’t matter how you ask it. The more concerned and worried we become about their guarded or resistant responses, the more we tend to press…and the more ugly things seem to get.
The only exception might be in the event that your son or daughter actually WANTS something from you, and then you get a response that sounds more like a human being. In fact, they can be “sweet as pie” as long as they are getting what they want. If this is your child, you may have a case of what I call, “The Adolescent Third Degree Burn!”
What is the Adolescent Third Degree Burn?
While not every teenager goes through this phase, certainly many do. This is a stage of life where every question, inquiry or request is taken as an imposition. It’s as if you are probing into their personal world with a dagger in your hand.
To understand this metaphor, imagine their self-esteem has been burned…and the boundaries are hypersensitive to any effort to find out “What’s going on in there?” The more you try to get inside…the more reactive they become!
If you are dealing with this, you are probably aware that most of what you read says that you should just keep asking….and keep asking…and keep asking.
This is wrong. Why? Because it doesn’t work for resistant kids!
Does your teen seem to appreciate your repeated worry, concern and efforts to connect? Do they ever open up to your questioning and probing?
No! Notice it just keeps pushing your son or daughter further and further away.
Now this doesn’t mean you give up communicating; it just means that you approach “touching” a child who has been “burned” very differently than you might approach others.
What’s the advantage of this metaphor?
First, it prepares you for the reality of trying to communicate with a teen who has landed in this place. Be prepared for the hypersensitivity, and don’t take it personally. Just hold the awareness that if you probe, it will get ugly!
Secondly, the metaphor of a third degree burn implies that there would be great sensitivity to touch or pressure. It’s not that you can’t communicate; it’s just that there can’t be an effort to move inside this psychological sphere of energy which is hypersensitive.
You can communicate with your teen. You just can’t probe…you just can’t inquire…you just can’t push. If you do, you will get the over reactive and seemingly inhumane treatment that no parent really deserves.
Third, all burns eventually heal, if you stop probing and picking at them! Thus, the metaphor implies that this is not a lifelong condition. However, when you stop pushing and probing, the burn begins to heal.
Finally, when you cease efforts to probe into your teenager’s world, you’ll find more opportunities for dialogue and discussion. How? Rather than inquiry, we focus on meeting them where they are at.
Meet Your Teen Where They Are At!
How do you do that…you are asking?
First, rather than probing about their day, comment on the day. Simply state, “It was a beautiful day outside.” Don’t get hooked by their response. If it’s positive…keep going. If not, ignore it.
Secondly, don’t ask questions where you already know or can get the answer. Instead of asking who won the game, you do a little research and then comment, “I heard you guys won by five points. Nice job.”
Third, rather than asking about the results of their math quiz, you comment, “I noticed how hard you studied for your Math quiz last night. I am sure you did your best.”
Finally, try to resonate at their level of emotional investment. By meeting them where they are at, you actually show respect for their struggle. While it seems counter-intuitive, I encourage to simply notice the results. You don’t have to wait weeks or months to see the effect of this strategy.
“But won’t they think that I don’t care?”
No, this is not the case. The probing approach, with resistant teens, just pushes them away. You invest more and more energy in the resistant, ugly comments…and you just keep getting more ugly comments.
In this approach, you stop investing in the ugly moments, and you stop being the only one always investing in the relationship. Because you do this, you give your teenager the chance to begin investing in your family. Just notice what happens when you try! And remember, it doesn’t happen over night! Burns take a while to heal…just be patient for a few weeks.
Parents are often asking how to get their kids to listen and respect their request to help out or to take care of basic responsibilities. Many times parents will say,” Why do I have to ask Johnny to pick up his shoes seven times before he will listen to me? Why can’t he just respect me when I ask him to do something?”
In essence, these parents are asking that their kids listen. They want to be able to ask their kids once, and have their children respond.
But often children do not respond by honoring a parent’s request. Some just ignore their mom or dad. Some say, “I’m busy. Wait.” Others may be more defiant, simply stating, “No!”
The end result is often the same, as the child is not listening. As time goes on, if parents do not develop an effective strategy, the pattern will worsen and parents will end up asking over and over again. Typically, most parents get very frustrated with kids’ not listening like this, and ultimately it ends up in an ugly, unpleasant exchange.
So what’s the secret to getting respect for a request?
There are three keys to getting your kids to listen when you ask them to do something. It doesn’t depend upon their personality, although certainly kids have different personality styles. Some will respond more rapidly, and others will take a little bit of time. However, the formula remains the same regardless of your child’s temperament. Don’t get seduced into believing that you have to dance around your child’s temperament, or you will always be dancing!
- You will get respect by offering respect. Many times parents will fall into a pattern of using very controlling and demanding language with their kids. It might sound like this:
- “Pick that up.”
- “Put that away.”
- “Get your homework done.”
- “Stop hitting your brother.”
- “I said STOP THAT NOW!”
Would you like to be spoken to in that way? I doubt it. If you want your kids to respond to a request, make sure that it sounds like a request-and not a command. If you’re asking them to pick up their toys, make sure that you’re asking. If you want them to do their homework, ask. If it’s a time when you need to be more firm, and you have to get out the door, say it like this: “It’s time to get your shoes on, because we have to go to the doctor’s appointment now.”
Avoid the command, “Get your shoes on now.” If you fall into that pattern, you likely won’t like what evolves when your child moves into those teenage years. It can get really ugly when your words come back to haunt you!
This “asking” will not ensure a success. It just ensures that you speak to your kids in a manner that models the way that you would like to have them speak to you.
- If it’s really important, say it once…and only once.
Rather than making the request over and over, just say it once. If you are in the habit of asking seven times to get your kids to do something, their brain learns to expect seven requests.
If you want them to respect the first request, make only one request. If you end up harping and nagging on them, their brains will begin to expect that. They actually come to learn that you saying something once only means you will say it again…and again…and again.
Know that it doesn’t work to repeat your request…if you want respect for your request…unless you want to spend most of your time constantly repeating everything you say just to get every little chore done around the house.
Bottom line: Say it once and then…
- Rely upon actions to teach respect for your words.
When you follow words with more words, the value of your words becomes diluted. If you just keep throwing more and more words out there, your children learn that your words don’t mean anything. How would you expect your kids to know that you really mean business, if you’re willing to repeat the same request a dozen times? It just can’t work that way!
The secret here is to find a consequence (that requires your action) and trust that that consequence will teach your kids to value your words.
For example, if you want your daughter to cut off the TV and come to dinner, you ask once. Perhaps you wait five minutes and then you go out to where the TV is, cut it off, and walk out of the room without saying a word.
Let’s imagine that you’re in the grocery store, and your son starts bugging you for a treat. You tell him “No” once, and then you go on with your shopping. If he wants to have an upset, let him have his upset…but your “action” is to walk away from his whining and upset.
In every situation, you want to remain respectful. You will never feel bad for maintaining your cool. State your position once, and then follow with decisive action.
If you follow that simple formula, you’ll see that your requests become honored with increasing consistency. Just remember however; all of this is a learning process. Don’t expect perfection immediately. You have to allow your kids the opportunity to learn, and that may take two to three weeks. Be patient, and let the respect for your requests build over time.
- How can you teach your children to handle money responsibly?
- What are the strategies that successful parents use, when teaching their kids about money?
- Do you pay kids for doing their chores?
- Should you remove allowances if they are acting poorly?
These are great questions, and ones that parents often ask inquire about. While your answers may differ from mine, I encourage you to consider the approach outlined below. My recommendations are based upon years of working with families who have developed successful strategies for dealing with money.
- Never buy responsible behavior.
It is a mistake to pay children for completing basic responsibilities around the house. If you use allowance as a tool to “purchase behavior,” you always end up purchasing their compliance. It’s not good.
Your kids will never learn to “own” their behavior. You will be purchasing the appearance of responsible behavior. Instead of this being a signal of responsibility, it is simply a signal that your parenting toolbox is empty, and that you can pay for maid service. It will not generalize to future patterns.
- Commit to a reasonable allowance around 4th to 5th grade…NOT contingent on “good behavior.”
I strongly encourage you to give the kids an allowance that does not depend on their behavior. Let them know that they get an allowance because you love them and you want them to learn to take care of their own money.
Decide on a reasonable amount of spending money for your children, and include monies for treats that you might typically buy them. For example, if you normally buy the kids some juice when you are getting gas, include that portion in their allowance. As they get older, include their lunch money in their allowance. Include some extra spending money, for the small “stuff” they often want and that you pick up for them.
Let them know that it’s their money to manage each week, and watch them learn from their choices. Begin early on, to allow children to experience the consequence of good judgment, as well as poor judgment in their use of their money.
- Open a checking account for your kids, and teach them to manage it.
Consider opening a checking account for the kids, and consider putting their allowance in the bank. Teach them how to get their monies, and when they want to purchase something, they can write a check.
This is a remarkably practical and powerful way to learn about basic money management. Set aside time weekly to help your kids balance their checkbook, and to discuss how they might spend their resources. In today’s world, they will not only learn to balance their checkbook, but also learn to gain access to their records via their computer.
- Open a savings or investment account for your children, and teach compound interest.
When you open the savings account, sit down and show your kids the effect of compound interest. Make sure you repeat this on a regular basis, and teach them how the bank will pay them to “store” their money there. If they start saving at an early age, show them how easy it will be to have abundant resources by the time they reach the middle stages of their life.
As an incentive to their savings program, let them know that you will match every dollar that they put and keep in their savings account, with a dollar from Mom and Dad. Show them the power of this as they look ahead to the next 10, 20, 30, and even 40 years. (If you haven’t played with a compound interest calculator, you may want to do this with you children…especially as they move into adolescence.)
- Never model impulse buying.
When you model for children a willingness to buy impulsively, you are teaching them to do the same. In every arena of life, you simply can’t escape what you model.
If you want them to make wise purchases, with forethought and consideration about the importance of the purchase, make sure that you model this.
Remember: Your kids are always learning. And you are the primary teacher.
- Buy the Book: Rich Dad, Poor Dad: What the Rich Teach Their Kids About Money. By: Robert T. Kiyosaki. Mr. Kiyosaki has written several books under the general title of, “ Rich Dad, Poor Dad.” They are all excellent books. However, the book written for teaching children about money is an excellent primer on this subject. It’s a great place to start.
In closing, if you find yourself struggling with how to teach responsible patterns of behavior without paying for it, I encourage you to carefully review the materials on my website, at www.TerrificParenting.com. The tools of effective parenting are much more powerful than money, and the results are more enduring. As always, I encourage you to email me with your feedback, at DrCale@TerrificParenting.com.
Take The Terrific Parenting 30-Day Challenge
Do you feel like you are wasting energy with your kids? Does it seem that the whining and complaining is going to drive you crazy? Do you lose your cool when trying to get the kids to listen? Are you eager to have a more positive and healthy relationship with your kids? Have you had enough with your kids not listening to you?
Well maybe it’s time to start 2008 with the Terrific Parenting 30 day challenge!
Let me ask you to imagine this. Suppose I have been magically following you around your house for the past year, and I have been carrying two huge buckets. On the side of the first bucket is a plus sign (+) for positive behavior. Every time that you engaged, noticed, smiled at, or talked to your kids during a positive or healthy moment, I put a penny in the positive bucket.
In the other hand, I have another bucket with a big negative (-) sign. Every time that you invested energy in a negative behavior, I dropped a penny in this bucket. In other words, every time you were nagging, reminding, prodding, pushing, arguing, giving nasty looks, or even “commanding” your children to change their current behavior…you get a penny.
What is critical to understand here is that I am putting pennies in the bucket every time you engage (i.e., give your attention and energy) either a positive moment…or a negative moment. Now, back to the buckets….What would these two buckets looks like?
Many of the parents I work with tell me like it looks like the negative bucket is overflowing, and there are a few pennies in the positive bucket.
Well, this is a problem. It’s even a bigger problem than it appears, as time goes by. We have to change this, if we want 2008 to be the best year ever.
Why? Because you can’t nurture more positive behavior by investing your energy in negative behavior.
This is a critical fundamental that many of us just don’t get. If your child happens to be an easy child, who has few oppositional or challenging qualities, then you can “sneak by” without coming to head to head with this critical lesson.
However, if you have a child who is more oppositional, strong willed, resistant or non-compliant, then you must understand this fundamental principal, or otherwise life will get ugly.
So, the first principal to master is: You cannot nurture positive and healthy behavior by consistently investing your energy and time in negative behavior. So what do you do instead?
You Must Master The Rule Of Watering Seeds, and Starving Weeds!
Seeds refer to positive, healthy and productive behavior. There are seeds of happiness; there are seeds of responsibility; and there are seeds of kindness. These are all the behaviors we want to nurture.
Then, there are weeds! Weeds include all the negative behavior, such as whining, complaining, negotiating, arguing, not listening, disrespect, kids squabbling, and general attitudes of negativity.
Your home may be place where you invest more of your energy in weeds than seeds. If so, you likely have a few struggles on your hands. If you take the 30-day challenge, you can turn this around and make 2008 the best year ever.
How do you do this?
You start watering seeds very heavily. For the next 30 days, obsess on moments of thoughtfulness, kindness, hard work, and responsibility. When the kids are carrying their plate from the table to the dishwasher, touch them on the shoulder and smile. When they help to carry in the groceries, gently wink at them. While they are doing their homework, walk by and give them a 30 second shoulder rub. When they are playing well together, walk by and smile, or bring them a cup of juice, or give them a thumbs-up. Every time you give your attention to these positive moments, you are watering seeds of responsibility with your attention and energy.
In addition however, you must “starve weeds.” You must avoid giving your energy to weeds, or otherwise they just keep growing. Have you noticed that you can bring harsh consequences upon these “weed like behaviors” and they just still don’t seem to go away? It’s because you keep watering them…watering them with your attention and energy.
So over the next 30 days, see what happens when you start ignoring those weeds. That’s right! Ignore the weeds. I know it’s hard. I know it’s tough. I know it’s annoying. But you still have to show them that this negative behavior is not worthy of your attention.
The world will not invest in these negative, annoying and unproductive moments. So…to prepare them for the real world…you must teach them you will walk away.
For some of you, your child will follow you. They will be your shadow, whining and complaining all the while. Keep starving that weed…until it fades away.
Step 3: Be patient! Seeds take a while to grow.
As you go through the next month, do not expect magical results at the end of a week. I would encourage you not even to expect magical results by the end of two weeks.
But, if you consistently put your energy into moments of positive, healthy behavior and consistently walk away from more negative behavior, you will see a dramatic shift in your household over the next 30 days. Test it, and make 2008 the best year ever!