Raising kids is not easy. Not one little bit.
Parents want their kids to learn values such as honesty and kindness. They want courteous, polite, obedient, independent, and hard-working kids.
That’s not too much to ask, is it?
Well . . . Kids will be kids.
They resist cleaning their bedroom or doing their chores. They rebel at doing homework. They fight with their siblings and throw tantrums. They want to play video games all of the time and spend the majority of their time with their friends and not with their family. And forget about having them eat their vegetables at mealtime!
What’s a parent to do?
That parent should rush out and get a copy of Raising Human Beings by Ross W. Greene that’s what! This is a book that parents will want to keep close at hand so they can refer to it often!
I wish I had had this book while raising our kids. Especially when our oldest son entered middle school.
I knew the transition from grade school to middle school could be difficult. Before school started that fall, I did everything I could to prepare him make that transition.
Then, I was the diligent mother. Every day when he came home from school, I asked, “Any homework?”
Almost always, he answered nope. Occasionally, he would have some and I made sure he did it.
Then came his first report card. He was failing math! I was stunned. Blindsided. How could this be?
As I met with my son’s teacher, I discovered that our son wasn’t handing in his homework.
Come to find out, he would get most of the homework done during class. But when the bell rang, he normally had 3-4 problems left to do. He would fold his paper up, put it in his math book, and put his math book in his locker.
At the end of the day, he totally forgot he had a few math problems to finish. So, he never took his math book home. (He probably thought he could get those problems done before class started the next day. But he never did.) Since he hadn’t finished his homework, he never handed it in. Thus, the failing grade.
I did what every normal mother would do. I scolded. I cajoled. I told him to do this. Do that. And for heaven’s sake, be sure that you don’t forget this.
Because of all of the wisdom I had as a parent — and as a college grad to boot! — I certainly knew exactly what he should do to solve the problem.
Needless to say, our son struggled in the sixth grade with getting his homework done. He struggled in the seventh grade. And the eighth. And the ninth. (Those were 4 long years . . .)
In the tenth grade, things changed for the better. But that’s a story for another day.
How I wish that I could have read Greene’s book 25 years ago! That would have made my life — and my son’s — so much easier!
I have 3 big take-aways from Greene’s book. I think every parent needs to know them!
First, seek to understand. When having problems with a child, gently state the problem and then ask, “What’s up with that?”
At this stage, parents are not to criticize, belittle, be dismissive, or give advice. They just need to listen. And keep probing and asking ‘what’s up’ until they are satisfied that they have gotten all of the causes for the behavior. This is an information-gathering stage.
Second, both the parent and the child state their expectations about what they desire to have happen to resolve the situation. Both sides listen to each other. Both have valid concerns and those concerns should be honestly expressed and accepted by the other party.
The third step is where the parent and the child work together to come up with a solution that addresses both parties concerns and needs. They collaborate on the solution. This isn’t a parental, one-sided solution. It’s a joint decision that addresses both the parent’s concerns and the child’s concerns and is a solution that both parties agree to.
You know, if I had done this with our son, I’m sure that my son and I wouldn’t have had such struggles over homework for 4 years!
Now, I know that all of you grandmothers out there in grandparent-land, have raised your kids. Kudos to you!
But, I bet that YOUR kids are in the throes of raising their own kids. Do you see them struggle with issues with their children?
If so, I strongly urge you to get a copy of this book and give to your kids. It will be their ‘go to’ book when they need help. There’s great advice in it — and it’s doable. Sweet!
You can purchase it for under $20 on Amazon. (Please note that this is not an affiliate link. I do not make one single penny if you buy this book.)
And, he’s a father! He knows wherewith he speaks.
His excellent book teaches parents how to cultivate a better parent-child relationship and provides a detailed and practical guide for raising kids in a way that enhances relationships, improves communication, and helps kids learn how to resolve disagreements without conflict.
Please visit his website to learn more about Greene and his book.
I just thought of something. This could be a great read for you, too, Grandmothers. If you are having situations with a grandchild when he visits, you could use the information from this book to help resolve the issue. This book could be just as beneficial for you as for your kids!
Happy parenting one and all!