Friday, April 9, 2010

Review - Have a New Kid by Friday

I am having a lot of trouble with my 8 year old daughter and her temper and I am fed up. I got good advice to read this book, and I have to say that I really think it is going to help.
  • The first thing the children have to learn is that nothing in life is a free ride.
  • Monday - Say it once, turn your back, walk away
  • Tuesday - It's all about the ABC's (1) attitude (2) behavior (3) character.
  • Most likely, the child you butt heads with is the most like you, which is true in my case. Kids who sport attitudes have parents who sport attitudes. Attitudes are caught, not taught. If you want your child to change, you have to change yourself. If you yell when you get angry, should it surprise you when your 7 year old does it? Sometimes the only way kids can get attention is by misbehaving.
  • Wednesday - Figure out if you are authoritarian (make all the decisions for the child, try to control their behavior, grant little freedom to the child), permissive (is a slave to the child, does things for her child that she can do for herself, makes things as easy as possible, invites rebellion with inconsistent parenting, or an authoritative or responsible parent (give the child choices, provide the child with decision making opportunities, hold the child accountable, develops consistent and loving discipline.
  • Your children need to learn that you are on their team and that you love them no matter what. Many parents create a home environment that is not a fun place to be. The kids are like robots without a choice. Parents hold all the aces. Children have nothing except what you give them
  • Thursday: Your job as a parent isn't to make your child happy. An unhappy child is a healthy child. You need to give your children responsibility and not do everything for them.

Getting Ready:

10. Be 100 percent consistent in your behavior

9. Always follow through on what you say and you will do.

8. Respond, don't react.
7. Count 10 and ask yourself, "What would my old self do in this situation? What should the new me do?
6. Never threaten your kids.
5. Never get angry.
4. Don't give any warnings.
3. Ask yourself, "Whose problem is this?"
2. Don't think the misbehavior will go away.
1. Keep a happy face on, even when you want something else.

The author has a website to go to at or go to and he will answer questions.

The end of the book is divided into section addressing specific behaviors such as:

Allowance: Children need to learn that if they get an allowance they need to save. Once the money is spent, it's spent. Don't give them more money if they spent foolishly. (I am guilty of getting Meredith what she wants just to avoid her meltdowns.)

Anger: It's an active choice to control someone else. It's projecting your thoughts and emotions onto another person in an attempt to change their behavior. They learn this from a parent (usually a mom) who is a people pleaser and doesn't like to cause waves. The child learns that they can manipulate the parent to get them to do whatever they want if they get angry. You need to teach them how to handle anger. Maybe they are upset and just need to talk. (I do get angry with Meredith and yell at her when she gets out of control.)

Bed Time: You need to get a routine and stick with it. Once they are tucked in, they need to stay there. They are good at manipulating if you let them, such as asking for water or a snack or seeing "monsters". If they try this, just say "it's bedtime, go back to bed" and continue doing whatever you were doing. (This is a big one in our house. Meredith still stalls her bedtime and is very grumpy in the morning.)

Bullies: Children bully other children because they are insecure. They think that by putting others down they will feel better about themselves. If the child is being bullied, take it to the teacher or principal. It's nothing to mess around with. (Meredith gets bullied on the bus, but it doesn't seem to be taken seriously).

Christmas Gifts: Children get way more than they need and want. Gifts should be minimized. (We are guilty of this too.)

Defiance: If the child disobeys, take something away. If you have something planned for the day and the child disobeys, don't do the activity. Tomorrow is a new day and things can start over, but don't give in. (I did this a couple weekends ago. Meredith hated it, but I had to show her I meant business.)

Grocery Store Antics: If your child gets in the habit of getting a treat or toy every time, they come to expect it. Tell the child what is going to happen and stick with it. No toys and if they fuss, just leave. (Meredith always thinks that she has to get a toy when we go somewhere. I know it's a lot of my fault because I always gave in to her . )

Helplessness: Don't do for children what they can do for themselves. (Meredith is very big on asking me to get stuff for her. For example: she said she wants a bottle of water. I just told her to get it herself. She is acting all snippy and won't get it. I am not backing down. She is old enough to get up off her lazy butt and get her own water. She is throwing things as I type, but I am just ignoring her.)

Hitting: Never let a child hit you. Remove them from the room until they cool down. (Meredith is a hitter too and it is very hard to remain calm when she is hitting me and I have to work on that.)

Birthday Parties: What ever happened to "invite the kids over after school for cupcakes in the backard? (Meredith's next party is going to be at home!)
Power Games/Domination/Power Struggles: Children need to learn that the jig is up. If they don't do what they're supposed to, there are immediate consequences.
Stubbornness: Children don't come out of the womb stubborn. They learn to be stubborn--because it pays off. If your child is out of control, you should not yell back. Just shut your mouth, walk away, and do something else. Now when your child wants something, you have to tell them no. Don't let your child say they are sorry and will never do it again and just let them go about what they want to do.
Temper Tantrums: Children get to learn what it takes to win against you, because they have always won in the past. You need to: 1. say it once, 2. turn your back, 3. walk away.
You can't tell a kid that "if you don't do this, I'm not going to give you.." It never works.
Okay, as I am writing this post, Merdith is throwing magazines at me because I will not get her a water. I told her to get it herself. It is out in the garage in the refrigerator. I am done waiting on her. There is no reason she cannot get her own water. Imagine that, she just took our dog with her and went and got her own water, and she lived through it (no monsters got her or anything!)
She got mad earlier because her and Elizabeth were taking a bath and Elizabeth wanted out. I took her in her room to put her diaper and pajamas on. I left Meredith in the shower and in the bathroom alone and she was screaming at me to get back in there. She got her temper going and pulled on the shower curtain and pulled it down and bent the rod. She threw water out on the bathroom floor too. I told her I am not touching any of the mess that she made. She is going to clean it up. Our living room looks like a tornado struck it with all of the magazines all over, the coffee table tipped over, but I am just sitting here ignoring her. That did work earlier with the bathroom incident. I just ignored her and she eventually cooled down. I was so proud of myself for not raising my voice. I just said no, turned around, and walked away. That is the best advice ever to say it once, turn around, and walk away.
She just threatened to throw my library books on the floor. I told her if she does, she will pay for the fine. She said she doesn't have enough money. I told her she will earn it and pay it to the library. She decided against throwing the books.
I feel like I should be doing more than just sitting here, but yelling does make things worse. I am very hopeful that the tips in this book are going to make me a better mother and make my daughter easier to live with.
I give this book 5 stars!

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