Tuesday, July 26, 2005
Parent to Parent: How Not To Raise A Brat
Every parent knows bringing up a child can be exhausting and exhilarating. But whether you're trying to raise an Einstein or an athlete, always knowing what to do is impossible. And that's why every Tuesday night at 5:30, we're answering your questions in a new series called Parent To Parent. Here's Lynn Martinez with tonight's topic - how not to raise a brat.
WSVN--Meet the Palmer family. There's mom Megan. Five-year-old Tyler and two-year-old Bryce. They may look like the all-American family. But behind closed doors, they're just like the rest of us. Crying fits, temper tantrums, and emotional outbursts. Mom Megan has tried just about everything to avoid turning these blow-ups into brat behavior. Everything from bribery...
Lynn & Tyler: "I have to do something to get two marbles, I have to do something without my mom asking."
Lynn & Megan: "You continued to threaten and didn't follow through. Do you find yourself doing that a lot, giving him second or third chances? Probably half of the time. I definitely don't follow through as much as I should."
But according to 7 news parenting expert Dr. Sally Goldberg, standing firm is the first rule to stopping fits.
7 News Parenting Expert Dr. Sally Goldberg: In my opinion today, families are set up for brat development. What do you mean? The dynamics today are such that children are in charge."
Dr. Sally says you have to be prepared. Before a tantrum happens, have a plan, explain your expectations, and tell your children what you'll do if they behave poorly.
Dr. Sally Goldberg: "If you don't do that, then we won't be able to play our game later, then you don't play the game."
But make sure you consistently follow through with the consequences. And don't reward with material gifts.
Dr. Sally Goldberg: "We need to get away from if you do this, you get this. If you do this I buy you this."
Instead, offer your child praise. Oftentimes, brats are just looking for their parent's attention.
Dr. Sally Goldberg: "In the long run you're changing the dynamics of who's in charge."
In Megan's house, mom is now in charge. Thanks to Dr. Sally's advice, her sons are starting to tame their temper. But she knows keeping her kids under control is a long-term process.
Dr. Sally says it's never too late to de-brat a child. Just be firm when setting the rules and include plenty of praise. That will help raise your child's self esteem and make them feel good about themselves.
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