If you are the parent of a child between the ages of 4 and 7, no doubt you have discovered that your little angel came with a built-in sense of independence that makes him want to do things his way. And if you are like most parents, you've seen this independence show up in many areas, including those having to do with food and family. Here are some ideas from Dr. Kevin Leman and his popular book Have a New Kid by Friday to help you deal with these difficult parenting challenges.
My mother, whom I have affectionately named the "Queen of Phrases," always told my sister and me when we were growing up that we would eat what she had prepared. "If you don't like it, you can lump it," she said. I quickly learned what that phrase really meant: "If you don't like it and you refuse to eat, you will go hungry." Now, as a well-adjusted eater, I am thankful for my mom and her tough, "No picky eaters allowed" philosophy because I like just about all foods — with the exception of anchovies, pigs feet and anything that includes animal intestines.
If you are the parent of a picky eater, here is Dr. Leman's advice.
Sibling rivalry has been an issue since Cain and Abel had it out with each other. Of course, there are other, more productive ways to deal with fighting, bickering and bullying between your kids.
Let them duke it out. When I was a girl and my sister and I were fighting, my mother had often, as she said "Had it up to here!" Because she wanted peace, she let us duke it out. "Go outside and fight out there!" she'd shout. Or, if outside wouldn't do, she'd put us in a room together and let us go at it. Strangely, something happened when mom did this; it was no longer fun and our fighting stopped. Dr. Leman would have been proud of my mom because she didn't get into the middle of our argument, which according to him is like getting in the "middle of a battle."
But perhaps you're thinking, "It's not safe to kick your kids out of the car anymore." True. So, Dr. Leman suggests that if your angels won't stop bickering to turn the car around and go back home. This will have the same effect that it had on me when my mom made me walk. Dr. Leman says, "…your smart kids will figure out that it doesn't make sense to do things that don't get rewarded."
Copyright © 2008 Shana Schutte.