“Congratulations!! You have a beautiful healthy baby and here is your perfect parenting manual and guide so you are guaranteed to have happy-obedient children from here on out.”
~ Said no midwife, doula, doctor or husband who delivered your bundle of joy!
But I do have practical tips from the mouths of the children themselves who are happy AND obedient…here’s what they had to say:
Like a child, I want it now! If there’s a shortcut to raising kids that makes life easier…let’s not delay, here are some practical, easy and effective tips that have brought my children happiness and obedience in my home. Straight from the mouths of my 12, 15 and 17 year-olds!
1) No Threats…Only Promises
“You’re grounded for a month!”
“You’re never allowed anymore dessert again!”
“If I say it one more time, we’re not going.”
“I’m not telling you again, go to your room or else!” ;
“I’ll give you something to cry about.”
“I brought you into this world, I’ll take you out!”
If you’ve ever wondered why your kids don’t take you seriously on matters that truly matter, this is why – they’ve been conditioned to know that you don’t really mean what you say. That may sound harsh but it’s true. Ever since they were wee little ones, they heard these horrible consequences of things that could happen if they didn’t obey you. However, intimidated they may have been at first, it wasn’t long before they realized…”Oh, just like last time they said that…nothing happened to me. Guess I’m really not in trouble then.”
As they get older it transpires to: They (mom or dad or both) never mean what they say. I don’t trust them. They don’t care about me. I’m just going to do what I want, they don’t care.
Whatever your reason may be for NOT following through with the discipline/unfavorable consequence you told your child would happen, it’s not contributing to a long-term trusting relationship.
If you say it, mean it. If you don’t follow through, apologize for not doing so. Only say what you truly intend to happen as a (good or bad) consequence to their actions.
One of my promises:
I don’t feed fussy kids.
If they are throwing a fit over dinner, they immediately leave. I literally don’t feed a child who chooses to cry, whine, complain and fuss about either the food itself or because they are “just in a mood” or had an altercation with a sibling.
I’m not feeding that!
It would just prolong their behavior… no thanks! They are allowed to join the family once they have gathered themselves and have released their tension and frustration (not held it in…I encourage them to go through their feelings and release them).
…Yes, even for a 18mo – 2 year old (especially)! The earlier the better.
Pretty much when they are beginning spoon feeding (or finger foods). I will not feed a child who screams while at the table. I talk lovingly to them in order to calm them down and then they may eat their food.
Otherwise, you’ll have a choking mess and vomit everywhere! Umm…yuck!!
2) Nutrition – Feed It To Them
Why is it that the United States seem to have an “ADHD/ADD” problem versus, let’s say Finland? Well, according to the Finland Times by WHO, Finnish kids eat less candy and drink less soda than other countries.
According to a Unicef report issued last week — “Child Well-Being in Rich Countries” — the United States once again ranked among the worst wealthy countries for children, coming in 26th place of 29 countries included. Only Lithuania, Latvia and Romania placed lower, and those were among the poorest countries assessed in the study.
Although our children were among the most likely to exercise, they were also the most overweight.
An unhealthy child just doesn’t feel well. So their behavior will reflect as such. Feeding them convenience foods, microwave quickies, and canned veggies topped with a “vegetable” ketchup isn’t going to cut it. Plan ahead, involve your children and do some research. What are GMO’s and do you want it fed to your children? Can excessive sugar intake through bread, soda, candy, and processed foods actually change your child’s brain chemistry? Should you really be eliminating fat (the nutrient dense kind) from your child’s lifestyle? Do they really need that much TV/game time?
Get serious and get involved. I know… I KNOW it’s easy to grab and go. Well guess what? You can do that with nutrient dense food too. And if your children are old enough, show them how and then you’re done! They’re going to have to fend for themselves at some point. The earlier the better. 🙂
Here’s a quickie list of nutrient dense foods that will nourish and feed the brain appropriately:
- Whole Eggs
- Soaked Almonds
- Pastured (grass-fed w/ fat) Meat
- Raw, Whole Dairy
- Green Leafy Vegetables
- Wild-Caught Fish
- Sweet Potatoes (the orange variety – like yams)
- Berries (raspberry, strawberry, blueberry, blackberry)
3) Parents – Happy & Loving
Nothing secures a child more than knowing their parents are stable. We are their super heroes. If the super hero team collapses, they are too immature emotionally and psychologically to handle the stress of separation (or even just a cruddy relationship that is viewable by the children). Expressing love, laughter, and forgiveness among you, the parents, is the first-hand example kids should see and also mimic.
My groom comes first… his bride comes first.
4) Discipline With Love
Care enough to do something about their behavior and how they will end up later on in life.
Let’s be real… they aren’t “expressing” themselves. They are throwing a tantrum! Whether or not you believe in corporal punishment – ie. spanking, some form of discipline must be present if you truly desire to have obedient children that are happy. Yes, discipline and happy go hand in hand when you are in control, loving, sincere and making only promises.
Guide them… let them not be wayward. They know nothing of the world. You can either teach them and show them through loving guidance and discipline (when they make the wrong choices and decisions) or let them be and continue your stress-streak of living on the corner of Joyless Lane and No More Peace Drive.
Many parents feel overwhelmed because they think they aren’t in control. Let me tell you straight up… you are in control. Just stop listening to the lies telling you that you aren’t.
AKA – Social media, your family, friends and anyone else that gives you guilty-feeling-vibes because you care about what they think of you (we all have these feelings…learning to put the feelings into perspective is what matters).
I can have and be sane with 8 (almost 9 children) because I don’t let them overrun me with the chaos of “expressing” themselves. Give them an art project – express that.
No one, disagrees with our discipling… Why?
Because of the character, respect, and love our children have for us, each other and society. They are contributing to it, not taking it away with wayward behavior and undesirable “expression” of themselves.
5) Spend Time W/Them
How kids spell love – T.I.M.E.
No smart device, T.V. show, school activity (away from you), or friend will ever replace the time a parent sets aside time to do something the child adores.
Just. Turn. It. Off.
…and Turn Towards Your Kid.
You will literally see the light of love in your child when you do something with them that they enjoy. Heck, get on the game system with them!
You’ll develop a relationship, trust, respect and encouragement within your child. How much more then are they willing to submit to your authority knowing you take time to love them in a way no one else can?
They need to experience first hand the love and devotion in order to understand how to give it back.
6) Talk W/Them (not at them)
Be transparently real with your kids. When you hurt, tell them. When you are full of joy, express and share it with them. Let them know that you are human and not just someone who is “out to get them,” or “ruin their life.”
We are VERY expressive with our kids. We talk real. Real life, real moods, real situations. We are open about our love and relationship, we are open about our finances (after all, schools don’t teach much on financial responsibility), we are open about our marriage, we are open about their place and role in the family, we are open about how to conduct themselves in public.
We talk with them not at them. You know… that 2-sided conversation thing.
The last people on earth you should be fake with is your kids (outside of your spouse)…they do see the real you; just talk about it & let them in wholly.
7) Listen To Your Kids
We may hear some gibberish come from their faces… but there are times… yes, there really are. There are times that they have something worthwhile and valuable to say. They need to be heard by you. If you don’t hear them… you then wonder why aren’t they listening to you??
I’ll never forget the time my oldest was so distraught because I didn’t take the time to listen. I talked at him and directed him without any conversation whatsoever. It was so disrespectful and disheartening for him that he broke down to his father.
My husband later told me about it…
Sucking up my pride (which is actually a great thing), I later apologized to him. It didn’t matter my reasoning, intent or purpose. What mattered is that I didn’t give him a chance to talk so that I could listen.
Teenagers especially need you to listen. When they come to you, STOP.
Teens… when they have something to say (even about their favorite games), STOP.
Kids… when they have something really stupid to share ( y’all let’s be honest, sometimes it really isn’t important and we have “better” things to do), STOP.
Look at them. Put your phone down. Turn away from the computer, STOP.
…they’re worth it!
Happy ~ Healthy ~ Obedient ~ & Blessed!
What parenting tips do you have to share?