The Norman Transcript

Features

October 4, 2013

Behavior problems say more about parents than children

NORMAN — Most parents describe discipline problems as if they are “coming out” of their kids, that the problems in question reveal facets of their kids’ personalities — things like “strong-willed.”

The fact is that in nearly every instance, discipline problems with a child tell more about the parents than they do the child.

Take “my child is argumentative,” for example. Arguments between parent and child occur because the parent gives explanations for decisions he makes.

“My friend is coming over, and I’d like to serve coffee and talk with her in this room, so I’d like you to pick up your toys and move to another room” is likely to evoke “I was here first!” or “Why can’t you talk with your friend in the kitchen?” And the argument is on.

The form of the instruction is the problem. The parent should have simply said, “I want you to pick these toys up and move them to another room. Why? Because I said so.”

Yes, I know that’s horribly old-fashioned, but the use of authoritative, non-explanatory instructions along with those very “incorrect” four words prevented many an argument in those old-fashioned days. And allow me to point out that parent-child arguments benefit no one, no matter who “wins.”

“My child won’t do what he’s told” is another example of how parents fail to realize their role in a discipline problem. Children will do what they are told — most of the time, that is, but that’s at least 80 percent.

The reality is that most of today’s parents don’t tell. Instead, they plead, bargain, bribe, cajole, reason, explain, encourage, suggest and promise. When none of that works, they threaten. And when that doesn’t work, they scream. Then they feel bad and go right back to trying to be “nice,” meaning pleading, bargaining, bribing and so on.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Features
  • Board welcomes new member

    In its June meeting, the members of the Mary Abbott Children’s House board of directors elected Barbara Henderson to serve the remaining term of Anne Ederington, who resigned from the board in May due to moving from Norman. Henderson and ...

    July 30, 2014

  • Pancake breakfast set

    The Police Explorer youth organization will host an all-you-can-eat pancake breakfast from 7 to 11 a.m. Saturday at the Norman Masonic Lodge, 1700 N. Porter Ave. All-you-can-eat pancakes, sausage, milk, orange juice and coffee costs $5. ...

    July 30, 2014

  • Center will be more than a building

    Many volunteers who assist veterans and surviving spouses have driven more than an hour to be at the Goldsby Community Center by 7 a.m. each Thursday. The volunteer of the week is from Harrah and has made that drive for the last three ...

    July 30, 2014

  • Senior organizations that appeal to conservatives

    Dear Savvy Senior, Can you recommend any advocacy organizations for seniors other than AARP? I cut up my AARP card a few years back when they supported Obamacare and am now looking for another organization that better represents me....

    July 29, 2014

  • Seniors adjust to different sleep patterns

    According to the National Institutes of Health, older adults need seven to nine hours of sleep each night. However, sleep patterns change with age; this is often evident in the nursing home population. Frequent causes of interrupted sleep ...

    July 29, 2014

  • Ceremony marks opening of community center

    A July 23 ribbon-cutting ceremony marked the addition of another feature to the Chickasaw Nation Carter service campus in Ardmore....

    July 27, 2014

  • Chickasaw Cultural Center a terrific place to visit

    SULPHUR — The Chickasaw Cultural Center is a magnificent tribute to a proud people and their storied heritage. Located an easy hour’s drive south from Norman, it’s among the finest travel destinations in Oklahoma. Set on 109 scenic acres, ...

    July 27, 2014

  • Prisoner re-entry planning for offenders with mental illness

    People leaving incarceration face a variety of challenges even without a diagnosis of mental illness. But for those who face mental health issues, re-entry into society can be troublesome. That is the topic in the first of the 2014 Fall ...

    July 27, 2014

  • Exhibit takes families on food expedition

    If your palate enjoys culinary diversity or if you’re interested in introducing new flavors to your family, join the Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History in tasting international delights and create your own treat during Family ...

    July 27, 2014

  • Resident makes art in new home

    There’s an old saying about a picture being “worth a thousand words,” which took on a literal meaning recently....

    July 27, 2014