a handbook for parents and kids
My Daughter Does Not Want To Clean Her Room 10
Do Children Need to Be Told About God? 13
A Listener Asks: Frequently Asked Questions 16
Love is Patience 26
Love & Understanding – the Healing Force Between Parents and Kids 28
The Miracle of Love and Patience 38
Overcoming Learning Blocks 42
Absent Dad Disorder 47
My Daughter Does Not Want to Clean Her Room, Part 2 50
Coach Roland's Guaranteed Tips for Stress Free Room Cleaning and Other Fun Activities 55
My Husband and I Argue All the Time In Front of the Kids – Should We Get Divorced? 61
Beyond Rebellion and Conformity 72
Could Your Problems Have a Basis In Emotions? 75
Be Ye Not Conformed to the World 78
Overcoming Stress 83
How Shall We Live? 86
Overcoming Addiction 88
Guilt for Resenting Parents Is Often a Factor in Why Teens Turn to Alcohol and Drugs 90
Video Games for Christmas – No Way! 93
The Antidote to Tantrums – It's Called Patience 95
Raising Kids Without Pressure 98
How Important Is Dad Part 1 102
How Important Is Dad Part 2 107
Are There No More Good Men Left 112
My People Perish for Lack of Knowledge, What's Wrong with the Family 116
Good Dads and Fathers We Need Them More than Ever 121
What has Come Between Parents and Kids? 124
Cherish and Protect the Spontaneity of Your Children (And Refinding Your Own) 136
Coping with Manipulating and Confusing Parents 143
My Son Doesn't Listen to Me 148
Advice to Divorced Moms 153
Coach Roland Talks to Dads 161
The Authority of Love 170
How to Become Free Indeed 177
How Can I Motivate My Child to Clean Her Room?
Answer: Don't even try. Children are not trained seals or wind up toys. Children are little people with souls. Remind her to clean her room. Keep reminding her if needed. Even if you have to remind her a thousand times, it is better than pressuring or bribing.
By reminding her, you are giving her the space to eventually one day see the wisdom of cleaning her room. When she sees it for herself and then moves from that insight, she will be independent and self directing.
It would be easy for you to threaten her, yell at her or punish her into cleaning her room. But then she would be forced to conform to your impatience and pressure or rebel against it. You would thus have created a conformist who gives in to pressure or a person who rebels against it.
If you bribe her to perform, then again, you would most likely be making her into a person who needs to be rewarded to function. You would effectively be robbing her of self motivation.
We all like to be free to see things for ourselves and do what is right without being manipulated or pressured.
Keep reminding her (without emotion or impatience), even if it takes a thousand reminders until the day comes that she begins to do it on her own. When that day arrives, she will be doing out of seeing what is wise and moving from self motivation. She will be free to do what is wise without bribe or punishment. She will be grateful for your patience.
With little children, a chore, like room cleaning, can be made into a game. When my son was about 10, we had a game where suddenly one of us would announce a surprise "official room inspection." There was a 10 cent fine for any "infraction." Usually he announced first, inspected my room and found several infractions.
Then I would wait until I secretly knew he had cleaned his room. I would then announce the inspection and make a big deal about how I was going to find lots of things (though I secretly knew I wouldn't). When I got to his room, the inspection found nothing! It was great fun, and it made it into a light hearted thing.
Maybe you could just do it together (even if you end up doing most of the work). Always remember that for little kids, work equals play.
I notice that when I clean my room, it isn't long before I discover that my son is cleaning his room too. I pretend I not to notice and I just go about my business without making any comment (though I am secretly delighted).
When kids get older, they suddenly begin to take an interest in cleaning the car (when they will soon be driving), cooking, having a neat desk, and so on.
Be patient, set a good example. Don't make it too important. It will all work out in the end.
Actually, little children already know deep down that He exists. They know it wordlessly. The little child is compatible with good. Children love the good and see it everywhere, even in their doll and stuffed animals.
Just because a child does naughty things (which they all do) does not mean that the child does not know about good.
But what the child does need is for what they know deep down to be validated on the outside. For example, the little child can see injustice. If one child is being treated better than another, or one is given more than the other, the child sees the injustice. The child needs the parent to validate what he sees, not contradict, dismiss or deny it. Otherwise the child may suffer from self doubt.
It is therefore good when the adults around the child validate on the outside what the child knows inside. This is especially important for fathers. The father stands in for God in the eyes of the children. That is why father needs to stand unmistakably for what is right.
Here is where many fathers make a big mistake. First of all, if father is violent, he is wrong. If he is a wimp, he is not respectable. If he drinks excessively, smokes marijuana, or makes work/sports/money or anything else more important than what is right, then he is not credible.
Dad must never fail. I know this is a hard teaching, but it is true.
He can't tell the child not to smoke if he is puffing on a marijuana himself. He must make principle more important than popularity. He must love God even more than his wife.
This does not mean that he does not love his wife. It means that he has honor and loyalty above all to his Creator. A woman can respect and even come to love such a man.
At this point I must say that there are Bible thumpers who force religion on others. If you look carefully, you will see that anyone who forces a religion on others is not a true representative of that religion. True religion is a thing of the heart. It is about the relationship between a soul and its maker. When a man has a bond with his Creator, he becomes a living example of faith in action. It is often unnecessary for him to say things outright. His quiet presence, his dignity, his longsuffering, his aloneness, and his courage touch the hearts of others. He validates on the outside what the child knows deep down.
Someday, when the child is an adult, that child will then be free to choose God or the world. By having loved the good in his or her father, it is but a small step to transfer the love for the good in the earthly father to the Good Father Within.
I know this is very painful to dads who erred when they were young, left the family or who were divorced. Getting older and wiser, many a man sobers up, throws away his drugs or booze, and becomes the man that his wife and children needed. Now he is alienated from them by distance. Chances are the wife has remarried.
She may even hate him. The kids are having problems. And his heart is broken. Now he is ready to be the father he should be, but distance and circumstance prevents him.
Such a man must suffer with dignity. He must bear his pain with longsuffering. He must forgive his wife who he undoubtedly resented. He must take responsibility for what went wrong upon his shoulders instead of blaming his wife. He must live a perfect life.
If not married, he would best remain unmarried and chaste.
Know this: the change (if it is real and not just another ego ploy) in this father's soul will be sensed by his children. He will be there in the spirit, even if miles intervene physically.
Things may look hopeless for awhile, but don't despair. With God all things are possible.
My 10 year old daughter wants to read to my 5 year old. Can you recommend something they would both enjoy?
I'm glad you asked. Some of my happiest reading memories are about the animals at the Smiling Pool and the Laughing Brook. Many of us have heard of Peter Cottontail, but have you read the adventures of Little Joe Otter, Danny Meadow Mouse, Unc' Billy Possum, Granny Fox, Bowser the Hound, or Paddy the Beaver? If not, you are in for a real treat.
For decades children (and adults) have been delighted by the stories and adventures of the animal characters created by Thornton W. Burgess. These stories are happy and sweet, and you can learn about animals too.
What other children's books do you recommend?
For starters, The Boxcar Children series by Gertrude Chandler Warner. My son began reading them when he was five or six years old. He was still reading them when he was ten.
The Boxcar Children is a series of books about children who have many adventures solving mysteries. The nice thing is that she wrote several, so there are many wonderful weeks of reading ahead for the child who loves these adventure stories.
When they get older, many kids like the Hardy Boys or the Nancy Drew Mysteries. When they are younger, the Boxcar Children is great fun and good reading.
You can find them in any public library.
Question: My child does not like her teacher. She says the teacher is mean? How can I change my child's attitude?
Answer: Did you ever consider believing your child and finding out what is going on? Children are intuitive and often honest. They sometimes sense danger or some subtle wrong that we parents fail to see. Moreover, some teachers have one face for you and an entirely different one when you aren't there.
The bottom line is this: school wasn't that great when I was a kid, and it is far worse now. Why abandon your child to strangers when you could home school? Home schooling is best, but if you can't for some reason, consider a different school. If money is an issue, many private schools have reduced rates or scholarships for people with limited funds.