By Dr. G Deborah Gilboa, MD Author of the book Get the Behavior You Want…Without Being the Parent You Hate!: Dr. G’s Guide to Effective Parenting
Thank you so much, Melissa, for inviting me to tell you community about my new book. Why would anyone want another parenting book? Because this one won’t tell you what you did wrong, or even what you have to do to get it right. This book is a reference guide to help you get your kids to do what you want, without you having to turn into the Screaming Mom, Scary Dad, or any other personality you’re trying to avoid.
Get the Behavior You Want is a book of 65 chapters… wait! Come back! The chapters are only a few pages long, each, and meant to answer one question or problem each. Those super-short chapters are then broken into age groups. So use this book as a reference: Find your question, and then read the paragraphs that actually focus on your child’s age. That way, in 5 minutes, you can get a strategy, wash the hand not holding your phone, unlock the bathroom door, and get back into the fray with your family!
Writing this book was great fun. This is in large part because I get to share all of the parent hacks I’ve learned from my own 36 kid-years of parenting, 14 years of family doctoring and 20 years before that of babysitting-camp-counseling-parent-helpering. Melissa asked me to share my very favorites, so here they are! 5 Parent Like a Rock Star Tips #BehaviorYouWant
1. 3 Sentences…Amazing Results (Chapter 7) Teach kids to say the following three sentences after Every. Single. Meal. At your house or anyone’s, these three sentences will turn your kids into Wonderful Children in the eyes of everyone at the table – including you – and get them invited elsewhere to dinner much more often!
a.”Thank you for the meal!”
b.”May I please be excused?”
c.”Where should I put my dishes?”
2. Stop Filling Out Those Forms! (Chapter 28) With all the forms coming home from school, we often feel like we have more homework than the kids. Use that paperwork to help your kids build their reading and writing skills, and take some of the heat off of you. Have your child fill out as much of each form as she can, and then bring it to you to finish. Even if your child can only write his or her name, this is a good way to practice. And before you know it, they will be asking for their insurance card so they can fill out the medical forms for sports participation!
3. Is it bickering or is it bullying? (Chapter 38) Think only other peoples’ kids can bully? Every sibling in the universe knows that their own brother or sister can turn into a bully at a moment’s notice. The problem for parents is: How do we know when to step in? When you see a behavior between your kids that concerns you, ask yourself one question: If I saw some other child do this to my child on the playground, would I call it bullying? If the answer is yes, step in! If the answer is no, take a step back and see if your kids can work it out.
4. When to let your child try something new. (Chapter 43) When our kids ask for privileges or independence that makes us uncomfortable, that is a warning sign. But sometimes we’re uncomfortable because we want to protect them from… everything! So, if your child has asked for a chance to get a little more out there in the world, like walking to a friend’s house alone, use the “What if” game to figure out if your child is ready for this new step. “What if… you got lost?” “What if… a stranger tried to talk to you?” “What if… you fell and hurt yourself?” If your child has a good solution ready for each of your questions, that is a good sign that she’s mature enough handle this new privilege!
5. Gossip about the good in your kids. (Chapter 62) We all are wired to believe what is said about us even more than what is said to us. Use that quirk to your advantage as you work to get your kids to see which of their behaviors you really admire. Tell a story – when they can hear you – to your mom on the phone, or a friend over coffee, or your partner at the dinner table about something your child did that was really excellent. Focus on behavior, because your child can control that. When we focus on the end result, like grades or winning a contest or how cute or pretty a child is, we can make it too hard on our kids. They know they can’t always control those things. When we appreciate perseverance or teamwork or a great attitude, they know exactly how to earn our admiration next time, by giving us the behavior we respect.
Check out more AMAZING parenting tips when you GET THE BOOK! Get the Behavior You Want…Without Being the Parent You Hate!: Dr. G’s Guide to Effective Parenting