Last week we talked about the kids who are on the street called, “You Don’t Give & You Get Street (see, The Don’t Give & You Get Street).”
This is a street where kids play endless video games, see their phone as God-given right, and basically are blowing you off when it comes to meeting responsibilities such as homework completion.
I asked you to list all of the things that you do for your child or that he/she takes for granted beyond food and shelter.
It’s quite a list isn’t it?
This week we implement a strategy for addressing it. I will lay out the basic principles here and then give you a link to listen to how I suggest that you talk to your child.
Step 1. Find a time to sit down with child. There should be no distractions or anyone interrupting.
Step 2: Start with a conversation such as the following: “James, we need to talk.” (Talk slowly – not excitedly.) “You have been making me nuts with your lack of homework and the way you whine and carry on.” (Pause count to three and let it sink into James’ head.)
Step 3. (A crucial step.) Say these words exactly, “James, it’s not going to continue like this anymore.” (Pause, one, two, three.) “I’m done making myself crazy.”
(At this point, if handled well, James’ interest is elevated…It’s a different way he’s been spoken to previously.)
Step 4: On a white board (or its equivalent) list the top four things from your list of indulgences (i.e., The Things James Takes for Granted. (Usually it will be some form of electronics, but it could include taking James to games and practices.)
Step 5: Say, “James, it’s your choice. If you do your homework and meet basic responsibilities without all the whining and fussing, I put a green check on the calendar (not on the iPhone!!!!!!). That means you have earned a free night. You can play your games or we can go to practice. If you choose not to do your work, it’s ok, but that means it’s going to be a very quiet electronic free night – TV is off, no texting and no X-Box. It’s just quiet. I’m not going to get all worked up and yell at you, but understand it’s a quiet , electronic-free night.
Step 6: If James has chosen not to do his homework, let him know that you will be sending a note in to the teacher to let her know what you chose. (No kids like this.)
The next day you start clean and everything is reset.
Extra Add On
Listen here for a brief audio add on.