One of the things we noticed as we sat through the Love and Logic Seminar in Michigan, was how much of what the Fays were relaying about parenting strategies overlapped with those of John Rosemond at the very foundation of it all. A perfect example was the concept of "Delay of Consequences" which we believe to be one of the most effective strategies that parents can utilize for just about any age (excluding children under 3 years old). The premise is that all children over three will remember when they have behaved badly. It is in most of us to realize a misbehavior, although most of us won't readily admit to it (as evidenced in the news lately)! Because of this, the idea of delaying a consequence can have a very powerful effect on our children. Obviously, the older they get, the longer you can delay the consequence. Just start your consequence with "Remember when I asked you to...?" and end with, "Well, since you didn't.." or whatever the circumstances dictate.
Not only do they not know when we will lower the boom on their misbehavior, but sometimes if they don't know what we will deem to be the consequence, it can become a deterrent for future misdemeanors. Say, for example, your teen comes home well past the agreed-upon curfew. That particular night, you just bid them goodnight and go to sleep. The next day, you don't mention it either. Now the tension is building because they know they came in well after they should have been home, and they know you were aware of the time. Another few days go by and you still haven't said anything. "Oh boy," they are thinking, "Mom and Dad are really angry! I am in big trouble. "
Then they suddenly remember that the Homecoming Football Game and Dance are coming up the next weekend. Guess what? If the punishment is bigger than the crime, it will make a lasting impression, and chances are they will think twice the next time they stay out past their curfew. The big question is: do you have the fortitude to dole out the consequence that will have an impact on their behavior. If you just tell them that next time, their curfew is an hour earlier... you know they will feel like they skated on this one! You must make the consequence strong and very memorable or it will not steer them away from making the bad choices.
More soon ~ Until then...
Ann Van De Water, author of MOMMY MEMOIRS, available as an eBook on Amazon.com~
Check out http://www.parentguru.com/ ~ A John Rosemond online website for immediate parenting concerns and issue resolutions that work.
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