Raising Children - Fostering Independance
|Raising Children||Fostering Independance||Discipline|
|The Right Toys||Emotionally Healthy Kids||Music|
Lisa is a divorced mother who has children ages 16, 13, 8 and 3.
Lisa comes from a belief system that says that loving people is taking care of them, and Lisa overdoes caring for her children. She wants her children's childhood to be carefree because her own childhood had too much responsibility.
Lisa has recently become aware that she may be hurting, rather than helping, her children by doing so much for them.
Dr Tim: There are some long-term costs in doing things for your children rather than teaching them. When you do too many things for them you rob them of chances to be valuable.
One of the best ways to make successful, confident kids with high self esteem, whether they are 4 or 16, is to give them chances to try things and get frustrated and fail and be upset and be sad and then try again and get frustrated and try again and then succeed. This is the most important building block for self confidence.
To change her overdoing behavior Lisa needs to first keep aware of her subconscious feelings. Part of her challenge is to learn how to love differently.
*Giving the kids a voice is a way of loving them.
Dr. Tim suggests once-a-week family meetings to discuss various issues. The kids will be happy to have a say so and a voice.
Before the family meeting ends it's important that everyone buys into the agreed-upon solution. Then everyone tries it for a couple of weeks. There must be kind, but firm, follow-through on whatever agreements are made, and the consequences of not following through must be very clear. There should be no nagging or repeated reminders.
Example: Everyone agrees that his own room will be clean by noon Saturday. Give only one reminder, maybe about 11am Saturday.
At noon, if a person's room is not clean, he/she understands that there will be no lunch, no soccer practice, and no TV. Life stops for that family member until the room is clean.
*Another way of loving your children is taking care of yourself so you don't get empty and crabby.
Barb: What does that look like?
DR. TIM: It can look like little things:
* Quiet time in the morning to meditate or pray
* YM exercise class or YOGA
* Bubble bath
* Reading a book
Barb: Is it too late to start changes when your child is 16?
Dr. Tim: It's never too late.