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Here are a few final tips I liked from Making Children Mind Without Losing Yours by Dr. Kevin Leman.
- Child Gets Out Of Bed: If and when your child gets out of bed for whatever reason, send him back to his room by himself. He will tuck himself back in (page 144). I liked this thought and have used it ever since I read it. We used to walk Brayden back up to his room when he got out of bed. Now we just send him back to bed. Many times, he gets out of bed for a legitimate reason (like using the bathroom). He still goes back to bed on his own. This way, getting out of bed loses some of the perceived (and received) social benefit for the child. Why get tucked in only once each night when it can be several times?
- Freedom to Fail: Leman states many times you need to give your child freedom to fail (155). This means you let your child make mistakes. Don’t hover. We learn from mistakes. And not only that, we make mistakes our entire lives. If your child spends the first 18 or so years of his life with you making sure he either doesn’t have the opportunity to make mistakes (like forgetting to turn in a paper or study for a test) or doesn’t experience the consequences from those mistakes, then he will experience a harsh reality check when you are no longer around to protect him. Let him make the mistakes while the stakes are low. He will learn from them and learn how to deal with them.
- Don’t Nag: Don’t fall into the trap of reminding your child over and over again to do something (pages 158-159). Create consequences for failure to follow through. Leman uses the example of a pet. Say you are constantly nagging your child to feed the dog. Instead of constantly nagging, tell the child if he can’t take care of the dog, you will have to give the dog to a family who will take care of him. And then the trick is you must follow through.
- Choosing Clothes: Leman says that allowing your child to choose his own clothes is a great way to teach about making choices. I agree with this and have often said it myself. Leman’s idea for allowing your child to choose clothes is to have play clothes grouped together, school clothes grouped together, church clothes grouped together, etc. You then allow your child to choose a shirt from the appropriate grouping (page 75). This is something you would do for an older child. You can modify this for younger children as appropriate. And remember to watch freedoms and the choice addiction.
I enjoyed this book. I find Leman’s writing style to be easy to read quickly. He doesn’t take himself too seriously and his writing is funny. I definitely think this book is worth the read. If you own a similar book like Parenting with Love and Logic, you might not find it worth owning. But you will find it worth reading.
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