Should Parents Treat Siblings Differently

Conventional wisdom, parenting advice books, and probably your own mother all told you the same thing – you must treat all your children the same way. Do you believe that parenting advice?

James Lehman thinks that traeting all your kids the same is an ineffective parenting technique and I agree with him completely.

In fact, I think it’s more than ineffective, it’s just plain silly. You wouldn’t (or shouldn’t) do it in other areas of life such as with subordinates at work, and there is no reason to do it in your household.

Lehman’s point is that kids should be compared to how they could be if they put in the effort, not compared to each other. That is such a succinct and understandable way to phrase it. Even if you like the sound of it philosophically, are you prepared to implement the practical ramifications in your home?

Find out the rationale behind the the idea of treating siblings differently in the Total Transformation course material.

The Perfect Parent

So, when your baby was born, you had a noble goal of being the perfect parent, right?

When exactly did reality set in? I hope it happened sooner rather than later, because as we all learn at some point, there is no such thing as the perfect parent or perfect parenting. For that matter, there is no such thing as the ideal child either, both that’s another discussion. Of course, we hope for a continual progression of improvement, but that’s the best one can expect in this line.

I thought it was interesting that James Lehman identified what he calls “perfectionist parenting” as a parenting mistake.

I’m not sure I would have thought it was that important to merit its own place in the lineup of parenting mistakes and their remedies. He defines his point as the mistake being that parents compare their kids to their original ideal, to siblings, and to neighbors’ kids. These comparisons cause parents to forget they have to parent the kid they have, not another one which would fit better into their ideal vision of parenting.

Another point would be parents comparing their parenting (and perhaps its results) to that of their friends, relatives, and neighbors. I suppose such comparisons could go either way. They would be counterproductive if they donlt ultimately help the parents improve their particular parenting situation. I would consider it productive though, if they chose people with superior parenting skills as role models and then learned something from them.

Kids Need A Break

When I was listening to the audio CD for lesson 2 of The Total Transformation, I heard something that almost caused me to spit the milk out as I was drinking it!

I know, it sounds like a sitcom scene, but that’s how it happened. I was taking a sip of the milk at the exact moment that creator James Lehman was relating a story that happened to him in his private counseling practice. Obviously, it was just a general story. No names were involved.

He was saying that he was working with a family and the kids were getting into all kinds of trouble. He was discussing this with the mother and she agreed with him. Her solution? She decided to take the kids on a family vacation to Florida because the kids needed a break!

Isn’t that hilarious / ludicrous / sad?

I agree that her kids needed a break, but it was from their own bad behavior, not the consequences of their actions!

Learn how to get your kids to behave better – without taking them on vacation…ha!

Playing The Martyr

For everyone who has been waiting for the continuation of the Total Transformation reviews, this is the latest entry and there will be several more to come over the next day or so.

When we last left off discussing the topic, we were going over the parenting mistakes that James Lehman identified in the program.

This next one is about playing the martyr. As soon as you read that line, you probably thought of a friend or co-worker who has that routine down perfectly. Isn’t he or she totally annoying with it? Is it really effective? Guess what, parents…it’s not an effective parenting technique either.

When parents take on the role of playing the martyr, with their children, they end up doing everything for them. Examples would be a parent who continually tried to wake up the kid ten times in the morning rather than forcing the kid to be responsible and get himself out of bed. Another example would be a parent that does more than help a child with homework; the parent actually does the homework for the kid.

These parents fool themselves into believeing they are helping the situation, when in fact, they are making it worse. That’s one interpretation. Another is that the parent acts that way for ego gratification…acting outwardly self-sacrificing while internally performing the behaviors to be feel good about himself or herself.

Regardless of the motivation, the result is the same; the parent creates learned helplessness in the child by never expecting the child to take responsibility for his or her own work.

Learn how to stop playing the martyr and create self-sufficiency in your kids.