Friday, 8 June 2012

The 12 rules of parenting

Image from here
As you know I have been doing research about parenting ferals.

I came across this book called "It's not that complicated- The Twelve Rules for Raising Happy, Self-Reliant Children" by Doug Peine. I opened the book and it was dedicated "To C, for her love and for her patience" so I borrowed it. I am a C. He dedicated it to me.

The man makes sense, though he is a little American in his approach. It is an easy to follow book and the author acknowledges the challenges of parenting, but focuses on the rewards. He gives clear examples of his rules and anecdotes for when they might be useful.

So, I give you here, the answer to your oft asked question, how do I raise happy, self-reliant children? (you will have to read the book for the full explanation and strategies):

1. Never smack your child
2. Don't expect your child to make adult decisions
3. Don't hold a grudge
4. Mean what you say
5. Don't threaten punishments you are not prepared to follow through on
6. Admit when you are wrong
7. Structure your child's life so that he learns responsibility
8. Don't belittle your child
9. Praise your child over and over
10. Don't fight with your partner in front of your child
11. Read to your child every day
12. Let your child know you love her unconditionally

Apparently it is not that complicated. It is all about consistency. But we knew that, right?

This book got me thinking and reminded me that my Mummy tantrums are not helping my parenting. On those bad days when you wonder why you thought it was a good idea to 'ruin' your life by having kids, it will do you well to think about these rules. Particularly to Rule 3 above.

What do you think of Peine's rules?


Emily said...

I read the start of your post and was about to 'pfffft' at whatever the twelve rules were, but have to say I agree with these rules. Especially 1, 2, 3, 4... okay, all of them! Maybe not 6 so much ;)

Consistency is key. Cliched, but true. x

Photographer Mum said...

I think it's all fairly common sense and they seem pretty straight forward, but sometimes it isn't so easy to follow, especially, as you said, on the bad days.
I get the "Why doesn't anyone love me"???!!! From Miss 5 a lot at the moment, usually when she has been told off for something. Omg it drives me nuts!

Dolores said...

I agree, these rules are sensible parenting behaviour. How can you hold a grudge, they are only children!! I would expand No12 with lots of cuddles and affection.

The only one he forgot his having clear boundaries (or rules). I think it's really important for my kids to know just what the main rules are, in our house they are simple since they are all under 5:

Don't hurt anyone
Don't throw things
Respect other's property
Have manners
No jumping on the furniture
No screaming/yelling (my 4 yr old was big on the screaming at the top of his lungs)

I did the 123-Magic course a couple of years ago. I sort of follow the principles - mainly the counting to three thing, consequences are usually the "naughty mat" (we should really have another name for it but it has stuck) or favourite toy(s) get confiscated to the "naughty cupboard".

Looking for Blue Sky said...

Most books make parenting sound much too complicated, with too many things to remember. This is simple and brief enough to remember :)

River said...

Peines rules sound like a lot of commonsense to me.
Love, tolerance for mistakes and teaching, teaching, teaching.
With patience.
They won't learn in one lesson to hang up their coats, but walking them through that routine, patiently, day after day, will see it become habit.
Same with the other expectations, sharing, helping, being nice to others, it all comes down to teaching.

Sarah said...

I agree with most of these although 10 is a complex issue.. My parents NEVER fought in front of my sister and I and then all of sudden when I was 15 they divorced and the shock hung around forever. I do argue with my husband in front of my kids only when the argument is a day to day disagreement - I want my kids to understand the art of making your point and the give and take adults need to have to sustain healthy relationships. What do other people think about the arguing thing??

River said...

I agree with Sarah on the day to day arguing, kids need to know that even for parents there are differences of opinion, different ways of seeing things, different ways of reacting. Then when the problem is resolved and the kids see their parents still love each other, they learn that it's okay to disagree, to speak up, they learn how to resolve conflict. That didn't happen in my house, now as an adult, I still don't know how to fight/argue effectively.

Chrissy @ The Outlaw Mom Blog@ said...

I don't know about 9. Not that I don't believe in praise, I do. But not praising every single thing. Or praising what matters more - like, "you thought about that - good job" instead of the actual action they took. And maybe I'm not so sure about 4 because I think children can learn to think and make decisions. You'll have to help them, but you'll be building their confidence when you let them make their own decisions (even though you are guiding them). Nice post - made me think! :-)

Anonymous said...

I do like the rules but rules are ment to be broken...
I had a Mummy tantrum yesterday at my ungrateful teenagers...seemed to work...they went and got me a latte to help me finish the shopping :0

Nat - Muddy Farmwife said...

I always like to hear new ideas on parenting. I seem to use bits and pieces from lots of different sources and the rest I just wing it. I think consistency and follow through is really important.
I have found though that with 4 kids, what works for one, may not necessarily work for the rest!

Mrs B said...

I like this list. What also works for us has been the frustration step and the calm down chair.

I didnt like the naughty chair/step phenomenon and it so didnt work for Little B (5). Also my mummy tantrums aggravated the situation (I have a yell backer). Not to mention taught him the answer is to yell.

If he wants to vent about his anger/whats wrong etc we sit together for a designated time on the step and he vents. When time is up, that's it no more talking about it.

If he's being very irrational, angry, frustrated at mummy or daddy or the situation (hello 5 year old)...we now try the calm down chair. He has a chair near us that he can sit and have a moment to calm down. I encourage him to read a book or relax and chill out for 10 minutes.

We've found this has taught him to work through his feelings and also to self calm.

The key for us has been the together bit. We have way less problems now he's not left alone to deal with it - something he took really personally.

Seana Smith said...

Hi there, I'm reading mainly on phone or iPad and it's so hard to comment but pulled this up on laptop whilst chaos reigns around me... we have twin trouble here too!! help, help, been too slack and not consistent enough and it's school hols and husband is here ... but I was appalled at how badly they behaved esp when we were on holidays. Need to be taken in hand... who IS in charge here anyway??

So keep these posts coming, please do!! Am reading just not on devices that work well for commenting... and need help!

Hope to meet in person some day soon.

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