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Is Your Toddler Bullying You?

In this vLog we consider the possibility that toddlers can learn to behave (crazy, huh?). Moreover, we look at the single most important thing to understand in helping them get on the path toward maturity (while still getting to be kids)  🙂 

Off to learn,

Fred Ray Lybrand​

Toddler bullying you

Toddler bullying you

SHOW NOTES

Consistent as a Parent? Ha!

From my book…The Absolute Quickest Way to Help Your Child Change I have a problem with being consistent, and sometimes it’s just because I am too tired. How can I overcome this problem?

Inconsistency and tiredness are usually a sign that your child or children are somewhat “out of control.” I don’t mean that we as parents don’t get tired, but if the state is constant exhaustion, then something surely is wrong. Consistency usually comes when both parents participate in the child training process. With both parents, you are able to keep one another encouraged and accountable. Usually, the problem of staying consistent comes from a parent who is too consumed with meeting the child’s needs and making sure the child “likes” him or her. One of my professors at Dallas Theological Seminary, Dr. Howard Hendricks, has often said,“When you do something for someone when he can do it for himself, then you make an emotional cripple of him: Chances are, unfortunately, that if you are inconsistent, you are somehow being encouraged to be inconsistent and the real learning you (and they) need isn’t happening.

Remember, if you see it, it is encouraged. The best idea I have for consistency is for you to take the Four Magic Questions and apply them to your inconsistency. You may find a very simple solution such as telling your children that every time they get you to do something for them that they can do themselves, you will give them a dollar bill. I suspect, unless you think so little of money, that you will change your consistency problem rapidly.

So…what are your thoughts on Consistency?

Fred

 

 

The 7 Ways to Guarantee Homeschool Success

Thinking about homeschooling? Want to avoid the homeschooling mistakes most people make? Below you’ll find what we’ve discovered from homeschooling our 5 children from birth to college.
In 1987 homeschooling was just as newborn as our first child. We looked at homeschooling for a number of reasons which were mostly related to our academic goals. And yet, our first child’s Cerebral Palsy tipped the scales. The simple nature of having a young and impressionable soul around active and undiscerning ‘friends’ made it clear that we should homeschool.. We really didn’t want our son settling into confusion about what he was capable of doing. So, we decided to give it a try until he was old enough to physically function well around others who were his age, but weren’t his friends. We thought it would be through third grade—it lasted until he went to the University of Texas in Austin.
Now, these 23 plus years later, we know seven things that we make sure all of our homeschool coaching students start to understand–inside and out. If you want a successful homeschool embrace these seven (or violate any of these at your own risk)!
  1. Define Homeschool Success for Yourself
  2. Use a Curriculum that Matches Your Definition
  3. Don’t Compete with Public or Private Schools
  4. Find a Support Group(s) or Network
  5. Learn to Use Systems for Success
  6. Make Discipline a Nice Word
  7. Find a Coach
In the following posts I’ll explain each of these points a little and ask you to pitch in your two cents!
Blessings,
Fred Lybrand
P.S.  You can read my entire article at The 7 Ways to Guarantee Homeschool Success

 

 

 

 

Why the Stork, the Tooth Fairy, and Santa Dumb Down Our Children

Could harmless lies make our children dumber? Here are a couple of thoughts by Anne Sullivan (Helen Keller’s teacher) worth reflection:

I am beginning to suspect all elaborate and special systems of education. They seem to me to be built up on the supposition that every child is a kind of idiot who must be taught to think.

It’s a great mistake, I think, to put children off with falsehoods and nonsense, when their growing powers of observation and discrimination excite in them a desire to know about things.

I am no authority on Anne Sullivan, but she certainly hits the nail with her head on these two points. The whole notion that children must be taught to think is at the core of socialization theories, Rousseau, Dewey, and the Tabula Rasa (blank slate—see Ibn Sīnā the Islamic Scholar) silliness that has soaked deep into the concrete floor of modern educational thought and practice.

Did you know that about 20% of children can learn to read even if you don’t teach them? Have you noticed how kids usually know more about operating the computer than their parents? Did you know that ‘sign language’ was entirely invented by the kids who used it (not the parents who first learned to use the manual alphabet with there children)?

Children need to be challenged and fed…but that doesn’t mean coddled and spoon-served pablum for their entire lifetime. Children are first and foremost learners. If you will grasp this as a ‘given’ then the entire nature of how you might teach and interact with them is transformed.

Of course, Anne Sullivan’s second point is quite telling as well. How often do we season our children with falsehoods and nonsense. Seriously, just think of some of the things we all do? Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, the Stork, and the Tooth Fairy are all such falsehoods.  Now, before you get upset (or overly happy), please know that I see nothing wrong with pretending and playing games with our kids. Pretending, however, means everyone gets what we are playing (like a tea party without tea).  We play along, but we are also in on the gag.

The Lybrand “Tooth Fairy” was kind of crazy!  We never wanted to make our kids feel bizarre compared to their friends, but we also didn’t want to treat them as though they were mindless simpletons who could not think for themselves. So, our Tooth Fairy would always give a little money along with a variety of other items (jacks, small toys, a plastic lizard, etc.). They were always more interested in the stuff than the money! Also, they ‘knew’ the game, and had loads of fun getting rid of their baby teeth.

There just isn’t much of a reason to ever lie to our children…even about death, sex, and taxes. HOWEVER, you don’t have to tell them everything you know about the subject. Especially in your home, you are going to have many opportunities to clarify and expound on things (especially sex).

But why does promoting Santa and the Stork make our children dumber? Why could telling falsehoods hurt? The answer is found in Sullivan’s phrase, “when their growing powers of observation and discrimination excite in them a desire to know about things.”  Teaching is in part about cultivating this desire to know though observation and discrimination.  Imagine a child having a worldview built on falsehoods that don’t match reality (Santa funding all the toys and getting to every house in one evening…quite and economic & time-space-continuum issue) knocked down again and again. You may not think it is much, but we know how lives get distorted (denial) through the pain of growing up in a dysfunctional, especially alcoholic, home. Why would we ever surmise teaching our children anything other than understanding the truth of things is a good idea?

If I had time here I’d speculate on the current economic crisis and how we keep looking for Santa to save the day.  Sometimes, fairly, the political world needs to be called out on there own fairytale rhetoric. A few encouraged kids could grow up to observe, discern, and offer some leadership with the jacket of Truth smartly tailored and worn well— ready for work.

In the meantime with your own children and students, please consider aiming for the truth. They are smart and know it anyway (or will find out soon) that you have been fibbing. When need a brave generation that is hard to trick. I’m guessing this training could begin at home.

Blessings,

 

Fred Lybrand

P.S. By the way, we did direct our children NOT to tell their friends ‘the truth’ about various things other families practiced. It isn’t our business to straighten out other families ;-)…and it shouldn’t be yours either!

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Shock News: Permissive Parenting Can be Harmful

Well, it really is shock news to some folks out there.  What an amazing world we live in where we have to be reminded that children both need, and appreciate, boundaries.  Stacy Hawkins Adams give us some good thoughts about this very point concerning teens (youth) and the s__ topic.  Here’s her article in the Richmond Times-Dispatch:

Permissive Parenting Can be Harmful

Of course, you don’t have to read the article to start making sense of the issue [the original article has disappeared, but I liked this one as well. Point #10 talks about being your child’s ‘best friend’ as it relates to permissiveness & is pretty much spot on!].  How often have we found folks in our own anecdotal experience to have simply yielded-to-and-indulged to a point that the child grows up to demand the entire world indulge him or her?

The truth is, we can be spoiled as human beings (we can also be horrible over-controlled as well…but a counter-excess isn’t the answer to an excess).  In fact, this is a nice way to think about it:

How would you go about spoiling a person?

Hyper-permissive theories actually have no way to deal with the notion of spoiling a child; they sort of think you ‘can’t really spoil’ a child.  And yet, haven’t we seen children who are simply rude and disrespectful toward others… awfully demanding their own way in the moment?  Is this your child?

Life, as it turns out, takes you on a field trip for what you don’t learn at home.  As a result, not mentoring your child to interact properly with others is actually a kind of abuse (in my way of thinking).  How will it be someday when an employer tells the little darling, “No.”  Will your child pitch a fit?  Will he plot against the boss?

It is clear that human beings are naturally self-interested, but there is something misguided when we become self-absorbed.  The culture these days (and the parenting mistakes it escorts) is largely against the use of the word NO.  And yet, the studies are relentless in showing the importance of developing self-restraint and health when NO is a part of the conversation.  Children have to learn lots of things…sharing, waiting, and cooperating are all a part of the material.  Especially waiting (in many ways) for the commitment of marriage is strategic for healthy families.

Here’s a simple exercise that could make a difference:

1.  Think about how you would intentionally TRY to spoil a child.

2.  Ask yourself if you are doing any of these things…

3.  Courageously ask your friends and family their opinions of your parenting.

These things will give you feedback (they may be wrong 🙂 that you can use to consider in improving your own approach to parenting.

Remember…the goal is to grow up a happy adult…it isn’t to try to make a child happy all the time.

As one comment says in the article above… “I’m tired of parents not parenting, but instead trying to be their child’s best friend.”  Oddly enough, that turns out to be a serious issue.  Perhaps will look at it in more detail soon.

Blessings,

 

Fred Lybrand

 

The Absolute Easiest Way to Clean Your Home

Seriously, you won’t believe me at first. There is a simple way to up the over-all cleanliness of your home…at least in the living areas. If you are an already neat person (like my Mother), you have an advanced version of the same point. Honestly, this is about parenting as much as having a clean home.

Here’s the secret: Have guests in your home on a regular (I’d say weekly) basis.

Now, you should actually have them in your home for fellowship, fun, bible studies, book clubs, friendships, training for your kids to know how to be hospitable…and a million more. You don’t want to use people just to keep your house clean (but it is a good benefit). Really, this is good for parenting and good for friendships.

I am an expert in systems and structural dynamics…and…I want you to become and expert too. Learning how systems work, and how to use them (and build them) creates a fresh world loaded with more time and confidence.

From a systems viewpoint, there is a reinforcing tendency (loop) when you don’t have people into your home. Your standards drop a little…messes and ill-repair tend to grow…which makes it harder to invite people over. When people quit coming to visit, the messes grow. Seriously, just think of the hoarders you know (or watch on the plug-in-drug, TV). Aren’t they all pretty anti-social? Is it cart or the horse first? Who cares, it still smells like a stable! Now, this really IS about parenting!

Oddly enough, the Internet and Starbucks are adding to the problem; both allow us to meet away from home! If you will commit to start having people over, you will start seeing your house get straightened up…in fact, you won’t listen to the complaints of the kids as they help…”we just HAVE TO get the place ready for company!” That is a real urgent kind of parenting as a team.

Here’s how to get started:

    1. Start by inviting someone who is a more relaxed friend over for coffee or dessert…not a big deal. You are just wanting to hang out and catch up…not a big deal. The invitation and the acceptance MUST happen before you do anything in the house.
    2. Straighten up a specific area to sit in…and the path to it. You don’t have to straighten up the whole house because you aren’t about to let them look at it.
    3. Light a Froo-Froo (aromatic) candle for about an hour before your visitor arrives. Even if you house smells fine, it still smells ‘weird’ to other people. Plus, the nice smell will make everything look 3x better than it really does.
    4. Next, invite someone else. Let your children start having a group of friends over to hang out (or start with one or two if this is new to you). Mark a regular moment to get with others AT YOUR house.
    5. Finally, consider teaming up with a friend…your house one week…your friend’s house the next week! Honestly, you’ll be amazed that one little step can lead to so much. Even if you hardly straighten at all, it will be much better than if no one ever visits.

If this is too much…how about just one person this month? Remember, parenting means the kids are watching…even when it comes to having a clearn house and a few friends.

Finally, if you are on steroids for cleanliness (like my Mom), it’s just because you think company could drop by any moment…or…you are trying to sell your house! Am I right?

Blessings,

Dr. Fred Lybrand

P.S. If you want to learn more about systems for a successful home, drop by  at http://www.homeandschoolsuccess.com

Dr. Lybrand is an author and educator who is responsible for changing the  lives of students all over the world through his innovative approach to applying  systems thinking to practical learning. Go to the upper right corner of this page and subscribe for a free learning  gift and future updates

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