Though kids can be persistent about having their way, parents just have to make sure they put their foot down on given instructions. “When you repeatedly give in to your child’s requests and demands, you risk raising a mini tyrant who runs the show,” says Ruth A. Peters, Ph.D., a child psychologist and the author of “Don’t Be Afraid to Discipline.” When you instruct your children at home, monitor and ensure that your instructions are carried out, but if they fail to do your bidding and you accept their excuses, just be sure it’s never going to stop. As a parent, you must set clear limits for your kids. Kids can be little dictators at times, and there are strategies for controlling your little dictator and sticking to your guns no matter what. Following these tips will help you stand your ground and make you realize that standing your ground is a lot easier and a lot less frustrating than backing down.

Scene 1: It’s late in the evening, living room is all messed up with toys, and bed time is almost here. You announce to your kids, “It’s time to clean up, kids.” They are not listening to you, and they resist, saying, they are worn out or give you other excuses. It’s easier to accept those excuses and clean up their mess after them. Going ahead to tidy up after your kids will give  the impression that your instructions can be toyed with, shouldn’t be taken seriously and deny them  good opportunity to act responsibly.

What To Do:

Option 1: Announce to your children what grave consequences they will face if they do not tidy up. If they still have guts to refuse, ensure you implement those consequences and do not back down on your words. This will teach them that you mean what you say.

Option 2: Put your foot down, not giving in to their excuses by providing any other choice or way out of their little task. Take a firm stand and make it clear to them that there’ll be no way out of it.  Children need rules and parents who can enforce them.

Option 3: Start a little healthy competition between or amongst them by announcing that the first child to make a move towards tidying up will get a little reward. This may work if your children are competitive.

Option 4: You may show and encourage them to clean up by splitting the tasks and getting everyone to work as a team. Give them the smaller tasks to do, while you take care of the big stuffs yourself. Having all hands on deck will promote good team spirit, which will certainly help them in future, as in school or at work.

Scene 2:  You visit family or friends with your children; you all, especially the children are having a nice time, and then it’s time to go home. You announce, “Children, it’s time to go home,” but they don’t want to hear it. They cry, throw tantrums, do whatever they can to get you to let them stay. It’s easier to become overwhelmed with their cry and let them have their way, an unplanned sleepover. If you do not put your foot down and let your children have their way, you will obviously be giving them the upper-hand. This may be so much fun for the kids, but indicates that mummy’s arm can be easily twisted with a little drama here and there.

What To Do:

Option 1: Ignoring their dramatic protests while packing their stuffs into the car will relate the message to the children that the subject of sleeping over isn’t open for discussion.

Option 2: Have the other mum tell your children that it’s time to leave but they can come visiting some other time. At such times, it’s best to put your foot down and say we have to go. If you don’t do that, you are obviously giving room for more of such attitudes. All things being equal, insist on leaving at the time you have fixed by preparing the minds of your children a little early before the actual time you plan to leave. This will ensure that your credibility is maintained as a parent. Stick to your words when dealing with your kids. Always compromising with what your kids demand may make you lose their respect.

Scene 3: Your best friend gives your daughter a gift, and you immediately tell her to say “thank you.” However, your little 5 year old daughter replies with a firm “no!” You know you aren’t in the mood for a battle, so you let it drop. In such situations, you do not back down, because if you do, you are teaching your kid to become ungrateful and disrespectful too. Nobody likes a rude child, therefore, putting up with that kind of response can develop into creating a rude child. You are simply losing an opportunity to form your child’s character in a positive way. In such situations, you can tell your best friend to explain to your child that it is good to show gratitude, and also you can always tell the child in the best of ways that kids who show gratitude may get more gifts in the future.

What To Do:

Option 1: If your child does not show gratitude, demonstrate to the child how to be grateful by thanking your best friend. Do not fail to educate that child on the importance of good manners when you get home.

Option 2: Collect the gift from your child, announcing that she won’t be allowed to enjoy the gift until she learns to show appreciation by saying “thank you” to your friend.

On a final note, deal with your children firmly with a mind of letting them understand the need to abide by basic instructions giving by you as a parent.

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