I attended a seminar by Kirk Martin at the C.H.A.P. Homeschool Convention. He talked about "Ways to Stop Defiance and Disrespect". He has lots of great parenting tips that focus more on us, as parents, and our actions and reactions than on the children's behavior. He explains how we can change our children's behaviors by how we act or react.
He urges parents to sit down so that they can have a "conversation" with the child instead of a "confrontation".
He said that kids who ask why are often asking because they are big picture people and need to know the big picture.
Here are some of the quotes that he stated:
"I never want to give kids control of my home, but I will give them ownership." (Get them to help)
"Your child owns you when you are out of control."
"We bludgeon our kids with words."
He said that kids who can't take correction internalize failure.
He explained how one of our biggest problems as parents is that we react to the outward behavior. The outward behavior is always a sign of another issue. We're in such a hurry all the time that we see it as irritating, annoying and inconvenient to ourselves. He recommended that before dealing with your children, be sure your emotions and yourself are in control.
"When I control myself, I get clarity."
You can counter your child's anxiety by giving them something they can do. Your kids are good as long as their brain is focused on something good and productive.
"If your kids can't come to you with their worst selves, they won't come to you at all later and will instead turn to their teenage friends/peers, which is not good."
We, as parents, need to realize: "I don't need you to respect me; I respect myself. You need to respect me for yourself."
Kirk was a dynamic speaker who had some humor in the things he taught. He encourages parents to remain calm and to have a calm household. He has some great audio CD sets. We purchased all of the parenting ones for a significantly discounted price at the convention, but they are also available on his website. He also has some audio CD sets for couples. He explained, in the seminar, that he sells the sets for a fairly high price because he wants us to realize the value of them and how much they can help, if you commit to listen to them over and over because that is the only way to break the patterns and the things that were ingrained in us from our parents parenting.
I have listened to all of the parenting ones one time so far, but enjoy listening to them while relaxing in the evenings. I copied the CD sets onto my ipad so that I can listen to them without disturbing anyone else, and my husband has a set in his car so he can listen to them on his way to work and home again. I really like what he teaches and find that it really does help me to stay calm. We have enough stress in our lives without stressing at our children.
Check out Kirk's website for more information: http://celebratecalm.com/