Teaching Kids Responsibility – Positive Parenting

Teaching Kids Responsibility – Positive Parenting

November 29, 2019 69 By Stanley Isaacs


Positive parenting today at Live On Purpose
TV. Teaching kids responsibility. Positive.. Oh big surprise, right? You’re going to get
some positive parenting from Dr. Paul today. Years ago, I created a program
called parental power. I’ve had a lot of requests to send out that CD which was
discontinued a few years ago, I apologize for that, we’ve got a new program coming,
watch for that. Positive parenting, how do we do that? I think the first thing is to
understand the dynamics that happen between control and maturity so this is
the content from that parental power CD set that I used to do. You’re getting it right
now, okay. We’re going to start with control and maturity. Control means
control over your own life. So you can have zero control or a hundred percent
control or somewhere in between and it’s usually somewhere in between. Now this
goes for you, it goes for your kids, just think control over your own life.
Now on the other axis, we’ll put maturity. Maturity is a complicated issue but the
most common way we think about maturity is in terms of age so think of it as
starting at birth and going through adulthood. Now it gets exciting when we
compare these two dimensions together, when we put control up against maturity
and see what happens. When you’re first born, how much control do you have over
your own life? Right, well not quite zero because you can make a big noise in a
big stink but that’s about it when you’re first born.
How much control do you have as an adult? Now little side note when I ask
teenagers how much control the adults have, what do you think they answer? Right,
it’s a little different answer from us as adults
because we know all the small print but the teenagers will almost always say,
oh they have a hundred percent control. Literal with their idea for just a
minute and as we plot the control against the maturity, here’s what
happened.. We get a line that divides this space starting low, ending high, so the
more and more control you get, depends on how mature you are so the more mature
you are, the more control you get. Does that make sense?
This part under the line is the part you get for yourself, the part over the line
is the part other people take in your life. Now this is true for you and it’s
true for your kids. Thinking about your kids for just a moment. How much control
do they get to have over their own life? Well, when they’re little babies, they
don’t get hardly any. When they’re adults hopefully, they’re in control of their
own life by then and and there’s this gradual increase as they grow up. Okay, so
keep that in mind. Now we’re going to take age out of the equation. I want you
to think stage, not age, got it? Stage not age. So I’ve divided this graph into
three segments and I’ve brilliantly named them stage 1, stage 2 and wait for
it, stage 3. Isn’t that brilliant? These three
stages represent different stages of maturity or moral development if you
want to think about it that way. Stage 1 is the least mature and you’ll see in
the graph that stage 1 does not allow for much self-control, most of the
control is taken by others. Stage 2 is kind of a balance, it’s more mature, they
get more control. Stage 3 is the most mature of all. Now control is
shared almost always, there has to be a hundred percent control, the only
question is, who’s going to take that control? And there’s a lineup for the
control. Who gets to have control over your kids for example? Well here’s the
lineup, who gets first dibs on the control, always number one in that
position is the self. That’s true for you, it’s true for your kids. Self always gets
first crack at the control. Who’s second in line? Think about your kids now. Yeah,
you are as a parent. Parents are second in line for their kids. In other words, if
the kid can’t take control of their own life, who’s going to do it? The parents are
obviously. Who’s third? Yeah, I get a lot of different answers on this one, friends,
schools, whatever, right? School is actually closer than friends. Why? Because
third in line is the state, is that a little scary? I mean state agencies like
the Division of Child and Family Services, the juvenile court system, the
police, friends don’t have the authority or the power to take control. Sure, they
have influence but the state has the authority, whether that’s right or wrong
we’re not going to debate today, that’s just how it is. So my preference is that
we push that as close to number one as we can. I want to empower those kids in a
positive way to take control over their own life. That’s how we teach kids
responsibility. If the kids can’t be in control, my strong preference is that the
parents will step up and appropriately in a positive way take control in those
kids lives. I don’t want the state showing up, I’ve been in that position
before or I’m the guy who had to make the call to get the state involved,
that’s not fun so we’re going to push it to number one as close as we can, here’s
how we’re going to do it. First of all, let’s understand what these three stages are. At stage one, it’s all self-centered, it’s all about me
me me, what’s in it for me, tends to be very selfish, demanding,
manipulative, this is where fighting happens, this is where tantrums occur, does
this sounding familiar to anyone? Yeah, you as parents see this and you can
identify it very quickly. This is stage one maturity and remember, it’s not about
age, it’s about stage. So could your 13 year old be on stage one? Yeah, absolutely.
What if your 17 year old is on stage one? We expect our two-year-old to be there,
that’s developmentally appropriate but when these older kids get into stage one,
we say that they are immature, right? Because we expect them to be at a higher
level of development. That’s stage one, got it? Now let’s move to stage two. At stage
two, we stop fighting and start cooperating, at stage two we don’t want
any problems, we want to keep the peace, at stage two we’re willing to negotiate
and we’re willing to work out some kind of a win-win solution. You scratch my
back, I’ll scratch yours. It’s a very complimentary, very workable
stage of development. Are you excited for stage 3? Now let’s look at stage 3. Stage
3 is where true responsibility kicks in, this is where our behavior is driven by
morals and ethics and values, it’s where we actually do the right things for the
right reasons. Stage 3 is where initiative kicks in. Initiative is where
you see what needs to be done and you do it, you don’t even have to be asked. Stage
3 is this amazing stage where you get to have a whole lot of control over your
own life. Now can you correctly identify those three stages in your own kids or
is the case maybe in yourself? Let’s watch out for
that too but in your kids, let’s say that you’ve got a 13 year old kid, okay. What
stage is that person on? Ha! Trick question. It’s not about age, it’s about
stage. Any kid of any age could be in any of these stages. 13 years old, you’d
expect him to be reasonably mature, right? So what if I approach my 13 year old,
we’ll call him Ber Fleur. Hey, Ber Fleur, would you please take out the garbage?
Now if Ber Fleur is on stage 1, what kind of a response am I going to get? We’d be
glad you’re slave? Nobody else ever asked to do anything around here, it’s always
me. Why are you always picking on me? This isn’t fair, I want another family or it
might be more subtle. Whatever, I don’t even know what that means deal. Either
way at stage 1, he’s not going to cooperate. Okay, what if he’s
on stage 2? Hey, Ber Fleur, would you take out the garbage? Yeah, okay. Or he’s not
happy about it.. Fine and then he does it with heavy feet, you know, so you hear
every step as he comes out to take out the garbage
but he’s going to cooperate, that’s the key at stage 2. What if he’s on stage 3? Hey, Ber
Fleur, would you take out the garbage? Dad, I already did that. I know that
it goes out every Thursday. Is there anything else I could help you do today?
Wouldn’t that be amazing? Kids can figure this out and when they do, guess what?
Their parents want to give them more control, meaning freedom, right? Now why
does this work? Because what do kids want? They want freedom, okay.
That’s written up on our graph as control. They want control. What do
parents want? Now I asked kids this and they say, “Oh my parents want to control
my life.” I’m looking at mom or dad over there and they’re like,
“I got too much to do. I wish they would control their life so I don’t have to.”
Parents don’t want control, parents want maturity, don’t they? Yeah,
that means we’ve got a deal in the making because kids can have control and
parents are happy to give it to him if kids will give their parents maturity.
See how true that is? And kids understand this too. The positive parenting approach
to teaching kids responsibility has to do with understanding these three stages
so that you can do the right thing as a parent. Now there’s three C’s I’m going to
share with you as to what your job is as a parent and it depends on what stage
your kids are on so if you’re confident that you know, let’s look at stage one
first. Consequences, it’s the only thing that works on stage one. Why? Because this
is their stage of moral development, this is why they do what they do, it’s all
about externalized consequences. We’ll do some other videos about some of the
possibilities for what those might look like. Consequences bleed over to stage
2 but there’s a big difference in the kind of consequences we use at stage 2
versus stage 1 and it has to do with control. At stage 1, you have to use
consequences that do not require cooperation. Why? Because you don’t get it
until stage 2. By definition, stage 2 will still use consequences but they can be
the kind that require cooperation. You see the difference? And when they
move to stage 2, we’ll add communication because now
they’re at the stage of development where they can rationally communicate
and we can have some conversation with them about the morals or the principles
or the purposes behind whatever it is that we’ve asked them to do. Stage 3,
that one’s easy. Consultation, this is where your kids
come to you and they ask you for your wise sagely advice and as you share that
with them, they say, “Oh, thank you, dear mother, I will do that.” Then they go home
to their own five kids. Now maybe they can learn it before they’re adults. I
think they can and I’ve seen many kids do this but the point at stage three is
that it’s self discipline so you get to back off as a parent and just allow them
to do their thing because they’re at that stage of moral development. Positive
parenting, this is an affirming approach that acknowledges the moral
developmental stage of your child and then all you have to do is discern where
they are so that you can come in on the top half of that diagram and take
however much control is needed;. It’s a great theory to start with our positive
parenting. Wow, what an adventure this parenting thing is. Now with some
positive entities, we’ll be able to teach those kids responsibility even better.
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