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If I Have to Tell You One More Time...: The Revolutionary Program That Gets Your Kids To Listen Without Nagging, Remindi ng, or Yelling Paperback – August 30, 2012
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“A must read! If I Have to Tell You One More Time delivers practical, step-by-step tools for well-behaved kids and happy families.”
—Dr. Michele Borba, author of The Big Book of Parenting Solutions and Today show contributor
“I’ve always said that if parents do their job right, they eventually work themselves out of a job. Finally: the tools we all need to achieve ‘parental unemployment.’ And best of all, you never have to get mad.”
—Wendy L. Walsh, Ph.D., human behavior expert on CNN, cohost of The Doctors, and mother of two
“Packed with clear direction—including really practical tips and simple strategies—for how to put an end to whining, tantrums, battles, and all the rest, this book will be a giant relief for parents who want to bring out the best in their kids.”
—Dr. Christine Carter, author of Raising Happiness
“Spoken like a real mom. This revolutionary program will help any parent address any problem . . . with calm.”
—Hal E. Runkel, author of ScreamFree Parenting
About the Author
Amy McCready reaches a worldwide audience with her online Positive Parenting Solutions courses and webinars as well as regular television and radio appearances, including NBC’s Today show, Rachael Ray, MSNBC’s Dr. Nancy, Fox & Friends, CNN’s Headline News, and Parenting with Ann Pleshette Murphy for ABC News NOW. A regular parenting contributor to the Today Moms blog, she lives with her husband and two teenage boys in Raleigh, North Carolina.
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Here is an example: Amy has a tool called "when . . . then". You tell then child "when you finish cleaning up after dinner, then you can have your treat" or something similar. What she doesn't go over for each of her tools is how to handle all the uncontrollable whining, tantrums and continuous fighting that ensues when you try to initiate these boundaries.
For the "when . . . then" tool, one of her examples is to say to the child "when you load the dishwasher, then you can come to the table for dinner.". What she doesn't cover is what to do when the child refuses to do the chore and doesn't care about the "privilege". She simply says the child will have no choice but to comply. But the child does have a choice: not to eat dinner. Now, I don't really care whether my child misses a meal, but it's one of my husband's hot buttons, and he goes nuts if that is going to happen.
Amy has similar recommendations for ensuring routines. I am big on routines in my house. But I still can't get my boys to get ready for bed independently without playing around, dawdling, etc. I tell them it cuts into their story time, I give them the "when . . . then", etc. It doesn't change their behavior. They just continue to do what they are going to do. They get a shorter story time, but if they dawdle or misbehave so much that there isn't any time left for stories, all hell breaks loose! Amy doesn't give any advice for handling that because I somehow still need to get them calmed down enough to go to sleep on time (if they don't get enough sleep, one or them will be especially cranky the next day). In her book and audio, she simply states that they will learn to comply because they have no choice. I don't know how many times I'm supposed to go through the same drama when they lose a privilege, but I've now been through the same situation many times, and it doesn't change their initial behaviors.
There are other facets to her advice that also seem to be missing. For implementing mind, body, and soul time, she doesn't say what to do when 15 minutes isn't enough. One of my boys, in particular, loves mommy time so much, he wants mommy time ALL the time. I have to be very stern on drawing the boundaries and explaining that I have had fun, but I need to do other things. This doesn't help in getting him to start playing on his own (without bothering his brother) or help him figure out what to do on his own. He's old enough and fully capable, but when he wants more attention, he won't give up, follows me in the kitchen, whining and carrying on, etc. So what do I do with that?
So I think in most recommendations in the book, what is missing is what to do when her recommendation doesn't work right away or the child persists and persists and persists and persists, especially after instituting a consequence. I am guessing her premise is that if you are consistent, then the misbehaviors in reaction to the consequence will end, but when? The book seems to indicate that it won't take long, but so far, that is not my experience.
I do see a little better results using these techniques with my older son (7), who tends to be easy going. For my younger boy (6), he tends to be more strong willed, so he'll just choose not to have the privilege or throw huge fits. I don't give into him (and never have), but I'm still left not being able to improve the initial behavior that started the conflict.