Author Karen Phillip believes that parents are losing control of their children. Children are not listening, are not following directions and are not accepting limitations. They believe they run the house.
Who Runs Your House – The Kids or You? by Karen Phillip was written to help parents set the correct boundaries and rules for their children from an early age. The book educates parents as to what boundaries are acceptable, how to speak to children without conflict and how to have children follow directions using a choice that is theirs.
As a mom of six children and a family counsellor for over two decades, Phillip has an abundance of experience and expertise on parenting. In Who Runs Your House – The Kids or You?, Phillip presents many tips in redirecting a child's behaviour using simple yet effective techniques that minimise the conflicts parents experience with their child. By learning easy to use language and directions, parents can learn to redirect a child's behaviour quickly and with minimal effort.
Phillip's helpful and necessary tips allow parents to enjoy their children everyday by reducing conflict and anger. Through speaking about how to be a good role model in their children's lives, Phillip assists parents in getting their enjoyable, calm life back with their happy children.
Who Runs Your House – The Kids or You? gives power back to the parent and permission for parents to be supportive in a loving manner.
Karen Phillip has Master Qualifications as a Counsellor with a major in Family Therapy. She has been a family counsellor for almost two decades and is the mother of three children and three stepchildren. Karen is an expert in the field of parenting and family counselling.
Who Runs Your House – The Kids or You?
Author: Karen Phillip
Question: Why did you decide to write Who Runs Your House – The Kids or You?
Karen Phillip: Unlike driving anyone can become a parent and there is no test or requirement to be one I have worked for many years assisting families who were experiencing problems with their children's behaviour and for a few years under the Australian Federal Government Local Answers Initiative assisting families experiencing problems with their children.
After speaking with and assisting families it was suggested I put all this advice into a book so thousands more parents all over the world could benefit from the advice. After writing for over a year, the book -Who Runs You House, the kids or you?' was born.
While other books have been written about parenting, they are written by doctors, psychologists or academics that have never actually raised their own children 24/7. I am a mother who has and knows the difficulty we parents experience. It is not a matter of seeing a child in an office for 15 minutes before making up a list of rules on how a parent should manage them. I find this rather insulting to parents. Parenting is a full time and challenging job, I have simply written from firsthand experience about what works, quickly and easily and this has been proven thousands of times successfully.
This book is a guide and direction for parents. It works for those parents wanting to do the best job they can, the easiest they can and without the usual conflict. It helps to create a harmonious home, with closer relationships between parents and children. It allows the children to feel safe in their environment, to know the expectations and their boundaries. It assists children to grow and develop into independent and confident people.
Question: How common is it that children believe they run the household?
Karen Phillip: Unfortunately very common indeed as this is often exactly what happens. Parents become tired of continual arguments with their children so will often simply give in to keep them quiet. This not only rewards their bad behaviour it escalates their bad behaviour by teaching children if they yell and scream louder and longer, mum and dad will give up and give in to my demands. There is never a calm or happy household where children are in charge. It re-enforces to children that bad behaviour gets me what I want. Children therefore fail to learn self control over their emotions, fail to learn boundaries and grow into teenagers who are out of control and defy any authority.
Parents have become fearful of what they are permitted to do regarding managing their children's behaviours. So much negative media about frustrated parents who have tried to manage their child's behaviour who then receive criticism for their attempts without any direction on how to manage it better.
Question: Why does this type of behaviour, when a child believes they run the household occur and how simple is it to fix?
Karen Phillip: When children fail to learn how to live within rules and boundaries it generates a type of anarchy. They believe no one has the right or authority to tell me what I can and cannot do, if someone tries I will kick, scream, yell, throw until I get my way as this is what works.
A home can never be happy with this type of behaviour going on. Parents argue, children run the home; rules and boundaries are not set or enforced. This results in schools and communities being overrun by children behaving poorly, violently and disrespectfully.
Is it easy to fix? – Absolutely yes. All that is needed is for mum and dad to take a week or two to set their rules and boundaries and ensure the children understand these. Having fair consequences for misbehaving ensures the child know exactly what will happen if they do overstep their set boundary.
Will a child react to these rules? , yes at first however if consistency remains they learn very quickly that it is not in their best interest to continue their out of control behaviours as rewards are withdrawn and consequences used. Behaving within the set rules and boundaries, means privileges are earned, rewards are given, and harmony and happiness become common place.
Question: How easy is it to implement your advice so parents can take charge, again?
Karen Phillip: By taking the steps suggested regarding language, choices and boundaries, parents can have control very quickly. The book explains about voice tone and facial expressions as well, all of which assist to achieve the outcome you want.
There will be times when the line is stretched by the child however once parents understand their position, it is easy to get the child back on track, without conflict. Parents, once they understand, get their control back as the parent and can confidently manage behaviours. Consistency is the key, along with clearly set rules and boundaries the child can understand. By using the language techniques and choices, allows the child to feel empowered and with some control and say about what they want to do and this is also important to teach the child independence and responsibility.
Question: Can you provide some advice on how parents can speak to children without conflict?
Karen Phillip: While we must use the word No at times, especially if a child is about to throw mum's car keys into the toilet or stick a fork into a power socket, the word No relating to a child's behaviour can create conflict. I suggest parents usually use Yes to a child's request. This does not mean however they give into the request; we can use the word yes to appease and the child feels they have been listened to, before adding words to implement the actual answer the parent believes is right for the situation.
As an example. A child wants a new toy at the shop and asks two or three times, then starts to escalate the demand. The parent's jumps in with a Yes, I can hear you really want this toy now and yes, I may consider getting it for you and I may get it next week, for your birthday, etc. if you are good and stop asking. The child has heard yes so they are appeased. While they may not get it immediately the parent has opened the door of possibility. If they say No the child may escalated to get a yes, you avoid this. If the child remains difficult as they want it now, the parent again tells them, yes I hear you really want it now however if you continue to carry on I may decide not to get it for you.
The other behaviour management suggestion that works brilliantly is to use choices. All of us humans love to make our own choice, it creates ownership. As an example, you want your child to go to brush their teeth before going to bed, you may say, would you like to brush your teeth before I read your night time story or after you have your drink of milk. Either way the child is going to brush their teeth, no argument as they are the ones to decide when they are going to do it.
Interview by Brooke Hunter