The two biggest mistakes parents make

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The two biggest mistakes parents make

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I find, in my practice, parents make two big mistakes. They get mad, and they give in. What's the matter with getting mad? We are all human. We all get mad, what's wrong with that? You don't want anger to be a part of a punishment, a part of how you are telling your kids what to do. You really don't want kids doing things because they are afraid of you. You don't need it. You don't need anger to be effective. Second, don't give in. This is so crucial. If you give in to badgering and whining and begging and tantruming and screaming; you say, "Okay. Okay. Do it or here take it." What are you teaching your child? You are teaching your child that that's how I get what I want in life. If you think that all of this stuff is obnoxious as a child, imagine an adult who badgers, whines, and complains.

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Cynthia G. Whitham, LCSW

Director, UCLA Parenting & Children’s Friendship Program

Cynthia G. Whitham, LCSW, Director of the UCLA Parenting and Children’s Friendship Program, has been training parents for over 30 years. She is the author of two books, Win the Whining War & Other Skirmishes: A family peace plan, and The Answer is NO: Saying it & sticking to it, which have been translated into nine languages. In addition to her UCLA group classes, Ms. Whitham has a private practice on the east and west sides of Los Angeles. In 2000, she spent a month training clinicians at the National Institute of Mental Health of Japan. A lively speaker, Ms. Whitham does presentations and trainings for schools and organizations. Ms. Whitham raised two happy, healthy, and (relatively) well-behaved children (she thinks that may be the best credential of all). Daughter Miranda McLeod is a fiction author and is in a PhD program at Rutgers University. With sadness, Cynthia tells us that her son Kyle died in 2007, within months of graduating from San Francisco State University.

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