Tuesday, May 22, 2012

A Parenting Book that Actually Works

Or, the book that kept me from yelling at my children.

If you follow me on Facebook, you might have seen that my almost 5 year old decided to draw on the wall with a pencil. Then while cleaning it up, she drew with an orange crayon.

Just take a minute to imagine how annoying that is.

Here, in the play area, on a light blue-grey wall...

I didn't even yell.

10 mommy points for me.

And I didn't yell because I've been reading this book, Kids Are Worth It! : Giving Your Child The Gift Of Inner Discipline.

Here's the quick synopsis. There are three types of parents. The brick-wall parent yells, screams, and says "no" as the first response. The jellyfish parent gives in, is distant/uncaring, and sets no discernible rules or boundaries for the family. You don't want to be either of these, you want to be the third type, the backbone parent. The backbone parent provides a sense of order, boundaries, love and understanding, while instilling their children with self discipline. This involves flexing a little (like a backbone) but not bending or being too rigid.

Parenting is hard work! I mean, real, hardcore parenting, where you care, engage, interact, and hopefully give your children roots in your traditions, values and beliefs while also giving them the wings to fly.

I can totally say all of that because my oldest is not even five, so the "wings" involve going to the bathroom by herself:)

Oh, and this book appears to be focused on the "three ages of rebellion" 2, 5, and teenager. So the concepts should be applicable across all the "fun" ages.

So back to the crayon-on-the-wall debacle. I let our daughter cool-off, then we talked about next steps. She would clean the wall, then we would put away the art supplies for a few days until she could work with them appropriately.

After three days, we kept talking about what it means to make a mistake and learn from it (discipline rather than punishment). She saw a motorcyclist without a helmet and told me he would get a ticket. So we talked about how paying a fine for the ticket might mean not being able to go to dinner, or if it was a very big ticket, not go on vacation, so he would always remember to follow the rules in the future. When she asked about how much it would cost to re-paint the wall if the crayon hadn't come off I told her about how much we spent for a day at Disneyland, and I think she got the message pretty clearly!

OK, I'm off my parenting podium, just wanted to share; feel free to disagree, agree, question, and support me in the comments.


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Colleen said...

I love it and I just might have to get the book too!!

Erika . . . with a K said...

I completely agree with your method. (You are such a great mom!) I also feel that parents need to pick and choose their battles (don't sweat the small stuff). Obviously though, drawing on the wall is something that shouldn't happen and you handled it very well!

Ren- Lady Of The Arts said...

I just ordered the book from the library- Thanks for mentioning it. I've passed the first two stages, perhaps not unscathed but I'm bracing to do the best I can with the teenage years.

Shannon Fox said...

That sounded spot on girl! Kids are smart, very smart. See, she totally got it! Good job momma =)

She's crafty, and she's just my type. said...

Oh I will be buying this - thank you. My 2 year old is just starting to push boundaries, and I feel at a loss sometimes as to how to punish/correct her in a way that is effective and makes sense to her.

Karah @ thespacebetweenblog said...

LOVE it! I don't have kids but really, really appreciate thoughtful parenting. You've earned an extra glass of wine. :)

Eclectically Vintage said...

Hear hear! I see so many jellyfish parents - we are not our kids BFF's people!!

My girls never threw tantrums - probably because they knew from an early age that when I said no, I meant it!

Of course, that doesn't mean I don't lose it on occasion when my screams can be heard for miles around!

They are entering the teen years - so I'll just drink thru it!

Liz @ Quirky Vistas said...

Jessica, thanks so much for stopping by Quirky Vistas and leaving me a nice note because that's how I found you! I'm now following and just love this post. What a great mom you are to be working so hard at these moments. I was so often a yeller, like my father before me. The times I did stop and discipline correctly did make a huge difference. Keep up the good work. We need more well disciplined children growing up with boundaries and a sense of consequences... and rewards!


Kelly said...

My oldest is two, so I'm pretty much an expert at this parenting thing by now. :) (BAHAHA.) But you're right, it is HARD. SO much harder than it seems when you're a smug childless person just observing other parents. I'm making a note about that book - it sounds like something I could definitely use!

The Bold Abode said...

Oh, yes. I do so try. And there are good days, and, ummm...not so good days. But I find when that the calmer I stay, the calmer they stay and we can actually discuss the given sitch better. It's those dern hormonal days that drive me nuts...

Karen At Home Blog said...

Thanks for the recommendation! I was recently on a desperate need for a toddler discipline book when we brought Nicholas home from the hospital. Jillian was acting out horribly and didn't know if it was the new baby or terrible twos! Thankfully she is better and I haven't had a chance again to use it. I like this concept and added ths book to my Amazon wish list! Hope all is well!!

Stephanie @ The Cozy Old Farmhouse said...

Thank you for the recommendation, I'll have to find this book. I'm always on the lookout for advice on how to better myself as a parent.

Jaime Lyn at Crafty Scrappy Happy said...

you have such good kiddo advice! Someday when I am prego I am going to come back to these posts and be taking notes.... in the mean time I LOVE the run in the play area. I need kids so that I can have a reason to buy that rug. Orrr maybe I should just pretend I am a kid and buy the rug. :) Have I told you lately that I love your style?!

Jennifer Opsahl said...

Thank you so much for this post! We are still a couple years away from having kids, but one of my main concerns is reading up and gaining as much knowledge as I can about parenting before taking the plunge. I will definitely come back to this book when the time comes. Thanks for the post (and your great parenting!)

Jessica Sliman said...

Ahhh...I've totally been looking for a book on discipline. I have a three year old and a 1.5 year old and it's insane around here sometimes :) I'm not a yeller (or I wasn't a yeller) but sometimes I get so fed up I don't know what to do. Thanks for sharing!

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