imconfident

I sincerely believe that it is far more beneficial and far less costly to help a child build confidence than it is to fix an adult who has little or none.

Keep your kids out of trouble

on January 14, 2014

reading newspaperI love reading and often I buy books at yard sales or second hand stores.  My lending library is continually growing and I often lend out books to my friends and coaching clients.

A few days ago I was reading a book on parenting and there was an article stuck in the back that was cut out of a newspaper from Sept 1999.  The article was from an advice column, “Ann Landers”, which I used to read when I was younger.

Many people, including myself, thought the column writer was named Ann Landers, however the column was created by another woman, who named it ‘Anne Landers’ to conceal her identity.  When the writer died in 1955, Esther Pauline Friedman took over the column as the new writer and the name was left the same.  Esther Pauline had an identical twin sister who was named Pauline Esther.  This must have been confusing!  Her sister also wrote an advice column under the name, ‘Dear Abby’.  Both columns were very popular and the sisters were always in competition with each other, causing problems with their relationship.

The article that I found is a bunch of comments made by young men who are telling parents what they need to do in order to keep their kids out of trouble.   Unfortunately many parents don’t use these principles in raising their children and this is why problems arise.  Parents need to be positive, loving role models who put proper boundaries in place.  Here is the column from Wednesday, September 29, 1999:

Dear Ann Landers: I found this column of yours in my desk drawer. It was dated April 1985. I can’t remember why I clipped it, but the message is one that needs to be repeated. People have a tendency to forget. I hope you will run it again soon. Thanks, Ann. — A.P. from Upstate New York

Dear A.P.: With pleasure. Here it is:

The Rev. C. Galea was assigned to the Guelph Correction Centre for his summer work. While there, he developed an excellent rapport with many young lawbreakers.  He asked the boys for clues as to WHY they had ended up in that institution. He then asked them to draw up a code for parents to follow, zeroing in on specific areas where THEY had failed. Here is what emerged:

1. Keep cool. Don’t fly off the handle. Keep the lid on when things go wrong. Kids need to see how much better things turn out when people keep their tempers under control.

2. Don’t get strung out from booze or too many pills. When we see our parents reaching for those crutches, we get the idea that it is perfectly OK to reach for a bottle or a pill when things get heavy. Children are careful observers and great imitators.

3. Bug us a little. Be strict. Show us who’s boss. We need to know we have some strong supports under us. When you cave in, we get scared.

4. Don’t blow your class. Stay on that pedestal. Don’t try to dress, dance or talk like your kids. You embarrass us, and you look ridiculous.

5. Light a candle. Show us the way. Tell us God is not dead or sleeping or on vacation. We need to believe in something bigger and stronger than ourselves.

6. Scare the hell out of us. If you catch us lying, stealing or being cruel, get tough. Let us know WHY what we did was wrong.  Impress on us the importance of not repeating such behavior. 

7. When we need punishment, dish it out. But let us know you still love us, even though we have let you down. It will make us think twice before we make that same move again.

8. Call our bluff. Make it clear you mean what you say. Don’t compromise. Don’t cave in. And don’t be intimidated by our threats to drop out of school or leave home. Stand up to us, and we’ll respect you. Kids don’t want everything they ask for.

9. Be honest. Tell us the truth no matter what. And be straight-arrow about everything. We can take it. Lukewarm answers make us uneasy. We can smell uncertainty a mile away. The bottom line is that we want you to tell it like it is.

10. Praise us when we deserve it. If you give us a few compliments once in a while, we will be able to accept criticism a lot easier.

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