I’m going to do an experiment.
I’m not one for reading a ton of parenting books but I was browsing the ibook charts on the weekend and I spotted a free parenting book, Calmer, Easier, Happier Parenting by Noel Janis-Norton.
It was a bit of a con. For free you got 83 pages of the book, then you have to go and buy the rest.
In that first 83 pages you get one technique outline that you are supposed to complete for the next two weeks without moving onto the rest of the book.
If this technique works then the author deserves my money for the rest of the book.
She describes a household where you are not constantly nagging, bribing, shouting and yelling.
Here she got my attention.
She described children who got themselves up, dressed and ready for school without dragging their feet and being wrestled into submission.
I liked the sound of that.
She described happy children who spent the extra time they had doing what they wanted to do, playing games or having their computer and TV time.
So I am going to try it. She told me to release all my over the top exclamations of “Amazing”, “Your wonderful”, “How fantastic” because children end up tuning these out. How can they be, when the next minute they are getting screamed at for not doing what they are told?
The technique is called Descriptive Praise.
You have to be diligent and do this at least ten times a day but be clear on why you are happy with your child.
If they stop whinging (even for just a second) tell them you enjoy the fact that they are not whinging right now because Mummy enjoys silence.
If they start putting their top on tell them that it is very grown up to put their own clothes on and its good to be independent because once they are done they will have more time to play and Mummy can pack their bag.
As you see the technique is long-winded and specific and it does make you present (which I am all about) in these everyday situations. I’ve been doing it for one day and I feel like it gives you more patience with the children as well, an understanding of the fact that they are learning as well.
If you want to download it and experiment right along with me just head to ibooks and search the title or author.
And let me know how you go – wouldn’t it be just incredible if it worked!