Read “Have a New Kid by Friday” by Dr. Kevin Leman.


Read it yesterday. It will change your life. It is not a difficult process, except in that overhauling your ingrained habits regarding managing your child way. Kids take to it very quickly.

I have been there, and your son is on a dangerous path to ODD and all that mess will bring him his entire life. I wasnt able to help my own son early enough to stop the damage (much of it took place at his emotionally abusive father’s home) completely, but it made (and makes) a world of difference.

Please try this approach. Don’t try to self-correct. Moms have a softness for their children that makes consistent correction difficult to accurately assess. It is far too easy to let things slide “just this once", and lose any ground we have gained. This approach focuses on letting our children handle the natural consequences of their actions, because that is what life is going to require of them. It also focuses on seeing our kids as the intelligent beings they are, rather than infantilizing them, as society has trained us to do.

Example: We could never get out the door for school and work on time I was losing my freaking mind. Every day, I was getting myself and a 10 and 6 year old out of bed, and then talking us through every step of the morning. Or yelling. Getting the clothes out. Pouring the cereal. The milk. Making the lunches. Pulling the socks on. IT WAS TOO MUCH.

then I read the book and it was like, after 238 days of this do I really think they dont know the routine? we had a talk about time, and all the steps to get ready. I put a “guide" on the whiteboard, linked to time (715, alarm. Get out of bed. Go pee, get dressed. 730, get your cereal, milk, eat, put dish in sink 745 make lunch etc.

we practiced the first morning. them the schedule, me staying the hell out of it. They knew we had to leave at 815, and that we would be leaving regardless of where they were in the process. practice went great. next morning at 815, I had one in pjs and one without lunch. we went anyway. natural consequence. (I informed the office of my madness and they made sure my son got hot lunch, which he HATES. ).

They were ready to walk out the door the next day and almost every day after. Without me prodding and yelling and (unintentionally) treating them like they weren’t smart enough to do it themselves.

Anyway, as the mom of a wonderful boy with a beautiful soul who just happens to have Oppositional Defiance Disorder, causing him psychic pain I would wish on no one, I urge you to act now, and act fiercely. Your son sounds exactly like mine at that age and I would give anything to have had someone hand this book to me then. also that his dad was not such a prick. But that’s another discussion altogether.

I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up, but I know I want it to be spelled right and punctuated correctly. I guess that’s something.

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