Have a New Kid by Friday by Dr. Kevin Leman

You say it will never happen to you and then—BAM—“children behaving badly” slaps you right in the face! Your 5-year-old pitches a fit at the grocery store while giving you the “Mom, I dare you to do anything here” glare. Your mouthy16-year old thinks the world revolves around her and has a teenage-tantrum when you aren\’t willing to fund her lifestyle. There\’s good news…you can have a new kid by Friday!

But there\’s a catch—you! You are the key to changing your child\’s thinking and actions and transforming his attitude, behavior and character. Here are the 10 steps to have a new kid by Friday:

10. Be 100 percent consistent in your behavior.

If you\’re going to retrain your kid—and yourself—you have to behave differently. Your kid needs to know you mean business.

9. Always follow through on what you say you will do.

No matter the circumstances, what you say is what you do. Never, ever back down. It won\’t gain you or your child anything. In fact, it\’ll put in an adversarial position with your child, who will wonder, “Hey, when is she serious, and when isn\’t she?”

8. Respond, don\’t react.

Use actions, not words. Flying loose with your words will only gain you trouble. So close your mouth, think and respond to the situation rather than reacting to it.

Dr. Kevin Leman

7. Count to 10 and ask yourself, “What would my old self do in this situation? What should the new me do?”

Let\’s say the siblings in your home have been going after each other for nine years. What do you usually say and do? What will the new you do differently?

6. Never threaten your kids.

The problem with threats is that our children know we don\’t mean them, because we rarely follow through on them. Even more, our threats often don\’t make sense!

For the rest of this great article, be sure to purchase the Jan-Feb 2012 issue of Gospel Today!

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5 Parenting Do\’s & Don\’ts

1. Do NOT do for them what they can and should do for themselves.

You think you\’re helping but you\’re really sending a negative message: “I think you\’re so stupid that you can\’t do it yourself, so I\’ll do it for you.”

2. Do NOT repeat your instructions.

Saying it once actually increases your chance that you will be heard and your instructions followed. Repeating makes kids “mommy-deaf.”

3. DO expect the best of them.

Every child lives up to the expectation you have for him. Realize that “the best” differs based on the activity, the age of your children and their specific talents.

4. Do NOT praise them.

“You look so cute in that skirt.” “You got an A in math. You\’re so smart.” Praise links a child\’s worth to what she does. Over time a child thinks, “Uh-oh, if I don\’t do something ‘good\’ all the time, then I\’m not worth anything and Mom and Dad won\’t love me.”

5. DO encourage them.

Encouragement emphasizes the act and not the person. It seems subtle but it makes a huge difference. Instead of praising, encourage their behavior, “That skirt looks really good on you. Great choice.” Or “I know you studied hard for that math test. Good job!”