Parenting May 2012

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Mom…Dad:
How much juice is wasted?

Let’s imagine something:  Every day upon awakening, your children (and you) have been given a gift.  This gift comes in the form of a brand new daily dose of ‘Results Juice.’ 

The ‘Results Juice’ is there to allow you and your children to make decisions and choices in order to get ‘results’ from life.  The juice gives you the ability to choose how to use your energy to get more of what you want. 

Each of us only gets a certain amount of this daily juice.  Every time we make a decision to create some result, we expend a portion of it.  Just imagine; every decision to do something requires that you or your child pour some juice out of the bottle.  When it dries up, there is no juice left for creating good results for the rest of the day.

Some of us use our ‘Results Juice’ very wisely, and conserve it so we can create great results when it counts.  We end up with more of what we want in life.  For others, we waste this juice and it shows up in our daily lives and in our children’s lives.

How do we waste this precious ‘Results Juice?’

There are many daily tasks that simply must be completed to lead a healthy, productive and responsible life.  Some examples are showering for cleanliness, brushing teeth for good oral hygiene, preparing meals to be healthy and doing homework for good grades.

However, many of you have children who fight to put off their homework, argue about brushing their teeth and debate endlessly over eating their veggies. For some, you see this waste of juice begins as the day starts, with arguments over getting up, dressed and out the door.  Every day you end up in these battles, as your child wastes their precious allotment of ‘Results Juice’ to try to get something that is unhealthy, impractical or even impossible (like not going to school).

For others, your child wastes their juice fighting for a sloppy room or to skip doing homework or to stay up until midnight.  Your children are using their good juice, and fighting for a result that will not serve them.  In response, you also are wasting your good juice in the battle!

How to use our juice wisely?

There is a simple way to avoid this waste: Do not debate or argue over the pre-determined ‘results’ you want in your home!  Instead, these healthy decisions must be pre-determined and a daily structure put in place that eliminates all the talking.  This is a critical skill to develop, and it begins with understanding that you must STOP the debates and discussions. Next, you must learn to use leverage to get the results you want, and not expend your own personal ‘Results Juice’ fighting every day to get your kids to do the right thing. 

For example, if your child says that he is not going to eat his vegetables, your rule is, “I don’t argue with you about vegetables.  Eat them or don’t eat them.  But if you don’t, you get no ice cream or snacks before bed.” Or if your child argues to stay up later to watch another show, explain that you will never change bedtime on school nights.  If they refuse to turn off the TV, you will turn it off, and when that happens it’s off for 48 hours.

Examples like these usually changes the child’s behavior within a week or two.

In essence, we set up our home so that the ‘Results Juice’ can only be used on the good stuff, such as figuring out a homework problem or resolving a conflict with a sibling. This is a parenting skill that will transform both the quality of your home life, and the quality of your child’s life.

Dr. Randy Cale offers practical guidance for a host of parenting concerns. For more information visit www.TerrificParenting.com

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