Missing Something?
Written by Linda Williams   
Wednesday, 01 August 2012 00:00

Sometimes behavior that would bother us in someone ELSE'S children totally escapes us when it's our little ones. Has this happened to you?

Have you ever wondered if you're tolerating behavior that can be fixed-- simply because you're used to it? Well, if you haven't contemplated this idea, then I might have bad news for you: You're tolerating behavior that can be fixed, simply because you're used to it.
I can say this because I have the same problem. From time to time, I realize that there's something going on in my home that I should have dealt with, but it seems so normal, I missed it. Good parents are constantly evaluating, so I want to encourage you to do some evaluation with me today.
Here's an example of something I found in my own home about three years ago. My kids tended to throw their jackets on the floor instead of hang them up. Now, this isn't horrific behavior. It's actually pretty normal as kid-stuff goes. But they were old enough to use a hanger. And I had instructed them to hang up their coats about a hundred times.
So one day, it occurred to me that this behavior was unacceptable, and that I was at fault for letting it go for so long. I decided to fix it. I brought my two wonderful children to the coat rack in our garage and pointed to the coats on the ground. We had the typical discussion about this problem, but this time I didn't stop with talking.
I asked them to pick up the coats and hang them up, which they did. I then informed them that this was a practice session for coat hanging, so we'd be doing it a bunch of times. I nicely knocked the coats off the hangers, letting them fall to the ground. The kids reluctantly picked them up and hung them back up. We did this for about 10-15 minutes. I was so happy I could help them with this issue, I just genuinely smiled the whole time.
When we were done, I let them know that I wasn't sure they had practiced enough, but I'd know by where the coats ended up in the days to come. That was the last time coats went on the ground.
What's happening around your house that you don't like, but you haven't taken the time to fix? Get on it today and turn those things around. Sometimes a little effort goes a long way.

Here are a few things to quickly evaluate around your own house, because they're the things I find generally parents miss:

  • whining
  • not obeying the first time
  • using poor manners

I could go on, but I'll stop with those three biggies. Do you have any of these issues present in your home? If you do, then I want you to realize that you do NOT have to live with that type of behavior. In fact, all of these things are detrimental to children as they grow into adults. It's true- these types of things are normal in our society. However, that doesn't mean that they're okay or should be permitted in the home. You can help your child move beyond these behaviors and set them up for a successful life someday.

If you're at a loss as to how to accomplish this, please get the book Parenting From the Heights. It's full of tools to help you move from where you are today to where you WANT to be with your children. I can't recommend it enough! Available in soft back and also electronically.