3 Simple Rules that Will Change Your Life as a Parent

By Marijo Tinlin August 9, 2010 5 Comments   

Family and Child Therapist Dr. James J. Jones has three simple rules he calls “The 3 Nevers”  which are part of his Family Basics series from Family Impact (www.familyimpact.com). They will change your life as a parent.

Dr. Jones developed Family Impact to enhance family life by teaching the correct principles to your children. No more arguing with your kids! Other CD’s in the series offer up expertise and direction on important topics like: Healthy Family Habits, Teaching Accountability, Parent Traps, Kudos! For Kids, Family Basics and much more. He’s been featured by Dr. Phil and Tyra Banks on their respective shows.

Dr. Jones found his own family in crisis many years ago and so he returned to school and earned a Masters degree in Marriage, Family and Child Therapy, and a Doctorate in Counseling Psychology and eventually developed the Family Impact series to help others with their own parenting challenges.

Here are his 3 Rules:

1)     Never Lie – Dr. Jones says in the seminar “Never ever, ever, ever lie” because your kids will never believe you. This means if you say to your child to go to his room for one hour, you do not let them out for “good behavior” after 45 minutes. Even though it seems like you are being generous and accepting of their effort, you’ve made yourself a liar. You’ve lied about what their consequences are. And with that, you’ve undermined your own authority and opened the door for future doubt in the kid’s mind.

“Once you say ‘no’, you have to stick to it,” says Dr. Jones. “Otherwise, you’re teaching them to argue.” He says you do have an escape clause if you’ve given permission for something and later find out more information that changes your answer. You can say that you didn’t have enough information at the time and that because you have collected new information, you must change your answer. This doesn’t mean you’ve lied; it simply means you’ve collected more data and must now change your answer.

Dr. Jones gives many examples during the recording that really drive home the point. He also takes questions from the audience full of parents so you can hear what they are wondering about as well.

2)     Never Argue – Dr. Jones says you must disengage because arguing is a lose/lose situation. If you win the argument, you’ve taught your child it’s effective to argue. If you happen to lose the argument, “the inmates take over” he says. “There is absolutely no reason to argue.”

Your child is arguing with emotion and you argue with cognitive thought.  These are incompatible.

To get back in control, Dr. Jones says you must use “deflector” words that your kids will absolutely grow to hate. These two incredibly powerful words are “Nevertheless” and “Regardless”.

The way you use them is this: let your kid present any and all arguments – “but, my friends are going, and we’ll be home at midnight, and no one’s going to be drinking,” and on and on. You can even encourage them – “Is there anything else?” Dr. Jones says to ask. Finally, your child will say “no, that’s all” and your very simple, unemotional answer is “Nevertheless, the answer is no.” He calls this the “Broken Record Technique.” And it absorbs all their strength and takes nothing from you.

Listening to the seminar, you will see how effective this technique can be with the examples he gives. He makes it sound exactly like all those conversations you’ve probably already had many times over. Now you can learn just how to deal with this situation.

3)     Never Criticize – Criticism is the equivalent of rejection. “Criticism is poison,” says the doctor. And it NEVER changes the behavior. In the seminar, Dr. Jones says if criticism worked, all husbands would be perfect. He says it tells your child (or your spouse) “I like you conditionally but you’re really not ok” – is that the message you want to send to your loved one?

He cites a study that says “No one can live in constant criticism without devastating effect.” He follows up with this comment, “Your child gets his understanding of who he is in life by seeing his reflection in your eyes.”

Dr. Jones says “Your kid knows if your treasure them or if you just tolerate them.” He also notes whenever you are not accepting of your child, you are rejecting them – they go hand in hand.

Now, while you must love unconditionally, you do not have to approve unconditionally. Using phrases such as “This makes me upset” is much different than “You’re being bad,” and Dr. Jones explains why.

Dr. Jones uses the analogy of an innocent child being like a fragile flower. As a baby, your child opens up to you but with every criticism, your child backs away because he fears rejection. People – including children and spouses – get tired of being rejected. Dr. Jones’ advice is  to stop criticizing and start giving love so they’ll open back up and come back to you.

After listening, you will see how simple Dr. Jones makes it for you. And he says you can start to change right now. It’s essentially a retraining of yourself and your family.

The Family Impact mission, from their website: “Family Impact enhances life by teaching correct principles and providing tools necessary to optimize human potential which empowers individuals and families to live a happy, healthy, balanced life.”

For more information about the series and to purchase the cds, check out www.familyimpact.com. Your kids won’t be too happy about it, but you’ll be glad you did.

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5 Comments to “3 Simple Rules that Will Change Your Life as a Parent”
  1. Alicia Palitto says:
    I Would like to purchase the CD box set Let's Fix the Kids. Where can I purchase this? Thanks, Alicia Palitto
  2. Penny says:
    If you find out where to get the cd's, let me know. I have been looking for them also. Thanks!
  3. Frances Egbert says:
    Kristen: I am interested in your cds if you have them.
  4. kristin says:
    Hi! I am a good friend of Dr. Jones and he gave my family his book/CDs "Your children will Whistle While They Work!" I was going to sell it on ebay along with his Kudos for Tots reward chart. Interested?
  5. Nalihda K C says:
    I am looking for a copy of the parenting program made by Dr. James Jones. I have not found a place that I can buy it. Do you know how to contact Dr. James Jones or do you know where I can buy a new copy of the program. Thank you! -Nalihda KC

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