Join the converstation with our earlier blogs.
15. Help Them With Their Homework, But Don’t do it for Them: Never let them go without doing their homework. The modern school grading system lets kids “get by” even if they do not fully get what is being taught.
“Oh! You’re too tired? You don’t have to do your homework.”
“You don’t understand it? That’s okay – I’ll “help” you just a bit.”
How do you expect them to go out into the world and get good paying jobs when they “faked” their way through the days of their childhood “job” as a student? Start now, make them do the homework, help them understand, and let them take PRIDE in doing it themselves.
16. Do not FORCE your child to do anything: While that may seem contradictory to my earlier statements, it is not. There is a difference between being firm with reasonable rules, and forcing a kid against his will to do something seemingly unreasonable. If a normally sane child flatout refuses to do something, it means there is usually something wrong with what you are asking, and you need to find out what the problem is. Forcing them to do it anyway will “break” his spirit, and this is not what any parent should want – broken kids.
17. It’s all Negotiable: If you get a really bad reaction to asking them to do something, maybe you really are asking too much, or the wrong thing of them Sometimes, I have to stop and ask myself if what I am doing is really correct or not when I get an unexpected reaction. Kids have a much different viewpoint on life. To them maybe you really are asking to much on some particular point.
When I get a really bad reaction, I will stop and review the situation. I will possible change my mind about it on the spot; and if I change my mind, I apologize to them; after all, that is what any kind adult would do to another adult. Even if I don’t fully understand their viewpoint, I let them win once in a while if they are really getting bent out of shape.
Although it may appear after reading all of the above that I am a pretty heartless guy, nothing could be further from the truth. With all of the above, I constantly negotiate terms and deals just as we adults do. For example, I say bed time is at 9 PM. Then, I let myself be talked into it being 9:30pm on those special nights. They actually DO go to bed at 9:30 on those nights thinking they won! But, I win too because they have now agreed to go to bed at 9:30, and not when “they get around to it.”
So everything is negotiable (just like the our adult world) and they love playing that game. And like I say, every time they win, I win too!
All of these rules are hard work on parents; it is so much easier just to skip it all.
Then, in their teens, you may get a revolt that you “didn’t see coming” or have just grown “to expect will come.” They will yell and fight over everything, all the while you secretly (or not so secretly) wish you never had kids. Don’t be that parent. Be the parent who cared enough to spend the time while they were young.
For me, it took almost two years to get the above points in. Some days it was too much, and I gave up only to work on it again the next day. Some days they would hide, run, and yell, and I had to take it in stride.
But, thankfully, it does pay off, and suddenly you have the kids that other parents tell you they wished their kids were so “good.”
It’s not really them being “good” it’s actually them being productive, able to predict what the outcome of their own behavior, and that is the ultimate goal – productive and moral kids!
Thank you Greg Gum and your two wonderful boys, Keegan and Aiden.