But the parenting books, oh my.
If anyone wants a short history in behaviourism, parenting books are your library. Something about kids seems to make people eager to grab hold of the #1 way to get a dog to drool, and it has been impossible to shake it off, even decades after BF Skinner and his naïve behaviour theories were smashed to pieces…
Yes, you can get a dog to drool on cue. No, you can’t bribe a child into thinking doing the dishes is fun.
Anyhow, back to my story… when my kids were little, I tried quite a lot of the very-convincing threats and bribes advice, including time-outs, sticker charts, and ‘dessert after dinner’, because they’re better than spanking and taking away their food, right?
I remember being 2 and 3, and I remember my reaction to ‘all those’ …
And then I was standing there, watching my beautiful, perfect daughter’s open and eager face shut down and turn away, after I successfully ‘got her’ to do something I wanted her to do.
That reaction hit me hard. It crushed something delicate and precious. She had been there, right there with me, connected and sweet… and then suddenly she was gone, shut off from me and distant.
‘Oops, how did I do that?’ And, most importantly to me: how could I avoid doing that in the future?
After a lot more reading and thinking, I did it! I found the strategies and approaches to parenting that keeps the bright sparks within kids shining, and I am going to share them with you…
For the past 20 years, I have helped thousands of parents reach their goal of having happy, cooperative kids, in peaceful and connected families.
I am Linda Clement.