Have a New Teenager by Friday
Responsible kids need responsibilities.
Like many parenting books, it really comes down to the behavior of … the parents.
All of the old maxims ring through, “Kids watch what you do, not listen to what you say.” “Don’t cross the line to try to be your child’s friend. They have plenty of friends. What they need is a parent.”
How to Establish Boundaries, Gain Respect & Turn Problem Behaviors Around in 5 Days
Kids thrive on helping (no, really, they actually do). But you have to give them the opportunity. You have to let them help or even help them help. They are not going to instigate it, you have to open the door to their creativity in helping make the family dynamic work. When they have responsibilities, they will become more responsible.
The trouble is usually with the parents. We are the adults, we should be able to steer, to guide the relationship and who plays which role. If we lose sight of that, the kids will see it and (can) take advantage of it. They respect the hierarchy if you keep it clear.
He talks about “responding” rather than “reacting.” Again, think of the “what you’re doing” instead of “what you’re saying.”
BONUS: listen to the audiobook in the car when the kids are in the car.
We listened to a parenting book with our kids in the car. It was a little awkward at times, but they realized that we were serious about making some changes around the house and it actually, weirdly, helped.
Dr. Leman even mentions in the book how kids know that parents might get a new book and there might be some changes, “but that things will return to normal in a few days.”
That’s the hard part and that’s where we parents have to stick it out and keep up the changes on a regular basis. It’s not unlike training for a marathon, just a little bit every single day is better than one big push.