I think one of the toughest areas of parenting is discipline. When my kids misbehave, it’s hard to know how to discipline them—what will help them really learn from their mistake, without wrecking their relationship with me. That’s why I was excited to review Taming the Lecture Bug and Getting Your Kids to Think, a video from Parenting Made Practical. This one-hour video offered specific, practical discipline tips that I was able to apply immediately.
Lecturing is one of the first ways we often react when our kids misbehave. Clearly, if they are doing something wrong, they must not have understood. If we tell them again why this is important, or how they should do it, or why they shouldn’t do it, surely they’ll do better next time? Right?
I’ve seen how my girls react when my husband and I begin lecturing. I know this discipline technique doesn’t work, but it’s all to easy to fall into the trap again and again. Often, I start lecturing because I feel like I must do something about this behavior, but I don’t know what else to do. Giving a lecture is easier than coming up with an appropriate consequence.
In Taming the Lecture Bug, Joey and Carla Link talk about why lecturing doesn’t work and offer a different discipline strategy for parents to use. They share examples from their own parenting experiences. One of their daughters is actually in the video too, role-playing how parents should react when they discover their child doing something she was told explicitly not to do!
I listened to this one-hour video while bouncing Joey in his wrap and making lasagna for supper. Joey and Carla were funny, honest, and practical. I appreciated their wisdom and their approach to parenting. As they shared their discipline tips, I could picture various scenarios with my daughters, and see how their advice would make a difference in my parenting.
Their alternative to lecturing is to ask your children questions. This is something my husband often does when our girls have misbehaved. I thought the “why” of the misbehavior didn’t matter; they’d done something wrong, so let’s just skip to the discipline. Joey and Carla share examples of specific questions you can ask your children.
They then demonstrate this technique with their daughter. (I enjoyed seeing how this video is a family affair, with the kids now involved in helping their parents help other parents!) The discipline doesn’t just end with the questions, however. Joey and Carla lay out specific steps to follow to encourage your children to think about their actions, and to see real change in their behaviour.
Joey and Carla also talk about how something like ignoring a request to do the laundry now can lead to bigger character defects when our children are adults—how even small disobedience is a sin in God’s eyes. That gave me a much bigger picture of discipline than I’d previously considered. It’s important that we correct our kids’ misbehavior, even if it seems like something small.
Taming the Lecture Bug left me feeling hopeful about my parenting. It really is “parenting made practical.” So many books offer discipline tips that are great in theory, but hard to apply in practice. In this one-hour video, I felt like I’d been equipped with a specific set of tools that could help me with a specific parenting problem.
Of course, a one-hour video can’t solve every problem! Even as I listened, I hoped that Joey and Carla would provide a list of further resources. One thing they mention is a child’s temperament and how that affects their behaviour and your discipline strategy. This is something I’ve heard about in other parenting groups, but I appreciated Carla’s insight into it. I’m definitely going to do a bit more work on figuring out my daughters’ temperaments and considering what that means for each of them.
Taming the Lecture Bug is recommended for children ages 8 to college age. I’ve used it with my oldest two daughters (Sunshine just turned 10 and Lily is almost 8). In helping them think about their actions after they’ve done something wrong, I hope I can help them think about their actions before they do something wrong. It has also helped me to use time out (another discipline fall-back) more effectively. I’m not using the time-out as a punishment, but rather to give them space to think (and perhaps calm down).
Taming the Lecture Bug has a companion book, which has a lot more discipline tips in it than the video. I’d recommend getting both the book and the video (or downloading the video while waiting for the book to arrive). The video is great for getting the information quickly. My husband and I like parenting videos because we can watch them together and discuss them, to make sure that we’re both on the same page in our parenting. Then you can read the book to get more details (like Theresa did).
Joey and Carla also have a variety of other resources for parents. If you’re looking for practical parenting tips, I strongly encourage you to check out the Parenting Made Practical reviews by other homeschooling families.
What discipline tips would you share to avoid lecturing your kids? Have you used any Parenting Made Practical resources in your family?