Monday, January 23, 2012

Dr. Phil, Thank You

"You've got to do more than tell your child what not to do" ~ Dr. Phil
image via google

I will begin by stating I don't watch Dr. Phil.  I haven't read his books.  I don't read his articles or follow his show.

I'm sure he's fabulous, but he doesn't air on Nickelodeon, Sprout, PBS or the Disney Channel.  Or Good Morning America. 

But a long time ago, I read one of his articles.  Or saw a show.  Ah heck, I can't even tell you where I got this from.

I just remembered it.  And I remembered it was his.  I have kept it with me ever since because it just made sense.  

I have heard countless amounts of parenting advice from countless amounts of people.  We all have.  Everyone loves to share their nap tricks and diapering bravado.  There are recipes to remember and cleaning secrets to try.  As with much of the information my brain has tried to absorb these past 10 years I have forgotten 90% of it.

The best advice has come from my mother.  That I can say with certainty.  

But this advice from Dr. Phil, about "doing more than telling your children what not to do" resonated with me from the moment I heard it.  Or read it.  Or ate it for breakfast.

I like to imagine him saying it in his "twang".

This advice seems so simple.  Of course we need to do more than tell them what not to do.  We all know that.  But we all forget to do it.  And we forget all the time.

"Don't throw sand!"  "Stop yelling in the house!"  "Don't poop on the floor!"  

How many times do we tell them what to do?  How many times do we gently explain what is appropriate?

"We play with sand like this (example), because it hurts when it gets in your eyes." 

"We speak in the house like this (example) because Daddy's on the phone."

"We poop in the toilet like this (example) because..." 

Squash the poop example.  You get the idea.

I will stop here and say I am not perfect.  I am so fabulously far from perfect I could post for hours about all my flaws.  Parenting and otherwise.  I lose my temper and I lose my patience and I constantly lose my keys.

And my mind.

But I have always made an effort to tell my children how to behave.  How to speak.  How to love. 
Even better, whenever possible, I show them. 

And I am just sending a reminder to all the mommies and daddies out there to do the same.  I'm even reminding myself.

Because we're not raising babies, we're raising people.

Happy Tuesday!


  1. Well said mama!!!! So very true. They really only listen when we speak to them not at them anyways.

  2. Another piece of advise that I got is not to make kids say I am sorry when they are not. Instead have them say I was wrong to "....." Thank you for the reminder on helping them know what to do.

    1. Debbie, great addition to this post! I have actually never heard that - and it makes sense!

  3. He has a point. I'm always telling my kids what not to do.


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