Friday, February 26, 2010

Mother's Guilt Can Cause Discipline Problems in Children

Mother's Guilt Can Cause Discipline Problems

When I grew up in the 1940's and 1950's all of the mom's that I knew stayed home and raise their children. I know some worked, but not many.

What I often encounter in this day, when so many mothers are in the work force, is their feelings of guilt about not being able to be with their children.

This guilt can easily cause behavior problems in children. If this is a problem for you, it is important that you resolve it.

There are two ways to handle this guilt. For those who can afford, and wish to do so, to quit work and spend more time with your children. You can go back to work when you are comfortable doing so.

For the great many who cannot afford to quite work. It is important to change the way you think about your situation. Learn to remind your self of the following positive aspects of your parenting, as often as it takes, to diminish your troubled feelings to managable levels:

+ You have no choice but to work.
+ You spend all of the time you can with your children.
+ You make a special effort to spend quality time with them.
+ You show your children in as many ways possible that love them.
+ You make time to both play and work with them.
+ You take them special places and do special things with them.

And of course you do many more things to reinforce the idea that they are the most important people in your life.

In the event that you do not have to work, but have a strong personal need to do so, you may also have to deal with the guilt factor. Perhaps some of these same ideas will also be helpful to you.

I have frequently had mothers of children who are oppositional and abusive to them admit to me that they are permissive and tollerate that treatment because they are "guilty about being away from them so much". They tell me that, in the little time they have with their children, they simply cannot bring themselves to set and enforce rules or punish them if they behave badly. The mothers also admit their fear that their children will not love them if they have to be strict with them. This problem can be made worse when there has been a divorce and the children must split their time between both parents, thereby further diminishing the time the mother has with her children.

Young children are naturally self-centered and, no matter what, they must have limits and consequences for disrespectful, abusive, and oppositional behavior.

As a working parent, you need to review the many reasons that you can complement yourself for being a loving and dutiful mother. It is important to do this often enough so you can consistently praise and reward good behavior and mildly or moderately punish bad behavior in your children...and do it without guilt.

My manual on humane and effective time-outs and using rewards to teach good behavior will help you "turn things around" if you and your children have already been caught in the "guilt trap".

Children need your love, they need your limits, and they need your willingness to provide appropriate teaching consequences when they behave badly.

Please try to let your love and your confidence as a parent show, not your guilt. If you cannot get ride of troubling guilt on your own, seek the assistance of and experienced Ph.D. level psychologist.

Dr. Tom 2/26/10

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Satiation When Possible

Satiataion When Possible

Using Satiation refers to the method of letting your infant or young child get tired of some misbehavior. Any time your child behaves to produce a novel or new consequence which is only temporarily rewarding, with repeated exposure, the behavior and its consequence will become boring. When this happens, the child is satiated on that particular novel stimulus consequence and does the behavior that produces it less and less. This is likely to result, only if you do not accidently reward that particular behavior.

One common complaint about very young children is that they love to play with TV or radio dials and light switches. They also like to slam doors, or pound on pots and pans with spoons, etc. These exploratory responses normally do not continue for long, so if you can discipline yourself to ignore the behavior, your child will slowly satisfy his curiosity, learn what is to be learned from the experience, and move on to explore other things. Of course, you man not wish to use the satiation approach with all irritating behaviors, or in other peoples homes. You will certainly not wish to use it with behaviors that can damage things or are dangerous. When in someone elses home, most hosts will be willing to do a certain about of baby proofing during your stay, if you asked them.

Many parents accidentally turn their children, who are only satisfying a temporary facination, into fanatics who spend nearly all of their time playing with dials and switches. When this happens parents are oftne then driven by extreme irritation to use excessive amounts punishent.

The problem is that parents accidentally reward the very behavior they wish to eliminate through their immediate attention and mild reprimands or spankings, which would likely go away on its own. To allow satiation to work, you must not provide any form of attention which might reward the activity. This even includes cross looks and scolding.

Dr. Tom

Saturday, February 20, 2010

When “Human Capital” Is Not Enough

The development of human capital is commonly identified as one of the prerequisites to sociocultural and economic success.

Normally, building human capital is presented as educating our people in science and technology, as well as in marketable skills.

But something is missing from this modern conception and it is not a small thing: It is a suicidal omission.

The citizens of a socioculture that plans to live long and well, must also teach their children an accurate history of their own culture and a system of guiding ethics with which to maintain it. As importantly, these future citizens must also be taught to love and respect their own history and comply with societies moral/ethical guidelines.

In America, these critical ingredients of human capital were once taught by schools, churches, families, Boy and Girl Scouts, and the like. Though it may be hard to believe, America’s entertainment media once, long ago, also provided a strong assist to teaching these form of social capital to our children and youth.

At the present in Post-Modern America, who now teaches these ethical virtues to our children? It is not the schools, our government has greatly impaired that function. It is not the church, as families are much less intimately involved than they once were. It is not the families who are working two jobs or more, reduced, reconfigured, geographically split, and who are often divorced into four parents and eight grandparents (or more). In this last problem “too many chefs” often spoil the brew. It is not in our other strong organizations dedicated to acculturating our youth in the values and ethics of Americans. Boy Scout and Girl Scout (also Cub and Brownie Scout) enrollments have been diminishing. America’s entertainment media have savagely betrayed it’s parents and children to wreak moral and ethical havoc upon them.

Who is teaching our children the essential moral/ethical components of Social Capital in Post-Modern America!?

Thank God some folks are, but their numbers are diminishing.

If something is lost, the most effective to way to find it again is to retrace our steps to the place that we once possessed it.

True, we cannot turn back time. But we sure as hell can begin to teach ethics and values as we once did, even if we do it in many different and new ways. It is just a matter of admitting the lethality of one of our own stupid oversights in America, the will to work and sacrifice as a nation, and the drive to survive in a very hostile world.

Many of us are wondering if we have what it takes anymore.

Our youth will probably know the answer within their life-time.

Dr. Tom 2/20/10


Friday, February 19, 2010

Rearrange Environments of Infants

Eliminating behaviors in infants could slow the development of important skills. For example, the child who is beginning to pull herself to a standing position to reach various objects is clearly learning from her efforts. She will not profit if, after struggling to her feet, she is scolded or slapped on the hand for reaching for a forbidden object. Baby-proof your home by storing fragile or unsafe items. This will immediately eliminate the negative aspects of normal exploratory behavior. Replace the objects with others that are harmless but interesting enough to reward standing up.

By making your home safer, you will have less need to punish or restrict your baby. A mother once asked me how she could stop her child from crawling up a dangerous flight of stairs. She seemed to be looking for some exotic approach and was surprised by my simple suggestion that she install a baby gate to block the child's access to the stares.

Other problems stem from faulty schedules. It is easy to misjudge your child's sleeping, eating, and eliminating needs. For example, the child who still needs and afternoon nap may become extremely irritable when these naps are terminated. or a child may fuss because he needs to be fed at shorter intervals. The obvious way to deal with these problems is to rearrange your schedules to suits your child's needs.

Dr. Tom, 2/19/10

Monday, February 15, 2010

Examine Your Own Behavior

Examine Your Own Behavior

Imitation is one of the major ways that humans learn from others. Parents who scream and swear a lot, or are physically aggressive toward their spouse or children, should no be surprised to see their children imitate them.

Under these circumstances, the first step toward correcting the problem behavior in your child is to eliminate it in yourself.

If,at first you do not succeed...try, try again...and get help!

Dr. Tom, 2/15/10

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Improving a Child's Behavior Without Punishment

Improving a Child's Behavior Without Punishment

A parent who is trapped into punishing their child often has failed to use rewards skillfully enough to produce enough good behavior. Mild to moderate forms of punishment will be needed from time to time. But it is important to resist the temptation to resort to punishment immediately whenever your child misbehaves.

The next few posts will relate to alternatives to punishment.

Relabel the Behavior

Before trying to change a behavior in your child, ask yourself if it is really necessary. After some though, if you can't conclude that the behavior in question limits further learning, social adjustment, or is dangerous, you might consider that it is not so bad after all.

Check your own emotional state. Could it be that you are annoyed with your child's behavior because of your own mood? You may be tired, ill, preoccupied with some worry, or in need of a break from your child-care responsibilities.

It is good to ask yourself these kinds of questions before you label your child's behavior as bad and in need of change.

And, if you are wondering, I do not advocate permissiveness. More to come on this stuff!

Dr. Tom, 2/13/10

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Some Inspriational words

Some Inspirational Words

My dear friend, Darrel Bostow, Ph.D., sent me the following video.

I highly recommend that you take a short minute to view it. It is wonderfully a inspirational U-tube video.

I do enjoy inspirational words and thoughts, so long as they do not cloak an occult destructive political movement.

V.T.M., 2/2/2010

Monday, February 1, 2010

We Had Better Teach Manners!

Once families, churches, communities and schools once commonly, worked in concert, to teach our children manners (civil behavior, morals and ethics).

Now, many of our families struggle to teach these manners to their children all by themselves. Our public schools have largely abandoned the teaching of morals. The media (which has become more the community for our children) is largely dedicated to immoral behavior. The only outside assistance for parents who struggle against the tide of social corruption, pumped from seemingly everywhere to their children, is the church. But this important aid is only available to those who significantly involve themselves their children in these specialized communities. Unfortunately, significant involvement in our churches has been in decline.

After decades of these trends, it is very hard for parents who never learned manners to teach them to their children.

In all of this, our Nation appears is in serious trouble.

Samuel Adams once expressed his grave concerns about a society without manners .

The following is from Founders Quote Daily, by the PatriotPost U.S.


“[N]either the wisest constitution nor the wisest laws will secure the liberty and happiness of a people whose manners are universally corrupt.” –Samuel Adams, essay in The Public Advertiser, 1749

Dr. Tom, 2/1/2010