Posted tagged ‘good parenting book’

A private parenting workshop in a book

June 8, 2012

Image of "raising able" a book on how chores empower children, toddlers, tweens and teens to be more responsible and develop self-discipline. This adlerian-based approach to good parenting will help parents of children of all ages. Good parenting is all about good habits. Family meetings and encouragement along with family dinner and family chores are the holy trinity of good parenting of all ages of children.If you haven’t read “Raising Able” yet, this review by Bookworm Mama might persuade you to pick it up, read highlights to your spouse, and create a positive parenting plan for summer.

If you’ve read it already, re-reading it will remind you of parenting habits that need attention.

When I learned new parenting skills, it took years and re-learning. “Oh yeah,” I’d say after a parenting workshop or re-reading a good parenting book. “I need to work on encouragement. Oops, we haven’t had a family meeting in a while.” It’s easy to slide. Parenting requires diligence.

Bookworm Mama said she wanted more examples from raising my four kids. I didn’t want to brag too much in the book. My best examples are my failures and wisdom gleaned. That’s what parents enjoy hearing when I speak at workshops and conferences, because it reminds us all how difficult parenting is, and no one is perfect. It’s too big a job to fail at.

I have my share of regret and guilt — even more so with four kids. Learning parenting skills changed MY habits and taught me positive ways to steer kids in the right direction, without begging, bribery, sarcasm, criticism, praise, reward or punishment. It took more time and creativity to use family meetings, encouragement, mutual respect and natural and logical consequences.

Today I have the long view and can realize what really matters — family dinner, family chores, family meetings, family walks in the woods with the dog, playing Spud in the yard, cooking together. Simple pleasures.

I gauge success by adult-to-adult relationship with my grown kids, ages 24-31, and with their partners — a new challenge!  They call home regularly, but not for money, and live independent lives. They are following their own paths, not one I dictated for them. What more can I ask for?

chores made our family connected. family chores were a daily part of growing up. Chores taught my kids self-discipline and nurtured their self-confidence and self discipline. Positive parenting gave my kids a sense of mutual respect.

Chores developed self-discipline in my kids. Working together gave them a sense of teamwork, taught them skills and gave us greater family connectivity — the name of the game to get kids to make good independent decisions as they mature.

Motivate without money

May 26, 2010
This is thankless work, requiring high motivation. Daniel Pink has written a book called "Drive: the surprising truth about what motivates us." Encouragement is really important, and he also identifies master, autonomy and purpose. I had to have all three to motivate me to do this thankless task.

I'm putting nets around Purple Loosestrife to grow beetles to kill other loosestrife.

I just read “Drive: The surprising truth about what motivates us” by Daniel Pink. I was so impressed by the book that I included some of his ideas  in the next edition of my book, “Raising Able: How to retire as the family servant,” about how childhood chores are a valuable teaching tool.

Pink says money is the LEAST motivating factor, even though it is the most commonly offered reward to influence the behavior of others.

Mastery, autonomy and purpose are the strongest motivators of people and primates, according to research, Pink reported.

Researchers were astounded to find monkeys puzzling over puzzles long after the rewards were consumed — for the sheer challenge of figuring out the puzzles.

It’s the same with motivating children, spouses, employees, co-workers and friends and neighbors. People want to work for mastery, autonomy and purpose. When people are given the freedom [autonomy] to do a job right [mastery], they can connect to the purpose behind the task, according to Pink.

So it is with children, who also like to contribute to the family good because it proves their family depends on them, they are important and they belong.

You’re asking, “Why the loosestrife photo?” It was a thankless job with several complex steps to grow a crop of beetles on it [hence the nets] that will reproduce. In six weeks, I’ll deliver the next crop of beetles from under the nets to a waterway clogged with loosestrife and I’ll have done my part to eliminate this invasive species.

What motivated me? Mastery — it was complex; autonomy — no one was making me do it; and purpose — I’m helping the environment. Now I need a glass of iced tea and an hour in the hammock.

The importance of a mother’s acceptance

May 14, 2010

A smashing book launch party

May 13, 2010

The book launch party was a success because of my support crew. So many people came from so many areas of my life, it was like a big birthday party for me. I really appreciated the love, support and encouragement. The dog started reading the book and had some comments.

The kitchen sink faucet broke 15 minutes before the party started and stayed broken even though Bob tried to fix it. NO WORRIES! It was a wonderful party and launched the marketing efforts of “Raising Able: how chores cultivate capable confident young people.”

I really appreciated my daughter Casey’s contributions as official party helper. It made the party much more fun and less stressful. I felt supported and loved. My son Noah came to the party and I forgot to give him a chore. Oh well, he would have if I asked. I was happy he came.

Gonzo is reading my recently published book, "Raising Able: how chores cultivate capable confident young people." Gonzo is learning about how to get teenagers, teens, children and toddlers to behave, without praise, pay, punishment or reward. They only get allowances when they contribute the welfare of the family. Why not retire from being the house servant?

I'm not motivated by money, either.

Casey and Bob support me in getting ready for the party. A key element to reducing stress in families is ASKING FOR HELP. CAsey is making cookies for the book launch party and Bob is fixing the broken spigot. They are my support system. It takes a village to raise a child.

My support system for the book launch party. My eldest daughter Casey is making chocolate chip cookies and my husband, Reliable Bob, is fixing the faucet that broke 15 minutes before the party started.

Why not retire from being the house servant?

April 21, 2010
"Raising Able: how chores cultivate capable confident young people.

Read the book and retire from being the house servant, while empowering your children.

My book is hot off the presses and available for purchase.

It’s a guide to retire from being the house servant while empowering children to take responsibility and develop competence, which leads to genuine self-esteem.

I wrote the book because I watched my four children [now in their 20s] benefit from being counted on by having regular chores. The chores gave them a place to belong and feel important.

The chores were simple and age appropriate, and started as soon as they could walk. They got the idea that they mattered and they were expected to contribute to the greater good of our family, without pay or praise. They did receive allowances starting at 6 years old.

Chores teach children how to manage the details of their lives. They learn self-discipline and project management skills by being responsible for emptying the dishwasher, cleaning a bathroom, vacuuming, mowing the lawn, cooking dinner and more.

Chores counteract entitlement because it’s impossible to feel entitled when you’re responsible to clean toilets, scooping dog poop and take out the trash.

This book shows how to start them early, work beside them and use the democratic process of family meetings to plan how to work together as a team to run the house. The stories and strategies in the book are family-tested and backed up by Adlerian psychological theory and practice.

Parents will retire from being the  house servant by setting  a new tone where everyone works together for the common good, without paying children for contributing, either, except through weekly allowances.

A way to belong through El Sistema

April 16, 2010
belonging, children want to belong, gangs provide a place to belong, the importance of belonging to a group, alfred adler + belonging, we all want to belong. Belonging is one of our fundamental human needs. To belong is to be. Without belonging, we're log. Gustavo Dudamel found a place to belong as a poor kid in VEnezuela

Gustavo Dudamel is one of the most charasmatic conductors of the 21st century. He learned to play violin through El Sistema to reach poor children on the streets and train them in classical music.

“Exclusion is the problem of our society. When you give a child an instrument, you are including them immediately,” said superstar conductor Gustavo Dudamel,  in the Boston Globe of April 16, 2010.

Dudamel discovered the violin and classical music through a 30-year old program, El Sistema, which provides an alternative to poor children in Venezuela. Some 70 percent of the 400,000 young musicians come from families with below-poverty incomes.

For a few hours a week, they leave poverty behind and belong to something bigger and more beautiful than the environment from which they came.

The young musicians in the Venezuelan youth symphonies start playing in groups immediately so when they play in groups of 300 or more, the music has an ensemble feel to it, according to the Globe. These children know how to belong and be a part of something bigger and more beautiful than they could ever achieve alone.

The need to belong is crucial to our human nature according to psychologist Alfred Adler, M.D. We want to belong so badly that we make great sacrifices and sometimes bad decisions to ensure membership in a group. Our whole society is set up on the “in group” mentality, reinforced by status symbols.

We demonstrate status by the groups we belong to, by buying certain cars, houses and  clothes. We talk a certain way to demonstrate allegiance to our social class and group.

Our children yearn to belong somewhere in life. The family is the first and most fundamental place for them to belong. When parents count on children to do chores, it says, “you’re important. We need you. You belong.” Insist on their presence at family dinner, especially for teens, because it reinforces YOU BELONG HERE.

Think about how you feel as a newcomer to a group versus when you have been accepted. You have a place. You’re appreciated by others who care if you show up or not. Other people witness and greet you.

Children want to feel that sense of belonging in a family. Family dinners-chores-&-meetings, encouragement, witnessing them and setting boundaries all reinforce the sense of belonging.

Gustavo Dudamel conducts with charisma and enthusiasm that is beyond compare.

Why start the day yelling?

April 15, 2010

A common woe from parents in my workshops is “I have to yell at my children every morning to get them out the door.” The child can be from 2 to 22.

Here’s a three-step plan to set a positive morning routine for Dawdling Danny and Still-snoring-Samantha.

1. PLAN. Have a family meeting. Put on the agenda “Morning Routine – Mom.” It’s usually Mom who cares about getting the children out the door in a certain condition. Ask the children for ideas for a smoother morning routine.

Implement their suggestions and add yours, such as create a check list with times: “Meg gets first shower at 6 am;” “Breakfast done by 7:55;” and “Can play or use computer ONLY when you’re ready.” Give every child an alarm clock, teach them how to use it.

They are more likely to comply when they’re involved in the planning and are expected to conform.

2. IMPLEMENT. Commit to following the new routine for three weeks. Work together to empower them to take responsibility for getting ready.  Control your emotions.  Take action:  decide to let go of the problem or leave the area. A mother of a teenager goes for a walk at 6 am for a walk to avoid morning hassles with her daughter.

It is the CHILD’S problem to get out the door dressed, with homework, lunch money/lunch, backpack, instrument, scout uniform, diorama, PE clothes, permission slips. Don’t take it on.

3. DO NOT INTERFERE. This takes restraint. One mom said when she implemented the new regime, “My son didn’t take a shower for a week because he didn’t get up on time. They forgot their lunch money and homework. It only took a week for them to learn.” Her children are 13, 9 and 6 years old.

Remember, as Jedi master Yoda [thanks to my nephew Eric for the correct identification of Yoda] said, “Do or not. There is no try.” Children can see through insincerity. This strategy works. Your family will be happier with a calm start to the day.