|Parents can ignore behavior when possible.
Ignore behavior that will not harm your child (e.g., bad habits,
bad language, arguing with a sibling). It's hard to do nothing,
but this lack of attention takes away the very audience your child
Parents can use prediction.
Tell your child your predictions regarding the negative outcomes
of his/her poor choices (use labels when needed). For example:
“If you continue to steal, people will call you a thief, and when
things come up missing, they will blame you.”
"If you continue to lie, people will call you a liar, and even if
you tell them the truth, they won't believe you."
When your predictions come true, your out-of-control child will
begin to trust your judgment.
Parents can use natural consequences.
Do not shield your child from the results of her choices unless it
puts her in danger. For example:
- Child doesn’t go to bed on time >>> she gets up and
goes to school anyway even though she’s tired and sleepy
- Child doesn’t study for her math test >>> she fails
- Child doesn’t maintain her car >>> it falls apart and she
rides her bike thereafter
Parents can use not-so-natural consequences.
Consequences can be by parental design. For example:
- Child parks his car in the street rather than in the driveway
risking having it towed >>> after forewarning is ignored,
parent parks the car in the driveway, and the child must
pay a towing fee to get his keys back
- Child leaves her toiletries in disarray throughout the
bathroom each school morning >>> after forewarning is
ignored, parent confiscates all items for a period of time
(technique works with clothes and toys as well)
Parents can rearrange space.
Try creative solutions. For example:
- If school notes and homework are misplaced, assign a
special table or counter for materials
- If chores are forgotten, post a chart with who does what
Parents can use grandma's rule: When/Then.
Tie what you want to what they need (e.g., "When you come
home from school on time, then you can have a friend over").
Parents can use work detail.
Post a list of jobs that need to be done, such as washing the
car, weeding the garden, etc. Let the teenager choose a "work
detail" as a way to "make up" for rule violations.
"Hiring" a substitute.
A child may choose to "hire" someone to do his/her chore (e.g.,
by paying a wage of $5.00), or mutually agree to trade chores.
Parents can model correct behavior.
Patiently show the child the "right way" to behave or do a
Parents can practice humility.
When you are wrong, quickly admit this to your child. This
will model (a) making amends and (b) that it’s safe to make
mistakes. Admitting your mistakes teaches your child to respect
Have your child rehearse new behaviors.
In addition to telling your child the correct way to do something,
have him/her rehearse it (e.g., dealing with bullies, not slamming
the door when entering a room, walking through the house
rather than running).
Parents can be decisive.
Some parents have always been indecisive about what course of
action to try with their child. They jump from one parenting
technique to the other without giving any one technique enough
time to be effective, or they try a new parenting technique once
and then give up in frustration because it didn’t work.
Some parents will say, “We’ve tried everything and nothing
works with this kid.” What I usually see is parents floating from
one parenting tool to another without sticking with one
particular tool for a significant period of time.
Parents can use adjustment.
Here are several ways to adjust:
- Realize the same discipline may not work for all children,
because of the unique features of different children
- Try to blend a combination of several parenting tools to
create a more effective discipline
- Don’t believe it when your children seem unaffected by
discipline. Children often pretend discipline doesn’t bother
them. Continue to be persistent with your planned
discipline, and consider yourself successful by keeping your
parenting plan in place. When children pretend a discipline
doesn’t bother them, parents often give up on a discipline,
which reinforces the child’s disobedience. Remember, you
can only control your actions, not your children’s reactions.
Parents can use humor to deal with family-stress.
For example: Instead of reacting to your kid's temper tantrum,
start singing, “The hills are alive with sound of music…”
Parents can use ‘reverse’ psychology.
For example, “That’s not like you …you’re able to do much
better.” This line works because your kid will live up – or down –
to your expectations.
Remember that kids want structure.
Most teenagers are actually starved for structure – it helps them
A special note to fathers:
The #1 thing your daughter needs to hear from you:
“You’re beautiful …you’re worth fighting for!”
The #1 thing your son needs to hear from you:
“I’m proud of you …you've got what it takes!”
More Parenting Tricks--
Instructional Video #24
|An email from one of the readers of My Out-Of-Control Teen eBook:
I think my biggest problem was that I did not change the things that were not working.
I kept using the same parenting strategies and hoped for different results. This turned out to be almost as big a problem as not trying to fix problems in the first place.
For example, I thought that threatening to do this or that was an effective form of discipline -- but since I had to use it each day to correct the same problem, it should have been obvious that it was not a good strategy. I have more tools in my parenting toolbox now, most of which work fairly well.
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Tips from a very smart mom :)
Somewhere between waking up and falling into
bed exhausted, you know you need to do a million
things... and 999,999 stand a good chance of staying
undone! So how do all those other working moms seem
to balance all the demands with grace, while your life
feels like it's a constant series of missteps?
Well, here are some of the clever, funny and unusual
things that real working moms do to make room for
everything that has to get done and still have time for the
fun and most important parts of parenting.
Ready? Let’s go.
30 Tips for Stressed-out Moms—
1. Always, always have some good frozen meals on
hand that are fast and easy to prepare. It can go a long
way when everyone is over-tired or the kids are sick.
2. At least once a week, be with someone who
supports you completely...lunch with a good friend, chat
with Mom on the phone, whatever. Moms need to be
3. At the beginning of every month, I look over my
calendar for upcoming birthdays & anniversaries, and
write out those cards then....addressing and stamping as
well. Leave them on your desk w/little post-it-notes of
when to mail. (Of course, I try to have an ample supply of
all occasion cards on hand).
4. Bulk shopping--yeah! Do this for birthday cards,
etc., too (buy all you'll need for a few months rather than
going out right when you need one).
5. Buy a crock pot and use it -- a lot! Mabel Hoffman's
Crockery Cookery is great for crockpot recipes. Check it
out at the library! She's also coming out with a healthy
crockpot recipe book soon. But usually I just put
potatoes, carrots, sweet potatoes & onions on the
bottom, stick a roast or chicken on top, and turn it on low
when I leave for work in the a.m. By the time I get home I
have meat and a vegetable for dinner!
6. I use the crockpot to make chili, brown beans,
brisket, roast and barbecue. We get at least 2 meals
from a roast. Cook the roast, potatoes, carrots, and
onions all together one day for a meal. The next day,
reheat any leftover meat with barbecue sauce for
barbecue beef. For brisket, shake on/coat with Liquid
Smoke (around 2 Tablespoons I think) wrap up in
aluminum foil and place in crockpot. Cook on low all day.
7. Catalog or internet shopping is faster than trying
to do shopping errands. Some companies will gift wrap
and ship directly to the recipient (check out http://www.
amazon.com books and music!).
8. Cook double recipes on the weekend, so there are
leftovers to just reheat during the week.
9. Do not - under any circumstances - become a
slave to the house. As my mother says, never worry about
housework because it isn't going anywhere. Hire
someone, or lower your standards. A sticky floor or read
a book to a child?? Read a book. Priorities!
10. Every once in a while, if circumstances allow, take
a day off to do what you're lacking, be it playing with your
kids for a whole day, spending a day alone or catching up
on all that filing and paperwork. If things are getting out of
balance, a day can help restore it.
11. Feel good about the contributions you're making
to the work world, and to your family by having a job.
12. File all your bills and paper by month/year. I used
to try to do it by the payee (electric, phone, mortgage, etc)
and got stressed when I was months behind. Then I got
this tip out of a magazine. It's the only one that's really
made a difference. We pay all bills once per month, just
throw them all (with the bank statement and other
miscellaneous scraps of paper) in one folder and file it.
If you need to find the electric bill later, maybe you have to
look through 3 months of stuff, but that only takes a
minute or two longer.
13. Gardening is a great hobby & stress reliever.
Takes a bit of time, (like anyone has any extra time, Ha
Ha!) BUT the kids can help (my 4year old does) and it
really is empowering. Getting all those things to grow in a
row like little soldiers - that feeling of CONTROL. We can't
always control our kids behavior, our bosses behavior or
our spouse or SO behavior - but those little plants will
stand at attention just for us!!
14. Get a housekeeper. Once a week, once every two
weeks, once a month...a little help with the cleaning
eases the burden. (Takes away the old "who has to do it"
argument with the husband, too!)
15. Go for a walk every evening after dinner with
everyone in the family -- what a tension reliever.
16. If something you use regularly is on sale, buy two
or three! You'll save in the long run.
17. If you're out of both food and time, take-out is a
really good idea. Or emergency frozen meals.
18. Keep it simple. Simplify your life in every
19. Keep lots of chocolate around.
20. Keep the TV off. It saves you from feeling like you
don't have any family time, and makes the evening much
less tension filled. Save TV for weekends or special
21. Lay out outfits for the kids the night before. That
goes for the big people too.
22. Listen to books on tape in your car while driving
to work or doing housework.
23. Lower your standards. Decide what's important;
drop your standards for things that aren't. In the process,
you'll be able to meet your high standards for your
24. Make a menu/shopping list for an entire week,
then buy all the food you'll need at once rather than
running to the market for this and that.
25. Make time to be selfish. Carve out niches of time,
and ways, to do what you need to do to take care of
26. On the weekend after doing laundry, I rotate the
kids clothes so we're not wearing the same thing week
to week. (They grow so fast - and before you know it, that
new outfit at the bottom of the drawer isn't going to fit -
been there, done that).
27. Start putting important keepsakes away on a
regular basis. Update photo albums whenever you get a
few free minutes. It beats having a horrendous job to do
all at once, and gives you enjoyment often.
28. Throw/give away anything you don't really need.
Coupons you know you'll never use, food you know you'll
never eat, clothes you'll never wear. Not only does it save
time, but also space.
29. When I'm planning on getting up extra early in
the morning to go on my daily walk/run, I will wear my
leggings and T-shirt to bed. That way I have one less
excuse not to go in the morning. Just add shoes and
socks and I'm off. Laugh if you must, but it works.
30. When you change seasonal clothes in the
closets, thoroughly look over the items, do you still
want it? Is it still in good shape, and the most dreaded
question - does it still fit? (gulp).
Here's to a better home environment !!!