Sunday, December 3, 2023

Strut and Fret your Hour upon the Stage--when dealing with a 5-year old NAG


When my son (5) gets sent to his room for time out, he goes into his room and begins throwing demonic-style tantrums. He hits the door and screams at the top of his lungs. When he’s done, he comes out composed, calm, and collected. Is the Tantrum Room really a space where I should let him get it all out, or should I be expecting/teaching more emotional regulation?


It looks like the  concept of the Tantrum Room IS working. Your son understands that there is a place and time to let out his emotions and frustrations--albeit quite vociferously; and that there is a time and place to be "composed, calm, and collected." Congratulations, Mom! He sounds like a good, little boy! 

I would like you to try one more thing: Next time you employ the Tantrum Room for your son, let him go in there and go all-out "Tasmanian Devil", as per usual. When he comes out controlled emotionally, as per usual, ask him if he did any pounding and yelling while he was in there. He may say, "Didn't you hear me?!?" And you may respond with any number of responses such as "I was busy vacuuming" or " I was on the phone" or "I went outside to get the mail", "I didn't notice", etc., etc.  The key is to pretend like you never notice his demonic pounding and screaming. Avoid phrases like, "Don't pound so loud" or "You're gonna break something."  Your five-year old needs to believe that you are unaware that he is even in the TR; or you that you have forgotten he was in there. Learn the  Art of Fake Ignoring--put on your Acting Shoes.  All the World's a Stage and you are merely a mommy on it. Win an Emmy, for your son's sake! He needs to believe that his excessive behavior is going unnoticed---which should lead to less and less of the violent, excessive behavior. When Negative Attention-Getters(NAGs) garner no attention, the NAG tantrums will gradually disappear. But be thankful your son has his fits within the confines of his special tantrum place.

Sunday, November 19, 2023

FOMO in ISO, and Bud-Nipping: Consequencing an 11-yr Old Bully



    My 11 year-old son frequently hits, pushes, etc., his younger siblings, ages 6 and 5,  when no adult is around. It is very much intentional in trying to hurt the others. He will provoke his siblings with acting wild and then hurt them somehow. Obviously, talking hasn't helped. I know his older brother (13) sometimes bullies him, so is he bullying his younger siblings? We homeschool so there is plenty of opportunity for this to happen quite often, many times a day. He is a quiet child who prefers to be by himself, so I am not sure how effective isolation would be. 


The only real question you proffered within your above statements was "is he bullying his younger siblings?" I believe you were wanting to know if his older brother has influenced him to the point of his showing the same behavior toward his younger sibs. The answer: "more than likely, yes." If the bullying behavior was never nipped in the bud when the 13-year old exhibited that tendency, then naturally the youngers will tend to emulate some of their older brother's behaviors. As a sidenote; I am glad that you have come to the realization that talking does not help. Explaining yourself to an 11-year old is typically fruitless and may jumpstart needless argumentative interaction. 

Here are some thoughts on the idea of ISOLATION as an effective punishment:

1. We are created to be with people and to have relationships. Even the shy, loner child will eventually want and need legit company.

2. ISOLATION may not work in the immediate, but if the parent is patient, it will begin to be effective. Most kids develop a FOMO(fear of missing out) at some point, so they want to be where it's "happenin."

3. ISOLATION only works if there is little to no access to entertainment for the punishee, wherever he may be isolated. 

4. ISOLATION of the rule-breaker will benefit the rest of his siblings: no bullying or physicality or bad example from said offender.  

5. ISOLATION may take many forms, such as the following;

          a. You and the other kids go to Scene 75 or to a Bouncy House or a Trampoline Park or anything                 the 11-year old would enjoy--without him. 

          b.  Eat your meals as a family---he can eat in his room

          c.  Go to Taco Bell or Dairy Queen with the others--bring back the goodies and eat them in front                 of him

          d. The family watches the favorite TV show---while he remains isolated, away from the family.

          e. The upcoming birthday party of a friend? Sorry, buddy--you're in ISOLATION

The length of isolation is up to you, whether it be 3 days or 3 weeks or whatever. To a segment of readers, some of my ideas may sound harsh(see the end of 4C), but the goal of effective consequences is to prevent recurrence of the offense. To prevent that occurrence, MEMORABLE consequences are needed(Read Hebrews 12:11, Proverbs 19:18). This is what previous parents did during the "good ole days". They nipped it in the bud with a memorable punishment, and thereafter there was little to no  need for any consequences and punishments---all the while raising 6-8-10 kids to become respectful, responsible, productive, upstanding citizens of their community.



Monday, October 30, 2023

Troubled Teen/Perplexed Parents


We have a problem dealing with our 15-year old son's violent behavior when we take his phone or he gets grounded.  He has been caught taking his older brother's car late at night (without even a learner's permit) to drive around or to buy a vape.  He is also disrespectful in the way he speaks to his dad and me.  His grades have plummeted to where he is on academic probation at his private Christian school.   We have considered sending our son to Camden Military (where my husband finished his schooling due to his going off the wrong track), however our son is adamant about not going. We have brought him to a psychologist where they would help him with medicine and behavior modification; however; my son refuses medicine or to even talk to a counselor.  What do you suggest? 


You mentioned several issues with your 15-year old son---ranging from disrespect to enrolling in military schools to taking behavior modification meds. Because of your various and sundry concerns, may I recommend hiring a Parenting Coach from this website--whether it be me or another qualified peer? I have dealt with teenage difficulties and complications for much of my life, so I will go ahead and share some general principles. Anything more will require your connecting with a Parenting Coach.

1. I believe it takes a "man to teach a boy to be a man."  For the most part, his father should take over the reins of mentoring, discipling,  and disciplining your teen. And you should gladly hand those reins to him forthwith. 

2. Your son "refuses", and "is adamant" against---why does his reaction prevent you from doing what is best for him? It appears that he refuses to obey you, yet you feel the need to obey him!?? Wussified parenting creates unruly children. 

3.  I get the impression he still has an iPhone.  When he becomes violent and irritable when it is taken away, could that possibly indicate that he is addicted to the device? If addiction appears to be the case, why do you give it back to him? Keep it for a month or more. He doesn't "need" it.  Many parents are finally wising up to the fact that an iPhone is NOT essential for raising a quality adult-to-be.

4. In general, I do not recommend behavior modification or meds from a psychologist. 

5. Do not be afraid to contact the police or sheriff when he steals his brother's car or another heinous act---we did that with one of our children.  The officer came to our house--and it scared our daughter straight.

6. Troubled Teen Boarding Schools or Teen Residential Treatment Centers---I have heard both positives and negatives regarding this option. Do your research.

7. And most of all--be strong parents. Lead with Authority and Love. Dad needs to run the show--not the child. The feelings and reactions of a child should not matter one twit about the parent doing what is best for said child. 

8. The three of you should sit down and make a list of Privileges and Responsibilities for your son. Examples of Privileges:  use of car(age 16), later curfew, use of iPhone, hanging with friends,  etc.... Examples of Responsibilities:  A's and B's, household chore completion, no violent outbursts, obedience, etc.....

       This is just a cursory, general response to your above question. I would need to know more to respond more specifically. 

Wednesday, May 31, 2023

Overboard in the Offseason? Dad, Sports, and a 13-year Old



Husband takes our 13 yr old to a sport practice 3x/wk, conditioning 1x/wk, and a trainer 1x/wk which leaves one night/wk for a non-sport activity and one weekend day open.  This sport is in its off season.  Son does not like the sport that much - he is not asking to go to all the practices.  Monthly cost is the same whether they go to one or 3 practices a week.  Conditioning/trainer is a different vendor.  Son tries to get out of a practice once in awhile.  Son might have a headache, is tired, is sore, etc.  Husband just thinks son is making excuses and does not cut him any slack.  Husband will say anything from "you want to get better don't you?" to "don't be quitter/Don't quit on yourself" or "we've already paid for it we might as well go"  Son would choose to do nothing if given the choice so I can appreciate him being involved in something but there needs to be some sort of happy medium and right now the scale in tilted in the wrong direction.   Is there any way to find a balance?


I may be one of  the most qualified coaches to answer this question. There are three hats one might need to wear in order to truly understand your situation: the hat of a Father of an Athlete(I have a daughter who is a high-level pro basketball player in Australia); a Parenting Coach(who explores parent/child relationships); and a Sports Coach(in my case, basketball coach for many years). I do feel qualified to help with your situation.  I have worn each of these hats for numerous years. Therefore, I DO appreciate a good father motivating his child to succeed, and in teaching said child discipline and hard work. I also believe in the value of extracurriculars in general: they teach the importance of bodily exercise, sacrificing for others, teamwork, etc.. 

So, If Dad feels his son may have a gift in a certain sport, I see nothing wrong with some encouragement and strong motivation as he tries to instill dedication in his son. If we left kids "to their own devices," most children would default to curling up on their bed with an iPhone in hand, and the like. 

My professional basketball daughter didn't really "get it" till she was about fifteen. But because I was a basketball coach, I was able to easily get  her involved in basketball activities that she thought might be fun, and would easily agree to.  So your son may also develop a true love and dedication for the sport when he is 14 or 15. He may not be there yet.  HOWEVER, the majority of fathers who are more singularly focused on a sport than are their participating sons, usually hurt their relationship with their teen and/or cause their teen to so dislike the sport and the atmosphere dad has created around it, that his child will eventually decide it's not worth it to continue. 

Recommendation: Let your 13 year old be a 13-year old. He is missing out on other valuable things in life. The weekly "necessities" (conditioning, training, practicing) mentioned above for a sport in the off season seem rather excessive. Doing a bit less in the off season will NOT hurt his chances of succeeding in the future. And eventually, he may "own" the sport himself, rather than just dad being the owner. 


Monday, April 17, 2023

BeFuddled Father Facing Four Females



I know you don't know the history at all with my step-daughters.

However, we gave out Easter candy to our 3 daughters (2 step-daughter and one is my own).  The 16 year old step-daughter ate a piece of candy and throws a candy wrapper towards me and proceeds to say, "throw that away", which I did.   Both step-daughters laugh at this action.      

A few minutes later, 16 year old throws another wrapper and it lands on the floor, and proceeds to say the same thing, throw that away, and again both step-daughter laugh.  The mother is sitting in the room and says nothing to the 16 year old.  I didn't say anything either, but later asked their mom about the situation, and she says, the 16 year old was "just joking", and asks why I took it personally.  The mother picked up the candy wrapper btw.  SMH. 

I'm curious to know what your opinion is of this scenario and how would you have handled this situation with me being a step-dad?


Honestly, I think you are in a situation where you need to invest in a Parenting Coach. This site can only give "surfacey" answers, because context is always limited.  I've looked at several of the questions/scenarios you have submitted prior on this site, and I see a pattern that has emerged which probably needs some direct outside assistance for a couple months--which I, or another Rosemond Parenting Coach, would be glad to provide.  You might need some detailed expert help on some of the following issues:

1. What is the role of a step-dad? Can I discipline and disciple my step-daughters?

2. What does it mean to be a loving authority figure ?

3. What if my wife (significant other) and I are not on the same parenting page?

4. What is the Art of Ignoring? And how do I employ that Art?

5.  How can a sense of humor be used when dealing with a  disrespectful teen?

6. Am I the head of the household, and if so, what does that mean? 

7. Do I make Mountains out of Molehills? AM I too sensitive?

8. How do I deal with issues related to my daughters' iPhone usage?

9. Can I demand chores be done perfectly, and rooms  picked up, etc?

10. Should I be "looking" for missteps on the part of my daughters?

11. How much independence should I allow my teen daughters?

So take time and mull over the idea of hiring a Parenting Coach. I think it will be well worth it!

Wednesday, February 15, 2023

Distress at the Dentist's and Choosing Church



Question about The Godfather Principle:

We’re currently implementing the Godfather Principle because of a rather rough (that’s an understatement) dentist visit. We read your response to the question about temper tantrums at the doctor and dentist. Agree wholeheartedly. My question is what is considered a privilege… we are very active in our church and attend regularly. Our three young children go on Wednesdays, too - my husband and I lead a group, so they go to the children’s program. 

I want her to go to church, but I see Wednesday night as a privilege. Is it bad if we take that away? She is stripped of all privileges, but we’re having trouble deciding if Wednesday church is a privilege or a necessity (the inconvenience isn’t the issue - it’s going to be, but we’ll do what we need to in order to nip this in the bud). 


From your question, I can safely assume that you possess a strong penchant for instilling your religious faith and values into your children. And the biblical adages strongly emphasizing putting others' interests ahead of one's own can be a key theme here. Each time your child has a looming appointment upcoming, have her take the focus off herself and  ask her what can she do to make things easier for the dentist, doctor, grandma, etc., during a visit.... The idea of self-sacrifice on behalf of others' desires and needs is sorely lacking among today's youth. 

But to answer your question: I would not take away  a privilege that may hurt the growth of a child(mentally, emotionally, or spiritually, etc). I remember having this quandary when I was raising my four children several years ago. I had decided never to include anything in the "grounding" of a  misbehaving child that I felt was needed for the child to grow into a successful adult. If you feel that Wednesday night church is important for your daughter's spiritual growth, then I would NOT take that away. If your child loved vegetables, would you take those away as a punishment?? There are many other consequences that can be used as part of the Godfather Principle, without having to take away a necessary and valuable element in her life. 

Tuesday, December 13, 2022

A Breathtaking Rescue




My son saved his teacher's life when she was choking during class. Should he earn a reward for this?


With the limit of only knowing little of the context of the situation, my answer is NO. One exception might be if the teacher somewhat vigorously offers a reward to your son, and you both sense  it might be a tad discourteous to refuse it---then maybe a reward could be accepted. But, if you and your son believe he SHOULD be given a reward for saving the teacher, then I believe you have fallen for our culture's new unspoken motto: "I am more important than you." The last few ME-first generations of selfies, MY rights, and a preoccupation with MY interests have usurped previous generations where self-sacrifice for the good of others was paramount. The greatest human being to walk the Earth washed the  feet of others, put the interests of others ahead of his own comfort and desires, and followed his own  mantra: " I come not to be served, but to serve; and to sacrifice my life for others." That needs to be OUR new mantra. 
Your son did a wonderful thing! And any commendation that comes his way is well deserved--that's for sure! What a great story! And he definitely did do the right thing.........But to ask for or demand  a reward gives the sense that he acted on behalf of HIMSELF, not others. So, in summary, if a reward is offered--I see nothing wrong with accepting it with all humility.  ACCEPT it---don't EXPECT it

Strut and Fret your Hour upon the Stage--when dealing with a 5-year old NAG

 QUESTION: When my son (5) gets sent to his room for time out, he goes into his room and begins throwing demonic-style tantrums. He hits the...