PARENTING FINESSE Tip 1
Slow down and look both ways. When your children speak, take a moment to follow traffic basics: Stop. Look. Listen.
PARENTING FINESSE Tip 2
Decide ahead of time how the both of you will handle difficult situations with your children. Anticipate problems and play “stop-gap.” This is where you look for ways your kids can get around you discipline and how you will “stop-up” those gaps.
PARENTING FINESSE Tip 3
Offer solutions instead of yelling. Point out a way to be helpful. Tell your child what they can do or have versus what they can’t do or have. For example, “You are welcome to go play as soon as you ...clean up your toys” instead of “You can’t go play. You haven’t cleaned up your room yet.” Read that out loud. Can you hear and feel the subtle but significant difference? Your children will hear and feel it, too. This approach helps remove resistance and enhances cooperation.
PARENTING FINESSE Tip 4
Refuse Undermining. Make a choice as parents to not undermine each other in front of you children. To say something like, “I sided with you, but Mom won” makes both of you look foolish in your child’s eyes.
PARENTING FINESSE Tip 5
Does your Management Team know its Policies and Procedures Manual? Every company has one set of rules, their “policies and procedures,” that every employee is expected to follow. When everyone is on the same page the company is able to run smoother and there’s less conflict about what or how things should be done because expectations are clear. Churches and sports teams do the same. When there is a conflict everyone can defer, and refer, to the same rules versus getting stuck in arguments that go nowhere. Most organized groups do this. Families rarely do. Parents are the management team of the family. Decide on your discipline rules as a team and abide by them consistently. If you cannot come to a compromise that works, do what companies do when they get stuck: Hire a consultant. Seek help from a neutral third party whether that be clergy or counselor. Keep well-meaning, but biased, friends and family out of it.
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