Wednesday, November 16, 2005

How to Get Your Child to Behave

Since Mr. Right did the "how to" in the previous post, I thought I would continue in the same vein with this parent and her inventive idea of how to break her daughter's bad behavior and improve her study habits.

This parent had had enough of her 14-year-old daughter's bad behavior. Tasha Henderson did not like hearing that her daughter, Coretha, was talking back, being late for classes, and getting poor grades, so she decided to try a different tact in getting her to straighten up. They had already taken her out of track and basketball because of her grades, so it was time for something "drastic". Now, considering that I grew up when spanking was the norm, I don't see anything wrong with this, but apparently some people did. Here is what Tasha did:
She made Coretha stand at a busy Oklahoma City intersection Nov. 4 with a cardboard sign that read: "I don't do my homework and I act up in school, so my parents are preparing me for my future. Will work for food."

The public reaction was half praise and half appalled shock. One woman wrote to the local paper with this:
"The parents of that girl need more education than she does if they can't see that the worst scenario in this case is to kill their daughter psychologically," Suzanne Ball said in a letter to The Oklahoman.

Another person called the police claiming that Tasha, who was on the corner with her daughter, was psychologically abusing her child. The police showed up and they did take a report, but since Tasha wasn't breaking any laws, they couldn't stop her. Unfortunately, though, the police seem to think something was wrong with what Tasha did because they passed their report along to the Department of Human Services. I'm sure Tasha will be hearing from them eventually.

One man had this to say and this is pretty much how I see the it.
Marvin Lyle, 52, said in an interview: "I don't see anything wrong with it. I see the other extreme where parents don't care what the kids do, and at least she wants to help her kid."

But, of course, the liberal University professor sees it another way:
Donald Wertlieb, a professor of child development at the Eliot-Pearson Department of Child Development at Tufts University, warned that such punishment could do extreme emotional damage. He said rewarding positive behavior is more effective.

"The trick is to catch them being good," he said. "It sounds like this mother has not had a chance to catch her child being good or is so upset over seeing her be bad, that's where the focus is."

Yes, catching your child being good is excellent for their self esteem, but it is thinking that everything is going to psychologically injure a child that allows these kids to manipulate their parents from a very early age. You have to say NO and mean it and sometimes you have to take a "drastic" step to get the message across to your child. I wear my "Meanest Mom" label with pride because I love my kids enough to say NO and I don't allow them to manipulate me. And, at the same time, they know I love them more than life itself!

Oh, and just to let you know, Coretha is no longer late for class, she is not sassing her teachers and her grades are on the rise!


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