Anyhow, Phil just doesn’t want us to teach our children about the evil dregs of the earth. He’s not just concerned with them knowing how to avoid predators and protect themselves. McGraw tells us to teach them how to live a positive, full and happy life. This includes, of course, teaching children what we know about how to win in the real world so that they too can succeed.
He also advises that we make sure we pick the battles that will inevitably come up as we raise our kids. It’s one thing for our kid to want a crazy hair style and another to be out participating in under aged drinking parties. If you were a parent having to choose between the battles over hair style and drinking which one would you pick? Hair grows back. Drinking does way more damage than good. You’d want to fight the battle regarding drinking wouldn’t you? “I know I would!”
He implies here too that the rules for winning, outlined in the sixteen tactics we discussed earlier in this book, can be used to raise our children. Yeah! We want to teach those tactics to our kids but it doesn’t hurt to use them to raise our kids either, according to Dr. McGraw.
When we want to steer our kids away from having sex at too early of an age or engaging in drugs and alcohol; we are told in this part of, “Life Code,” that it’s not enough to tell them not to do these things because it’s morally wrong! However, Phil suggests appealing to our children’s self-interests by letting girls know what their life will be like if they become pregnant at a young age, the things they will not be able to do, etcetera. Conversations about drugs and alcohol can run along similar lines. Notice the word, “Conversations,” here? Rather different from, “Lectures,” isn’t it? You know what to do, right?
What’s that? Your kids don’t have anything they are passionate about? Seriously? “Help them find something then!” Why? McGraw tells us that kids who have things that they want to do can more clearly see how an unwanted pregnancy, drinking and doing drugs will not fit into their plans. It’s a pretty cool way to make sure they have incentive not to do stupid stuff, Ha?
It is often by talking to our children about the stuff in life that doesn’t matter (fashion, sports, music, etcetera) which makes it far easier for us to talk to them about the important stuff that does. I don’t think it takes a rocket scientist to figure out why, “Do You?” Yup! If you are thinking that it has to do with their comfort level and feelings of acceptance then you are on the right track!
In this chapter of Dr. Philip McGraw’s book we are given some possible indicators of having a child on our hands, who is using drugs, is being bullied or who is actually a bully. The symptoms of drug use are but not limited to; dark circles under eyes, paleness or discoloration of skin, quick weight loss, trembling hands, lower grades in school, cutting classes or school entirely, sudden mood changes and a higher level of anger towards family members than what is warranted or even normal. If they are a victim of bullying the signs could be; a pattern of withdrawal, fearfulness, depression, shame, anxiety, poor self-esteem, unexplained physical ailments, bruises, belongings that are damaged or go missing, trouble sleeping or eating if not both, dropping grades and excuses designed to help them avoid school. If your child is a bully? That list includes but probably isn’t limited to; acting impulsively, seeking to dominate, being quick to anger, defying adults, lacking empathy, displays of aggressive behavior, having things that don’t belong to them and often being highly critical of others.