Every parent we have ever met wants to have a smart child and be a smart parent. Raising a child is the most important responsibility anyone will ever have and can provide the most pleasure and reward.

SMART PARENT/SMART CHILD is the revolutionary philosophy that all children are incredibly intelligent from the moment they are born. When parents have learned understanding, respect, highly developed communication and relationship skills and development related expertise, it is amazing what a child can accomplish and, in fact, each child will achieve his maximum potential.

Our mission is to help you achieve that goal. The key to a child's education and success is a skilled, knowledgeable, informed and educated parent.

This blog addresses specific issues, to really be the best parent possible the book is a must!

Friday, June 30, 2017

What Are The Most Common Omissions And Errors That Parents Make and What Are The Consequences?

A lack of pre or early planning regarding parental expectations, both in terms of behavior and values, can have significant consequences.

1.       Tom and Marla are stunned that their daughter Sandy has essentially taken control of their time together. Meal times especially have turned into a nightmare. To get through them, they are giving in to her in terms of food choices and actions. She has reduced the menu to two items, plus a sip cup full of water and then will demand a snack thirty minutes later.

2.       Liz and Dan cannot believe that they have to pick up Charlie even at the age of three, regardless of where they are or what the issue is. He totally ignores their requests, especially when they need to leave where they are. This is true no matter how many times or different ways they ask him to do so. They usually find themselves walking away with a screaming, kicking child.

3.       Ellen and Paul are shocked and sad that five year old Christopher has become a compulsive liar. Ellen especially considers herself a truth teller and has to admit she does not believe a word he says.

4.       Douglas cannot believe his three year old son Timothy is constantly crying for everything. I.e. a slight body contact, even when self inflicted, or any request that requires a “no” response, even from friends, not being first for an activity or given food he does not want.  This is a situation that before Douglas was a parent he was extremely critical of when he observed it with his friends’ children.

What do all these parents have in common?

Not one of them considered it necessary and actually essential that they discuss and agree on the behaviors and values they wanted for their children prior to the birth.

This timing is preferable so they prevent extreme emotions being part of the discussion. If a child is already a part of the family, try to approach the discussion as openly and unemotionally as possible so the decisions are appropriate and effective.

I am continually surprised at how often parents had no idea what their partner’s beliefs, experiences and life lessons were.

Most of my parents are from culturally different backgrounds which makes this discussion and agreement even more important!

Solutions and Guidelines

1.       Tom and Marla had to treat meal time as both family social time, and nutrition education time. Everyone must be seated together with no interruptions. Everyone needs to be eating the same food in a relaxed atmosphere. It is a huge advantage to serve one food group at a time. This helps your child get a well balanced meal and understand food group benefits. Also involve your child in food related conversation. Understand that they may not adapt to this change instantly. Believe me, it works! During this introductory period, they may not be completing the meal. Do not give them a snack because you think they may be hungry. They will make it up at the next meal, trust me. Do not become a snack family!

2.       Firstly your child must listen to you. Only speak what you really mean and follow up on it! If you have not been doing this, you must start now! Whichever parent speaks is in charge. If the other parent has a hard time being quiet, all they can say is “You have to listen to Mom or Dad” Do not elaborate. If a change of location or activity is involved, give them a five minute advanced warning and then a two minute warning. You can refer to your watch and teach them how to read it. This really helps. Your child will probably test you, do not change the message or the directive. Make sure they understand the rule before you go anywhere.

3.       Usually a child learns to lie by accident or by imitation. They tell a lie initially because they feel they will be in trouble if the parent knows the truth. Even though the parent suspects they are lying, they do not challenge them or investigate the statement. They need to make a strong commitment to their child that under no circumstances will they be disciplined if they tell the truth. There may be consequences if there is a reparation involved as well as potentially an apology, but that is all. Make it a teaching moment! This was not the situation in our study but there is a possibility they have witness their parents in a lie and bragging about the success of the lie. In this, the child imitate the parent’s behavior and the only solution is for the parent to admit their mistake and never repeat it.

4.       Timothy had continued to cry over everything because he was getting attention when he did so, which is what he really wanted. The only time he should cry is when he is seriously hurt, physically or verbally. The parent should identify that and provide the appropriate solution. If that is not the case, say immediately, “I will not talk to you until you stop crying” and do that. If you want your child to change a behavior, be clear on what you expect. Period!

Both parents have to be in agreement on acceptable behaviors and values or any one of their directive and solutions is unlikely to happen and become a reality.

Have ongoing discussions privately until you achieve success.

You are responsible to raise a socially skilled and educated child. That will only happen if both parents are committed to it!

Good luck! 

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