Welcome to Educated, Common Sense Parenting! This is my parenting education/commentary blog. Start here and read About This Blog.

I believe too many parents today have let their children rule their households. Their children dictate their daily lives, demand every ounce of their attention and do not show any respect for their parents. This needs to change. The only way to do this is if parents start letting good old common sense start dictating their parenting practices and stop letting their children run the show. You're the parent. Act like one.

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Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Why Don't You Try That Again?

I think there are two child-traits that annoy me the most...

#1-Whining: Just for the simple fact that it's nails-on-the-chalkboard annoying to me. I don't know a child who doesn't or hasn't whined in their life. Some kids are worse than others and this mostly has to do with how much parents are willing to correct the behavior properly.

#2-Ungratefulness. "Kids today" have so freakin much. It's unreal. I remember having to put clothes on layaway because we couldn't afford to pay the whole $17.99 all at once. After the 2-4 weeks were up and we had saved enough, we went to pick up item. Talk about being grateful! I had never been so happy in my life! Fast-forward 30 years and I find myself buying (or trying really hard NOT to buy) the kids clothes every time I am within a 10 mile radius of Gymboree. The automatic "gratefulness" lesson isn't built into the process these days. We have to teach our kids to be grateful to help them lead a life of thanksgiving rather than believing life always "owes" them something.

The second part of ungratefulness is the appreciation of what others do for you--most notably you parents!! A few months ago Brooke started this whole thing where she would say, "Give me my..." (milk, juice, jacket, etc). I am more than happy to do things for my kids, but I am not a slave. And I am definitely not a slave to someone who is perfectly capable of 1) Getting things herself and 2) Asking politely when needed.

I am very happy to report that I found a simple solution to both #1 and #2 that has almost eliminated both problems completely. Of course, teaching your kids to live a life of intrinsic thankfulness and gratefulness is not something that happens overnight.That is something that you have to teach and practice every day. But I found a solution to cut the immediate whining and impolite/ungrateful behavior--short term.

It was so simple: When whining or ungrateful behavior occurred all I would say was, "Why don't you try that again in 5 minutes?" Then I would set a timer and make her wait for whatever she wanted or was whining about. I find that if you just say, "Stop whining. Say that again in a normal voice" there is really not enough "sting" to change the behavior. All they have to do is repeat what they just said in a normal voice (or appropriately) and they get what they want. That is not a punishment! But making them WAIT, even if just for a few minutes, gives them time to think and doesn't give them the immediate gratification they're looking for. Kids haaaate to wait!!!

Oh, it worked like a charm! After two times, I pretty much had whining and (certain) impolite behaviors nipped in the bud. It was one of those parenting moments where I really wished I could give myself a high-five. Not all parenting "tricks" work. This one sure did! Just remember to stay consistent and use the same phrase every time the behavior occurs. You'll love it!! :)

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