As promised, here is Day One of Dr. Leman's 5-day plan:
On Monday, you gain an understanding of why your child acts the way he does. Hint: everything a child does is for attention. Their brains do not care if the attention is positive or negative. Children inherently think, “I only count when people notice me.”
On page 32, I learned a great response to behavior I do not like. “Do you need some attention today? If you need a hug, all you have to do is say so. Just come over and ask for a hug. You do not have to (fill in the blank) to get attention. That kind of behavior is not acceptable.” By responding to a child’s misbehavior in this way, you let him know that “you know exactly what happened and why he did it. You are in control, not him. So, he does not have a reason to do it the next time.”
Another helpful point in this chapter is to “say your words only once. Expect your words to be heeded. There is no backtalk, no argument. You mean what you say, say what you mean, and now your child must obey.”
A lot of times in the book, Dr. Leman points out that the underlying message in some of the choices we make as parents implies that we think our children our stupid. When we say things to them more than once, it reads, “You’re so stupid, I have to tell you twice.” Are you doing things that are actually condescending to your child?