Make children earn what they want, US parenting gurus tell Singapore seminar

Parenting experts and best-selling authors Richard (right) and Linda Eyre (left), joke around during an interview with the Straits Times on March 29, 2014. -- ST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG
Parenting experts and best-selling authors Richard (right) and Linda Eyre (left), joke around during an interview with the Straits Times on March 29, 2014. -- ST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG

Stop giving in to children's demands and make them earn what they want instead.

This was the advice American parenting gurus Richard and Linda Eyre delivered in a parenting seminar at the Singapore Soka Association (SSA) headquarters in Tampines on Saturday.

The couple, who have nine children aged between 27 and 43, are New York Times bestselling authors who have appeared on many American national television network shows, including Oprah, The Today Show and 60 Minutes.

The Eyres also outlined three steps parents can follow. First, get the children to think up a set of simple and clear rules, complete with consequences for breaking them. Secondly, decide on a set of rituals, such as weekly meetings on Sunday as a family. These can give children a certain measure of security and comfort, said Mr Eyre. Thirdly, teach children responsibility and ownership by giving them "jobs", such as doing the dishes. Only give them money after they have completed these tasks.

The Eyres' free seminar - organised by Jamiyah Singapore, the SSA and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints - are part of a line-up of programmes to celebrate the International Year of the Family

On April 5, a lecture series on Family Empowerment will be held at Max Atria, Singapore Expo, with 3,000 participants expected. Speakers Dato Fadzillah Kamsah, Prof Dr Rozieta Shaary and Associate Prof Dr M Abdul Samad will deliver speeches in Malay, English and Tamil respectively. Minister for Social and Family Development and Second Minister for Defence Chan Chun Sing will launch the series.

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