I just finished reading Have a New Kid by Friday: How to Change Your Child’s Attitude, Behavior & Character in 5 Days By Dr. Kevin Leman. I want to be the best parent I can be and my way of feeling like I am doing what’s right for our children is by learning how I can parent more effectively. I am a huge fan of the Love and Logic Parenting Philosophy and was very lucky to have had training as a teacher. Not only was I trained on a number of occasions, but for 11 years I got to implement the strategies with students. I always recommend Love & Logic but like to read other perspectives on parenting as well. Having your own child and dealing with tantrums and arguments is a whole new world. So, after a friend suggested this book, I quickly checked it out at the library.
Dr. Leman sets the book up in chapters by the days of the week (just Monday through Friday). He claims you need just five days to make a major difference in the way you parent and your child’s behavior. The chapters are short and to the point. As a visual learner, I enjoyed the side notes and the reviews in bullets at the end of each chapter. The book is a quick read. The majority of the book is made up of an Ask Dr. Leman section. It goes through common issues with parenting A-Z. This part can be read in whole or referred back to. I found the section on thumb sucking to be helpful. Basically, it told me not to make a mountain out of a tiny molehill. Good advice.
I found other helpful parts of the book being about character development, the difference between praise and encouragement and the importance of helping your child increase their self-worth. The fact that he finds respect, responsibility and consistency very important, meant a lot to me. He also got my attention very quickly when he started talking about the connection between following through and effective parenting.
Here are a few quotes that really hit home for me from the book.
“What is most important in the long run, is your child’s character.”
“Character is what really counts. It’s who you are when no one is looking.”
“Character is not only everything, it’s the only thing in the long run. It is the foundation for your attitude and behavior.”
“If you want your children to be healthy, independent and giving to others, now is the time to start teaching them.”
“Character is taught from those you grow up with, namely your parents. It’s also taught through life lessons.”
These quotes reminded me of how important my job being a parent is. We must take it so seriously! We have one chance to make a difference in our childrens’ lives, why not start now? Another part of the book discussed family time. Making time to be with each other so that your child feels a strong connection to your family. If they feel they belong, they will confide in you when they are in need of advice or support. If they spend so much time outside of the house (even at a young age by being enrolled in too many extracurricular activities) they will turn to the group they feel they belong to (peers) and this could be trouble in the teen years.
Do I recommend the book? Yes! It’s an easy read and I will be purchasing a copy to have on hand to refer back to when the going gets tough!
For more on character development. Read my friend Barbara’s Blog Corner on Character.