A few weeks ago I found myself with kind of a big problem in the parenting department.
I absolutely adore Christian (my 2 year old) and I feel like I do my very best as his mom, I give him all kinds of loving care and attention, which comes naturally to me (as I am sure it does most mothers).
The problem was that I started noticing more and more how well behaved Christian was around…well, anyone besides me!
I usually shrugged it off since I had heard many mothers say the same thing, it only started to really bother me when I saw that when I came in the room not only was Christian harder to handle but he seemed genuinely more distressed and less content and happy.
I knew then with certainty that it had to be my behavior causing his and since I am the adult I should figure out what that is and fix it.
Which is not an easy realization given the fact that I devote my entire life to his happiness and worry every night that I am not doing it good enough….but the bright side to me taking responsibility was that if it was my fault then I could fix it.
So I started a mad search for the best parenting book on the market.
I looked at reviews, read samples and forwards and finally picked one.
I know some people are against such a thing or rather resistant to “parenting advice” but I am NOT. I have no clue what I am doing, I’ve never done it before! and even the most menial of jobs require some training…
This book is life changing.
I knew from the get go that I was going to love it and as apposed to most “Self-help” books I didn’t have to force myself through reading it, in fact I found it hard to put down! (so I spent two days distracted from parenting to read a parenting book… hypocritical much?)
It is a refreshing approach that makes you EXCITED about being a parent and about your future as a family. It is not a quick fix or a new higher standard to try to live by as a parent that you’ll never accomplish and only feel more guilt over. It’s practical advice.
I have already seen a big difference in Christian and overall in my mind set. (Nick noticed too, which is big cause he is a total skeptic) This woman knows what she is talking about, she raised 5 wonderful children of her own and has taught parenting classes for 20 years, that have never been advertised and have always been booked solid.
When I closed the book I just instantly wanted everyone to read it! Whenever I find something I LOVE I just want to share it with everyone and anyone. So I emailed the Author and she was gracious enough to do a guest post for me!
She also wants to give away a signed copy of the book (great for a Christmas gift, I want to give some of these with a cute roll of duct tape to the mothers in my life!) To enter just leave a comment and your name on this post, easy at that!
Ok, enough of my rambling! I bring you, Vickie Hoefle!
All You Need this Holiday Season is Duct Tape
Ok, wait! Before that thought goes anywhere it shouldn’t, I’m going to get you thinking about
what ONE roll of duct tape can do for your parenting experience.
First, let’s take a second to think about you and your kids. I don’t know your children, but you
know them very well, so go ahead and think about them in action. Now think about you in
action as the parent. What seems to go smoothly (bedtime routine?) and what seems to fall
apart every single time (morning routine?). Now, think about your favorite parenting strategy.
Do you have one? I bet you do, but you might not even know it. You might think, well, I don’t
use anything consistently, but yelling, nagging, reminding, lecturing, and all those reactive
habits are strategies that you use every day to try and change your children’s behavior. How
is it working for you? Are you implementing strategies that are creating long-term change,
facilitating strong independent confident, capable children? If not, here’s where the duct tape
comes in handy.
Another use for Duct Tape
Imagine sitting down with your kids and telling them you are sorry. You are sorry for all the
bossing, dictating, controlling and micro-managing you have been doing and that you are really
sorry for treating them as though they are incompetent. Tell them you are going to step back
for five days and observe and watch what they can do by themselves and identify where they
could benefit from some training. Ask them how they would like to wake-up in the am. An
alarm clock, alarm on a phone, the sun streaming in the window? The choice is theirs. Tell them
you will be taking a piece of duct tape and putting it right over your mouth, to help you break
your old habit of jumping in and nagging, reminding, lecturing, bribing and so on. What would
happen if you were unable to remind them what to be doing, thinking, or saying all day long?
Now sit in a chair. Imagine you’re duct taped there. You cannot run into the living room with
every little spat. You can’t carry backpacks, or bring shoes for kids who left them at home. You
can’t clean the entire house. In fact, all you can do is sit there, accept what’s happening around
you, learn what your kids are capable of, where they could use some training and where you
will start on your journey to raising respectful, responsible, & resilient kids.
When and why would a parent do this?
When your child decides to wear fleece pants to school in August and learns a valuable
lesson, you can nod and say nothing (instead of “I told you so”), because personal
experience is the BEST teacher.
When your child has a temper tantrum in the kitchen, you quietly leave the room,
instead of getting down on the floor and joining her. (We all know adult temper
tantrums are much worse.)
When your child forgets his lunch you quietly have faith that he has what it takes to be
a little hungry, solve the problem, and remember the next time. (If we want children to
believe in themselves, we must believe in them first.)
This, my friends, is the best gift you can give yourself, and it’s the gift that you can give your
children. For 2013, I challenge you to learn to “duct tape” yourself out of all the nonsense
that goes along with raising children. With this one gift of duct tape, you can give your kids
the golden gift of learning independence, problem solving, failure, forgetting, learning, asking,
remembering, discovering, unfolding, realizing, trying something new and creating a life that is
their own. In one year, imagine the difference.
Consider the Duct Tape Parenting pledge
As a Duct Tape Parent, I pledge to
- Do my best
- Zip it
- Shut it
- Think first
- Avoid quick fixing
- Not feed the weed
- Quit my job as the maid
- Avoid interfering
If this all seems a bit radical and overwhelming, pick up a copy of Duct Tape Parenting, A Less
is More Approach to Raising Respectful, Responsible, and Resilient Kids (Bibliomotion 2012) at
your local bookstore or Amazon.com. Learn more about the foundational philosophy behind
this parenting approach and the strategies that will help you to invest in the relationship
with your child, to trust your child to navigate his life, to train your child in life and self-skills
necessary to lead a healthy fulfilling adult life, to provide the opportunity for your child to
practice and master these skills while living at home with you AND to still manage to get out of
the house on time in the morning without tantrums or tears.
Have a Joyous Holiday! – Vicki