How many times have you found yourself in the middle of a lengthy lecture? Lecturing is the easiest trap to fall into. As parents, we almost feel compelled to launch into a thorough explanation of what junior has done wrong. The problem comes when junior tunes us out after the first sentence or two and sometimes juniors disinterest in our long diatribe makes us even madder, resulting in an additional lecture.

Lecturing robs our children of self-respect. Long lectures are humiliating and belittling and they should be avoided at all costs.

If you have attended a Parenting Matters conference you have heard Megan and I discuss the alternative to lecturing, that is, the simple five to nine word statement (period). Get it said and get out.

For example, if junior is caught in a lie simply say, ” Lying is wrong, you must always tell the truth.” You don’t need to go into the history of lying or the history of what happens to liars etc. Just keep it simple and junior will get the message.

Imagine growing up in a home where ALL you ever heard was, “Lying is wrong, you must always tell the truth.” What would you grow up to believe?… Um, lying is wrong, I must always tell the truth? You got it… And so will they! Keep it simple and give the lecture the boot.

Warmest regards,
Dr. Steve