I love his premise of real world consequences for children and we were already doing much of what he taught.
The new element for us was that when children are disrespectful, they aren’t able to have any of the fun privileges in life, such as watching TV, playing computer games, or even being driven to piano practice.
The key was that the parent had to remember the infraction and the consequence was happening later. “No, I’m not driving you to piano practice today because you were talking back to me this morning.”
What I Know Now and Why The Doctor’s Advice is Flawed
As much as I liked Dr. Leman’s parenting philosophy, I had two problems with it.
1) With 4 children, I was having A LOT of trouble keeping track of all the infractions
2) Children need to know immediately when they have done something that is not acceptable and be given a quick opportunity to make amends. It doesn’t make sense to the child to have a consequence happen hours later. In fact it’s confusing to them.
Is This a Real World Technique?
Let’s apply Dr. Kevin Leman’s to you. You show up 30 minutes late to work on Friday morning. Your boss regularly takes the team out for lunch on Fridays.
This time, instead of your boss picking up the tab for the meal, the server hands you a check too. You look up confused. Your boss says, “Since you decided to show up late today, I’ve decided that I’m not paying for your lunch today.” Weird, huh?
Wouldn’t it have been better for your boss tell you immediately that you’ll need to make up those 30 minutes during lunch or after work? That would be logical. Right?
When I created Easy As Pie, I felt that my teaching needed to be logical and it needed to mimic the good and bad consequences of adult life. As I get further into these blog posts, I’ll show you how, we as adults have about 20 or more imaginary pie pieces.
We make decisions every day that determine whether we keep our pieces. For example, every time you make a complete stop at a stop sign, you keep your Respectful piece.
If you choose to make an incomplete stop or run right through without stopping, you have lost your Respectful piece. If a police officer pulls you over, he’s going to give you a few expensive ways for you to earn your Respectful back.
Children just want their world to be consistent and predictable.
What About You?
Are you having trouble with the advice in Have A New Kid By Friday?