As we near the end of this series on “Becoming the Best Mom Ever,” let’s get SUPER practical. You now know the “WHAT” and the “WHY,” so here’s HOW to be THE best MOM ever.
The suggestions that follow are my twist on Christian psychologist Kevin Leman’s ideas in Have a New Kid by Friday. For pure Leman, get his book. My version is a softer and kinder, yet espouses an unapologetically authoritarian approach.
Yes, be THE MOM who rules the roost and kisses boo-boos too.
Your goal: changing the way you relate to your kid so your
little monster angel improves his or her attitude and behavior, and learns commendable character. Ready to learn HOW?
Be a student of your child. Watch the attitude, the behavior (both good and bad). Don’t say much. Just watch and think about the things you’d like to see change. Also confirm in your mind and heart that you are THE MOM. You’re about to shake your world. Expect great things. And pray.
Each time your kid cops an attitude (mouths off/pouts/rolls eyes) OR misbehaves, choose one of these two approaches:
1. State your expectations once, turn your back, walk away.
Walking away sounds cruel, doesn’t it? If you cannot pull off “walk away” — I couldn’t — then say it once
and once means once
and get busy doing something, anything, like. . .email a friend, paint your toenails, or capture dust bunnies.
When you say in once and turn your back, then your child is NOT rewarded by getting what he want most: your attention.
2. Let reality be the teacher.
Say, Emma doesn’t set the table after you said it once (remember, only once), then she loses an hour or more of electronics (TV, computer, phone) even if she says she is sorry and will remember next time. Also, have a chat with Emma and say that you expect the table set by 5 p.m. daily. Expect her to her chore with no reminders. If she forgets, well, bye-bye TV/computer/phone for an hour or more.
Or, Nathan forgets this lunch and calls you to bring it to school. Don’t bring it. Believe me, he’ll remember is next time.
Or, Olivia hasn’t shoveled the driveway. She says, “When are we going to get my fish? You said you’d take me to the pet store.” You simply say, “We aren’t going to the pet store” and turn your back. Say nothing more. Give no explanation.
You are looking for a teachable moment. Chances are, she’ll figure it out and begin shoveling the now, but still DO NOT take her to the store for the fish.
You heard me right, MOM.
Instead, calmly say, “You didn’t follow through on your responsibility so I must obey God and discipline you. You must have consequences to your actions.”
The hardest part is changing how you parent. You can be a pushover and frustrated/angry/shocked/depressed/whiney or you can BE THE MOM. More on “how” to become the best mom ever next time over at my blog.