The big misconception hurting our kids

Every few days in a Facebook group, I see a post from a struggling mama throwing out an SOS & asking for parenting recommendations from strangers. 

First of all, I want to commend any parent for asking for help, because it's a sign of strength & the first step to realizing what you're doing isn't working & opening up the possibility of finding new solutions! 

Second of all, I commend moms willing to share what has worked for them and help each other out! The responses relate & commiserate & encourage rather than judge, which is what we all need! Good job, moms!

Third, what I find interesting is the most popular comments share advice based on misconceptions our culture has told us are true about raising littles- the most popular one being . . .

Consistent, negative consequences MUST be enforced without fail in order to effectively alter negative behavior. 


---"Take it away & send her to bed. She knows how far she can push you, & she'll take it a step further each time. The punishment HAS to be uncomfortable or it won't work."

---"We had to take his toys, plus he spent a lot of time in his room. He finally figured it out."

---"Throw all the cookies away. There has to be consequences for bad choices."

---"Throw it in the trash, set her in the corner facing the wall for 4 minutes & tell her when she's done why she's there."

---"She is testing you. Hold your ground & take action after the first warning where she doesn't comply."

---"Stay stern with her & start taking things from her. I finally got through to her."
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While punishment scientifically has been proven to alter future behavior in humans, unfortunately, parenting is so much more complicated than time outs & sticker charts.

Strong-willed kiddos are far less motivated by avoiding/fearing a negative consequence & earning a reward. In addition, replacement behaviors & coping strategies need to be TAUGHT in order for future behavior to change.

But most importantly, we don't finally get through to them.
THEY'RE TRYING TO GET THROUGH TO US.

All behavior is communication and it's our job to decode it. They're expressing the only way they're able to that they have a PROBLEM that needs solving.

-Underlying needs aren't being met.
-Skills haven't been learned.
-Hunger & exhaustion are prevailing.

While rewards & consequences have their place, the tools of empathy, collaborative problem-solving, and kind YET FIRM follow-through by a confident leader ready to step in & help them when they show they are struggling are MORE EFFECTIVE long-term, while protecting & STRENGTHENING our relationship of influence rather than straining it. 

This is the message I hope to educate & empower parents with! I believe it has the capacity to entrust the next generation with much more powerful ways to see themselves, care for others, & solve problems as adults!

It is HARD. It takes more time. It is EXHAUSTING WORK. We aren't trained to do it & we mess up all the time.

BUT, It will CHANGE THE WORLD. 

We can do HARD things together. You with me?
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