Monday, May 04, 2009

Same Old Kid

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I am sure you have been dying to know if I woke up Friday to a New Kid. Nope. Same old kid. Have a New Kid by Friday by Dr. Kevin Leman did not solve all of my problems because I didn't really institute the program and here are some of the reasons why.

Allowance: a good deal of the solutions in this book revolved around allowance, withholding allowance or deducting allowance to pay someone else to do chore the child did not do. The theory is that by withholding the money the kid will really feel the pain because they won't be able to buy the things they want to buy.
This didn't sit well with me for a couple of reasons.

First, I think you should earn your pin money. This author thinks that you should give your kids allowance as "one of the perks" of being a part of the family. The kids don't have to do a thing to get the money just keep breathing. I think that allowance should be for jobs BEYOND the regular chores required to maintain the house The money making jobs are available to anyone who wants to earn some cash, if no one wants to earn the cash, the jobs don't get done.

Second, My kids don't seem to be motivated by money. If we instituted an allowance and then took it away they would not care at all. Besides what would they buy? Moose and I provide the necessities and between Christmas, birthdays and hand-me-downs the kids are rolling in so much stuff they can't even take care of it all.

Consequences- The consequences proposed in this book were not logical at all. In fact they didn't seem to be consequences as much as revenge. Junior throws a tantrum before lunch and then the next day when he wants you to take him to a friend's house you just say "No, we're not going." and then expect him to figure out why. If he asks this is a "teachable moment" and you explain that the tantrum is the reason you can't play today.

Mean- I am not a pushover. I am not the mother that can't stand to say "No" because it might upset the child. I don't buy my kids every little thing they ask for. But I love my kids and I think parents should be kind to them. This book sounded just plain mean. I understand being firm but this just seemed rude and a little selfish. I think kids need love and hugs because home is the only place they are going to get them.

What really bugged me was the author's attitude about kids he says that "they are unionized and growing stronger." He repeatedly makes children out to be hedonistic little beasts that are out to manipulate you at every turn. Really? I don't buy it. I think kids will manipulate you if they feel like they must but I also think that they are just trying to get by and need someone to teach them the appropriate way to do it, that process takes a long time. No wonder his book read like a battle plan, this guy thinks the kids are out to get you.

He is also just plain wrong about nursing, homeschooling, potty training, and spanking.

There were a few things that I took away from the book and have started to use in my parenting.
Good Things
A doesn't happen until B is completed - this helps me and the kids to not get distracted

Be consistent - This is the hardest part and we have all heard it before

Respond don't react - I am certainly a react-er. Even if I manage not to react with my words my body language and attitude certainly react.

Always follow through - when you say "If you do that again we are leaving." and he does it again, leave. Even if it is inconvenient, embarrassing or expensive. This also means don't make that statement if you are not willing to leave in an instant.

3.5 out of 7 thimbles

I have been much happier with Positive Parenting by Glenn Latham but his book is huge, text book like and consequently a little boring.

Some of the good things from Positive Parenting include

Ignoring age appropriate junk behavior - a.k.a. They WILL grow out of bathroom jokes

Stating Expectations before hand - Do not tell them what not to do redirect them with the appropriate behavior - If you tell them what not to do it only gives them ideas. (Like Keira and The Case of the Cub Scout in the Cultural Hall. What she should (in a perfect world and 20/20 hindsight)have said is "We are going to stay in the hallway." rather than telling them not to go into the Cultural Hall repeatedly, which only planted and then cemented the idea into his brain and he couldn't resist.)

Reinforce good behavior rather than reinforcing negative behavior

Ignore the attention getting tattle tale stuff.

6 out of 7 thimbles

I have no more to say on the subject other than I am looking forward to picking up "The Explosive Child" tomorrow.
(this was meant to be a really quick post but I though if I was going to slam a book I should give my reasons)


Afton said...

I got a lot out of 1, 2, 3 Magic, even though I didn't agree with everything the author said.

Keira said...

I sound like a Nancy Drew mystery!

Mommy Bee said...

I hope TEC is helpful for you. Like I said, I haven't read it yet, but I've been reading "Lost at School" which is by the same guy, just directed to teachers rather than to parents (and it's the one I could get here, so it's where I'm starting). His basic premise is that a lot of 'challenging behavior' stems from kids lacking skills--not from a lack of knowing the expectations or a lack of motivation...but they simply don't know how to process certain things, filter emotions, handle transitions, etc (there's a list and obviously not all apply to every kid). The more I read of it the more I realize that it explains so much about so many kids--and frankly some adults too.
I look forward to hearing your thoughts on his theories.

I always intended to do book reviews of the parenting books I read, but haven't done very well thus far...but I'm planning to rectify that this summer. :)