PARENTING ; Parents Can Quickly Change Kids' Behavior

By Rosemond, John | Charleston Gazette Mail, August 11, 2015 | Go to article overview

PARENTING ; Parents Can Quickly Change Kids' Behavior


Rosemond, John, Charleston Gazette Mail


This is a story about how quickly parents, if they are determined enough, can make significant changes in parenting policy. The family in question consists of two boys, ages 9 and 8, and a 12- year-old girl. Mom admits to having centered her existence around her kids. She describes herself as a "too big to fail mom. She was a mom who felt she had to do everything for her kids, which may have had something to do with the fact that Dad travels a great deal.

Early on, Mom began allowing the kids to sleep with her when Dad was on the road. Within a short time, as usually happens in such situations, the kids were sleeping in the parents' bed when Dad was home. Since the bed isn't big enough for five people, the kids took turns. Two of them would crawl into bed with Mom and Dad, and one would sleep on the bedroom sofa.

Then the parents attended one of my two-day small-group seminars. They didn't feel they had any particular problems, mind you. They came because they thought it might be interesting. At the end of the first day, during which I devote a good amount of time to the need for a boundary between parents and children, they decided that they had some problems after all. The kids were obedient, well-mannered and did well in school. Nonetheless, and almost literally, there was a gorilla in the room.

Those of you who've followed this column over the years know that I do not approve of kids being in their parents' bed, the exception being when a young child is ill and needs constant monitoring. But healthy kids should not be in mom and dad's bed. …

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