Wednesday, November 30, 2011
Okay, I know a lot of people have been very anxious to hear all about my experiences with the Total Transformation program. Well, I am still very much working through the program. Initially, my hope was to listen to one CD a week, implement what I learned, and blog about it. However, it's not that simple. I have been listening to the CDs, and they are so full of information that I cannot possibly digest everything just listening to the CD once. Then there are the workbook pages to fill out, then there is LIFE! LOL
Let me start out by saying that I had heard about this program for years before I got a chance to try it. I always wondered if it really was as great as it sounded. I even got online and tried to find reviews of it, but wasn't having much luck. I found a few positive ones, but they seemed to be affiliates. I found one negative review, one, and it was by a guy who never even had used or even seen it! I was just dying to know what it was all about, but it seemed to be the world's best kept secret. (Which isn't actually true, you can even get a free parenting newsletter.)
I really honestly thought that Total Transformation was just some money making scam. Then I got the program and watched the DVD. I might have heard it before, but I didn't remember that the creator of the program, James Lehman, was actually a very troubled youth. He was a heroin addict and even served prison time. So, I guess this guy knew something about troubled kids. (Sadly, I also learned that James Lehman passed away last year.) He also worked for years as a Childhood Behavioral Therapist.
I liked James Lehman and the program right away. Yes, he does take more of a tough love approach than I am used to using. I am not tough. At all. I am a wimp. Or was. LOL I'm learning. Here's just one thing I've learned. I'm a negotiator. Here's a real life example: I had to run a few errands and told my youngest son, Baber, that if he had his whole list done when I got home he could have a reward. (I actually forgot now what it was. LOL) Anyway, I got home and it wasn't done. Old Me would have renegotiated and told him he could still get the reward if he did it in "x" amount of minutes. New Me simply told him that he didn't do what I'd asked and wouldn't get the reward. Period. He tried to renegotiate, but I held my ground. If I keep it up, he'll soon know that I say what I mean, and mean what I say. Simple, perhaps obvious, but I was always negotiating and renegotiating. Yes, things were getting done, but not when they needed to be done, and every one of my kids seems to have a future in law.
Well, I'm getting ahead of myself, so let me back up a bit. I've watched the DVD, listened to the first three CDs, did the workbook pages that go along with the first three CDs, and listened to the Bonus CD. The program starts out by explaining the "whys" of your child's behavior. Then the program goes on to explain how different parents respond to bad behavior. I pretty much knew where I was having trouble, I knew I was a wimp. Then, and here's the part I like, James Lehman explains exactly how to change wrong parenting patterns which will, in turn, change wrong patterns of behavior in children. That's the plan, anyway! So far I have taken so few baby steps, I can't say I've had a total transformation with any of them, but I do think I am on my way.
I will share just one more thing I learned. I have always tried to get inside my kids' heads when they did something wrong, especially if it was something, well, shall we say, uh, stupid? Yeah, my kids do some things that are really just kinda dumb, and I am left scratching my head. So, I ask them why. Why? Why? Why do they do these things? Well, James Lehman doesn't recommend asking why. When you ask a child "why" when he does something that is clearly wrong, and I mean when you know that your child knows it was wrong before he even did it, you are actually implying that there is a reasonable explanation. Otherwise, why would you ask for one? He explains it much better than I do, but it made total sense to me. Of course! There is no reason "why" they did what they did other than they chose to break the rule. That is all you need to know. If you are doing the program you will have a pre-determined consequence for breaking the rule. If you follow through with that you won't need to ask why, because if you are consistent, the behavior will end! (Okay, not making a promise here, but stating a general principle.)
I do have to share one more thing I learned. It was kinda eye-opening. Since listening to this program, I have had a few incidences with the kids. I've actually figured out that a couple of my more difficult children (Did I just say that? LOL) naturally have been using these very techniques on me! Here's one of them: When someone starts to argue, walk away. My son did this very thing the other day. I was upset about something and started to lecture him. He turned and walked out of the room and into the basement. What?! You know, it worked! The discussion stopped. I totally felt defeated, and though I don't know for sure, I can only guess that he felt quite in control of the situation. Now, just to be the one to walk away first. LOL
My youngest son likes to walk away too, but not until making his demand. He says it like he means it, walks away, and just expects it to happen. The other day I was getting ready to give him peas with dinner. He looked at me and calmly and firmly told me, "I don't want peas." Then he walked away with authority. I actually had to talk myself into making him eat the peas because he spoke with such determination and conviction. Then, when I gave him his dinner he said very calmly, and again, with determination and conviction, "I said I don't want peas." Again, I had to take a deep breath and talk myself into giving him the peas! (I tend to avoid confrontations, can you tell?) In both of these cases, I kinda had to chuckle to myself. I mean, maybe I don't need James Lehman; I could learn from these kids!
Anyway, like I said earlier, I am not done with the program. I am really just still taking it all in. I have realized that the name of the program refers a whole lot more to me, than to my children. I do have a lot of bad parenting habits that I need to break, or I could say, that need a Total Transformation. It won't happen overnight. It's not magic. I can't guarantee yet that it works, but I am sure liking what I see so far. The few things I have been able to implement have seemed to work. I'm pretty much already a believer.
Is the program really anything new? No, I imagine that most of this info is really just common sense that could be gleaned elsewhere. Why buy it then? Well, it's just so well put together. All the information is organized for you to work through, step by step. There are the CDs, the workbook exercises, and there's even additional support you can get with the free newsletter and the parenting hotline. (Once you get the program you can, for an additional fee, get access to a parenting hotline that you can call to get help in any situation.)
Are you interested yet? Here is a link to the program:
Child Discipline Methods – http://www.thetotaltransformation.com/
Here's where you can get the free parenting newsletter:
I needed to get this review up today because I was asked to have it done by December 1. However, I will be continuing to use the program and, God willing, will continue to blog about my progress!!! I hope you'll stay tuned!
"Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."