If your child is a Rotten Brat, it’s all your Fault

finger in faceBad News:   If your child is a Rotten Brat, it’s all your Fault

Good News:   If your Child is a Rotten Brat, it’s all your Fault

How your children act is a direct result of your parenting. That’s great news as it means that if they are rotten brats today you have the power to turn that around.

When coaching I often tell parents that the only other relationship that’s even close to parenting is a sports coach. A great coach explains the rules of the game, enforces the rules, and bonds with and encourages the kids.

Could you imagine a child arguing the rules of baseball?!:

I don’t wanna run around all the bases, I just

wanna run to 1st base then back home for a home run!!!!

Waaaaaaaa … !!!!”

Would a coach allow that? Of course not. Yet why on earth would you allow your children to argue bedtime, mealtime, manners?!

Kids who don’t respect their parents often respect other adults. Most of my clients say their children are great with the teacher and other adults, just horrible with them. That’s great news as it means they’re not really rotten, they just need leadership.

Children who don’t respect their parents don’t have self-respect. 

I don’t really believe that children are capable of being rotten brats. They’re just reacting to the lack of leadership in their lives. The reason I know this is that I was never asked to work with angels, I specialized in troubled kids/teens and never had a problem with any one of them. Sure, some took longer to come around, but they all did eventually.

All kids respond beautifully to strong leadership, love and boundaries.

So if you’re struggling with parenting now, please don’t put up with it any longer. I don’t want that for you OR your kids.  I have a free “3 Step Parenting Plan” included in my newsletters which outlines how to get started with discipline.  Just sign up at the top right of this page.  It’s simple and easy to use.  

Sign up to my Newsletter (above right) to get your FREE “3 Step Parenting Plan”.  I use this with all of my clients as a visual tool to get organized with discipline, rules, etc.

Lisa Bunnage, Parenting Coach

Help! My Toddler’s Not Normal!

How can you tell if your toddler is normal or not?  LOL, let me re-phrase that.  How can you tell if your toddler is just testing boundaries or really headed down the “nightmarish frightening brat syndrome” path.

You’d be surprised how many parents are terrified that their toddler’s outbursts are a sign of something much worse and want clarification.

It’s really not about what they do, but rather how you react.  Most little ones will test boundaries.  Some will continue to do so even though they know for certain their behaviour is only going to get them into trouble.

          Let me tell you about an experience I had with my son when he was 2.  I called my then husband and said, “That’s it, our kid’s a moron, I’m convinced there’s something really wrong with him!!!”  So what was he doing?  He was in the sandbox in the yard throwing rocks over the fence into the neighbour’s yard.  I was in the kitchen watching him and he’d look over toward the house to see if I was watching but couldn’t spot me hiding behind the towel (LOL) then he’d throw a rock over the fence.  Well, I’d go tearing out there all angry and drag him down to the neighbour’s yard to look for the rock he’d thrown.  He’d be crying and then I’d take him back to the yard and remove a favourite toy to further drive my point home.  Okay … fixed right?

Nope.  He’d do the exact same thing over and over.  He was a smart kid, was doing puzzles that kids twice his age couldn’t do, could reason through problems at a very advanced level.  Yet that day I was convinced he was a complete moron!!!  I thought, “What the heck is wrong with him?  What the heck am I doing wrong?!!!”

He was my first kid, I was still in training even though I’d worked with tons of other kids at that point.  What I realized was that there was nothing wrong with him other than the fact that he was 2 years old.  It’s normal for them to test the waters, get the undesired effect, then to continue to test.  In my son’s case, he loved throwing rocks over the fence.  That drive was stronger than his fear of me, at least for a little while.

The reason I kept leaving him to continue throwing the rocks was because I believe in lessons and I was determined for him to learn one that day.  Yes, he eventually learned and, much to my surprise, never threw a rock over the fence again.  Guess the 5-6 he already threw were enough to make him realize that maybe his fear of me dragging him to the neighbour’s was stronger than the joy he got out of the rock throwing.  Who knows, who cares?  I just learned that they don’t always click in right away.  You just have to keep being consistent and wait them out.

So before you have your 2 year old committed to an institution, or yourself, think about the above.  They’re just tiny little people with tiny little brains.  They’re in training … and so are you.  Be patient, they’ll eventually come around … then you’ll have to worry about the teen years … but that’s another blog :).

Lisa Bunnage, Parenting Coach

Thanksgiving Potty Training

Cold weather potty training is more of a challenge as you can’t just pull over to the side of the road with a porta potty when nature calls.  But, with the Thanksgiving long weekend coming up you have a great opportunity to get all the training done at home over that extended weekend.  You can potty train in just 2 days but having that extra day or 2 takes off some of the pressure to get it done quickly, especially if they’re back in daycare Monday morning.

If you are going to potty train over Thanksgiving and having family over, make sure you leave the toilet decorated, fun for all.  Your guests can all help encourage the whole potty training party theme.  Leave up the balloons, etc., etc.

Potty training is nowhere near as stressful for your toddlers as it is for you.  They’re fine with it, they feed off your energy though.  If you’re stressed and unsure of the whole process, they’re going to pick up on that and potentially find it more difficult.

By setting up the whole party theme for potty training you are instantly respecting your toddler’s world.  They’re very visual and in constant search of fun.  If being on the toilet is fun, then that’s where they’ll want to be.  Remember to keep certain toys or entertainment just for potty time.  I’ve even had clients who’ve set up a little TV with video games in the bathroom, or had a porta potty by the TV so that if they want to play a video game or watch TV, they have to sit on the potty for same.

Be positive, fun and creative … your toddler’s potty training success will be the reward.

Lisa Bunnage, Parenting Coach

It’s all in my book:  “Potty Party Manual:  Potty Train in 2 Days”