Oct 5, 2008

Strong Willed Child 1

I came across this book during my preparation of becoming a Dad. I would like to share it with the parents out there that are struggling as well as preparing like me :) It is a journey that some of us must go through… a journey that love is all about… unconditional love…
A few things what Bible said about children:
Train a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not turn from it. –Proverbs 22:6
Do not withhold discipline from a child; if you punish him with the rod, he will not die. Punish him with rod and save his soul from death. – Proverbs 23:13-14

I’m not saying I encourage punishment but if the child is out of control we are the one to be blamed. Sometimes I came across the little boy or girl that have attitude problem (I’m sorry to say, but if I’m the parents the next thing I will not say that child is mine) anyway.. the point is, don’t wait till things get out of hand and only blame oneself. If we need to punish them to correct them, we should.

The Strong Willed Child –birth through adolescence. By Dr James Dobson
1) The wild and the wooly will
2) Shaping the will
3) Protecting the Spirit
4) The common errors
5) The scourge of sibling rivalry
6) The problem of hyperactivity
7) An evaluation of parent effectiveness training
8) The strong-willed adolescent
9) The eternal source

The first chapter talks about “the wild and woolly will”. Dr James Dobson relates the behavior with his dog. The strong will dog which many time need to be break to show the one in charge (who is the boss). It actually gets me thinking of Angie (my dog, a border collies) which always need to show her who is the boss :) and to get her down the hierarchy. Here we are not talking about teaching dog.. I will save it for another session to share with you all how to train a dog :). This chapter also goes into a few school of taught on the discipline the child.

It caught my attention by the below questions

Question: I’m still not sure if I understand the difference between willful defiance and childish irresponsibility. Could you explain it further?
Answer: Willful defiance, as the name implies, is a deliberate act of disobedience. It occurs only when the child knows what his parents expect and then chooses to do the opposite in a haughty manner. In short, it is a refusal to accept parental leadership, such as running away when called, screaming insults, acts of outright disobedience, etc. By contract, childish irresponsibility results from forgetting, accidents, mistakes, a short attention span, a low frustration tolerance, immaturity, etc. In the first instance, the child knows he was wrong and is waiting to see what his parent can do about it; in the second, he has simply blundered into a consequence he did not plan. It is wrong, in my view, to resort to corporal punishment for the purpose of instilling responsibility ( unless, of course, the child has defiantly refused to accept it ).

Question: Should my child be permitted to say, “ I hate you!” when he is angry?
Answer: Not in my opinion. Other writers will tell you that all children hate their parents occasionally and should be permitted to ventilate that hostility. I believe it is possible ( and far more healthy ) to encourage the expression of negative feeling without reinforcing temper tantrums and violent behavior. If my child screamed his hatred at me for the first time in a moment of red-faced anger, I would probably wait until his passion had colled and then convey this message in loving, sincere manner : “ Charlie, I know you were very upset earlier today when we had our disagreement, and I think we should talk about what you were feeling. All children get angry at their parents now and then, especially when they feel unfairly treated. I understand your frustration and I’m sorry we got into such a hassle. But that does not excuse you for saying, “I hate you!” you’ll learn that no matter how upset I become over something you’ve done, I’ll never tell you that I hate you. And I can’t permit you to talk that way to me. When people love each other, as you and I do, they don’t want to hurt one another. It hurt me for you to say that you hated me, just as you would be hurt if I said something like that to you. You can, however, tell me what angers you and I will listen carefully. If I am wrong, I will do my best to change the things you dislike. So I want you to understand that you are free to say anything you wish to me as always, even if your feelings are not very pleasant. But you will never be permitted to scream and call names and throw temper tantrums. If you behave in those childish ways, I will have to punish you as I would a little child. Is there anything you need to say to me now? ( If not, then put your arms around my neck because I love you!)”.

Wow… this is powerful to talk to the kids that way…. This actually gives the child the ventilation of negative feelings without encouraging violent, disrespectful, manipulative behavior! :)

Question: Would you, then, go so far as to apologize to a child if you felt you had been in the wrong?
Answer: I certainly would-and indeed, I have. Approximately one year ago I was burdened with pressing responsibilities which made me fatigued and irritable. One particular evening I was especially grouchy and short tempered with my ten-year-old daughter. I knew I was not being fair, but was simply too tired to correct my manner. Through the course of the evening, I blamed Danae (author daughter) for things that were not her fault and upset her needlessly several times. After going to bed, I felt bad about the way I had behaved and I decided to apologize the next morning. After a good night of sleep and a tasty breakfast, I felt much more optimistic about life. I approached my daughter before she left for school and said, “Danae, I’m sure you know that daddies are not perfect human beings. We get tired and irritable just like other people, and there are times when we are not proud of the ways we behave. I know that I wasn’t fair with you last night. I was terribly grouchy, and I want you to forgive me.” Danae put her arms around me and shocked me down to my toes. She said, “I knew you were going to have to apologize, Daddy, and it’s okay; I forgive you.”

(Dr. James Dobson, The Strong-willed child. (Tyndale House Publishing Company 1985) pp.25-28)

I believe I might need those a lot :) will need to work on that in future :) kids are going to be fun :) and going to learn from them a lot as well as teaching them the value what I had been taught as well as what I want them to carry on :)

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