Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Have a New Kid by Friday Book Review

Our church recently participated in Kevin Leman's Have a New Kid by Friday video seminars.  We were blessed to be able to participate in these six classes. 

I liked the common sense approach to parenting that Mr. Leman demonstrated. 
At the very beginning he states that if you don't want things to change, put this is not the program for you, go find another. 

If you are happy with yelling at your kids, commonly referred to as ankle-biters.  Bad attitudes (both from parent and kids), telling kids to do things over and over again, then still having to go behind them, then this program is not for you.  It is definately an action-plan, and parents the action is on your part.  You will be the one changing yourself to change your children's behavior.  You will learn the ABC's of parenting Attitude, Behavior and Character and that  B doesn't happen until A is done.  I think it is sometimes referred to as natural consequences. 

In other words, if your little sweetie doesn't want to get out of bed in the morning, don't make a big deal about it.  Let the little darling sleep, after all, they need their rest, don't say a word, but at 3 o'clock when that same little sweetie thinks it's time to quit homeschool for the day, quietly explain to her that yes, we normally quit at 3, but we didn't get started on time today because, well, you decided to not get out of bed.  No yelling, no nothing.  You state it once and walk away.  You don't stick around to listen.  It puts the responsibility back onto the shoulders of whom it should be on in the first place! 

Another little sweetie in our house caught onto the program and knew that we meant business when she came home from school and went to bed without doing her chores first.  Now this sweetie knew she had cheerleading practice.  Oh, and did I mention she didn't set herself an alarm either?  About 5 pm she flies out of her room.  "Why didn't you wake me up?  I'm going to be late! I was supposed to already be there!  I've got to go to cheer!" 

Mom replies in a calm voice, but doesn't get up from the dinner table.  Sorry, I thought you must be tired.  You knew you had cheer.  You should have set an alarm.  BTW, did you feed your animals, because you know this bus don't go till it's done (Mom's been stuck feeding her animals a time or two). 

After me and daughter #3 finish dinner, I take her to cheer practice.  Princess #2 had to explain to the cheer coach that she was late because she fell asleep and didn't think to set an alarm or do her chores before she fell asleep.  Priceless.  Lesson learned.  She's not done this again.

It's really a great system and we tried it out and found that yes it does work, but you have to remain completely consistent.  If you even give in once, those little ankle biters think it's over and they won the battle. 

The book and videos are both encouraging and entertaining.  It is a great thing for anyone to learn.  Especially those of us who were not from the perfect Leave It To Beaver type family. 

Has your family tried this program?  What works for you and your family?  Please share.

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