Thank you–this was very helpful! One more question. . .On the specifics, like letting the children know chores are a “standing instruction”, the children having to make up the time if you do the chore for them, the time period allowed for chores to be done, or the 30 minutes for a dishonest chore, how did you determine these and then teach/tell your children about what would happen?
I know you’ve written posts about chores before, but I can’t seem to find them on your website. So I’ll ask my questions, and maybe you can direct me to the proper posts if you’ve already answered them! Are the everyday chores that kids have a “standing instruction?” In other words, if they don’t do their chores or have to be reminded to do them, are they not following instructions, and would they start earning consequences?
Yes. Any responsibility your child has, such as a chore or school work, is an instruction. The term “standing instruction” is perfect fo
How do you help your children stand up for what’s right without being “preachy” or “goody-goody”?
The most importantskill you can teach your child is how to determine what is right and what is wrong and how to choose right and stay away from wrong. This is the whole reason children need parents. If my child can’t match his outfits, doesn’t know how to do mathematics well, never changes his bed sheets, ortalks with his mouth full, it doesn’t really matter at all if he has mastered how to discern between what is right and what is wrong and chooses to follow right.
How do you help your children respond appropriately to unkind behavior and deal with conflicts?
I am assuming this question is referring to conflicts with friends and not siblings, although the conflicts aren’t too much different. In fact, in most cases if we all treated each other like friends instead of siblings, we would all be much nicer to each other. For some reason, most people treat strangers, and friends way better than fami
“How do these things change as your children get older?”
Too much friend time makes children selfish. Children who are around peers too often start to think more about their peers than their family. This focus on self encourages them to with draw from family.
If children have limited contact with peers when they are young, they will most likely not become dependent upon having friends around for their happiness. The last thing I want is a child who thinks that their happiness comes from something or someone else. Happiness comes from inside us all, and for
How often do your children play with friends, and under what conditions? How do these things change as your children get older? How do you help your children respond appropriately to unkind behavior and deal with conflicts? How do you help your children stand up for what’s right without being “preachy” or “goody-goody”?
These great questions about friends will take a few days to answer. The answer to the first question is below.
“How often do your children play wi
The Universe is governed by laws. One of those laws is that an older, wiser species comes before the new, innocent young of the same species to guide the younger toward right choices and acceptable behaviors. I have heard parents say before that their children didn’t come with instruction manuals. This is true, and each child is uniquely different, but I have wondered if parents make statements like these to make themselves feel better
“In a family meeting, do the kids actually get to vote on the final decision, or are they just giving input and opinions, and then the parents make the decision?”
Good question. Everyone votes in the family meeting. On rarest of occasions the parents could veto a vote if it is dangerous or goes against the family mission statement or family morals in any way.
The reason that everyone must vote, is because this is meeting where everyone in the family finds their focus and works on communicating to each other. This is also where all the positive and negative co
“I’m having trouble figuring out what behavior is
“normal” for my 4- and 8-year-old boys, what chores I can expect them
to be able to perform, and what kinds of rewards and consequences
work for the different ages. Is there a good book you can suggest?
Or is that something I need to tailor for my own boys (i.e.
Tomorrow our family has to leave early for the day. While driving the car tonight I realized that we didn’t have any gas, and if we had to get gas tomorrow morning, we would probably end up running late for our appointments. So, I decided to take some time this evening to re-fuel the car. As I was standing at the pump, I realized that I am not much different than a car. I also need re-fueling from time to time in order to be a happy, healthy mom; the kind of mom that can keep running all day. We all need a little time to re-fuel on a regular basis. I used to take a whole day each m
“How do you take away all privileges from younger kids? My 3.5 year old is really pushing… This post was the first time I really understood the “lose all privileges for 24 hours” thing. I can figure out how to do that with my 6 and 8 year olds, but the younger ones, I just can’t see it. Can you give me a visual please?
“I have two boys ages 7 and 4. My 7yo has developed a couple problems: stealing and lying. I think that I/we have been making the problem worse in the way we have handled it. We also have a HUGE problem with not minding. He is a very stubborn child and will not help us when trying to come up with consequences for his actions. He says either, “I don’t know” or “give me a spanking” or something like that. Those are NOT working, he seems to get worse with each consequence.
“I just thought I would mention that our meetings often go over 20 minutes but my kids still look forward to them. They love picking the family activity, they like problem solving too.
“Do you have a way for your kids to earn money? Could you elaborate on that?”
There was a time when we paid our children an allowance of sorts. Each child had a calendar. Their consequence for a minor offense was an X on the day of the calendar. After 5 Xs in a day, they lost their privileges for the day. Each day they automatically earned 50 cents because they were part of our family. For each X they earned, 10 cents was subtracted from the day’s totals. Every Friday dad would come home with cash and the children would total their charts and report to dad fo
“I was just wondering, when trying to set up this type of family government for the first time, does it take several family meetings before you can actually implement it? You talk about how each meeting shouldn’t be longer than 20 minutes, but if I’m understanding properly, to begin we need to talk about a family vision, come up with a mission statement, teach everyone the four basic skills (and practice them), and create a family standard…all the things seem to build on each other, so it sounds like it would take longer than twenty minutes to go through all of it properly bef
“I first just want to thank you for the wonderful things you do. I attended the LDSEHE conference in Virginia in May and LOVED the classes I went to from you so much that I bought your CDs. Since then, I’ve listened to them over and over and over trying to en-grain it into my head and heart. My question to you is this: How do you start from scratch with a houseful of kids? I have 9 kiddos ages 12 to 9 mo. They are really good kids, but I’ve learned that I have done then a huge injustice by the way I’ve been parenting them. I am ready to change and increase the love and spi
How does 24 hours loss of privilegeswork in your house? Let’s say a13 year old boydoesn’t want to get on board. Buthe shouldn’t be allowed to just hole up in his room away from the rest of the family!However, I have foundthat sending him to sit on his bed is the most effective thingthat can be done.
Consequences are so individual. I don’t expe
A reader wrote to me telling me about a young neighborhood child that introduced things of a sexual nature to her daughter. This is not a fun subject. I have been avoiding putting it on the site, but the more I think about it, this topic is probably one of the biggest things parents face. How do we keep our children free from the disease of sexual impurity that seems to be taking over our world? How do we make them aware while not taking away their innocence?