April is “Raising Boys” Month.
Our Guest Blogger, Greg Gum, gives us a non-nonsense look at raising boys. BEWARE! Some of this may cause you to pause. Join the converstation and speak up!
1. No Sympathy: We have a rule in our house – one sick day a month. Thus, they get to stay home and do whatever they want for one day a month sick or no sick; but that’s all. Otherwise, they get marched out the door to school. The problem with sympathy is that sympathy begets more sympathy. Next time they walk up and say “I can’t go to school cause I have a headache” respond with, “I am sorry you have a headache. But you already took your sick day – now, head to the car.” As soon as they realize that you are not playing the sympathy game, they quit playing it too.
2. Firm, but Friendly: This is the most important rule. If you ask them to clean the bathroom, you then need to follow it up very firmly, but very friendly too. The combination is very effective. Firm, but unfriendly (yelling at them) works only in the gravest of situations;’ you can be firm and friendly all the time. When they say “But I don’t WANT to clean the bathroom” respond with “I understand, but the bathroom still needs to be cleaned” or “Nobody WANTS to clean the bathroom, but it does need to get cleaned. Now get in there and get it done.”
3. Schedule the Day: When they first get home, it’s homework time. Then it’s a set amount of recreation time (say 30 minutes.) Then it’s chores. That way, they understand what is expected of them.
4. Follow Through: When you ask them to get something done, expect to get it done immediately, not when they get around to it as that will be never. If you are expecting them to put it on their list of things to do, it’s just not going to happen. So wait until you know it’s a good time for them to be doing it, and then enforce that it gets done.