Firm Parenting: Calling The Shots Without Spanking

It’s normal to often see a child test boundaries when they are focused on pushing their demands through. Parents on the other hand, will just have to make sure they put their foot down on set rules and instructions.

“When you repeatedly give in to your child’s requests and demands, you risk creating 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.

It’s late in the evening,  your 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, and get ready for bed.” They are not listening to you, or make up excuses to avoid tidying up. It’s easier to accept those excuses and clean up after them. But, going ahead to do so will give them the impression that your instructions can be ignored and disregarded.
Option 1: Announce to your children what grave consequences they will face if they do not tidy up. If they still have the guts to refuse, ensure they face the consequences of disobeying. Do not make empty threats. 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 that little task. Take a firm stand and make it clear to them that there will 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.

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 longer. You are tempted to let them have stay as long as your host is willing. This may be so much fun for the kids, but it sends them signals that mummy’s arm can be easily twisted with a little drama here and there.
Option 1: Ignoring their dramatic protests while packing their stuffs into the car will send the message that this subject 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.

Option 3: Start preparing your children for departure 30 minutes to one hour before your set time. If you’ve told them that you’ll all leave at 6, then leave at 6. This will maintain your credibility as a parent. Stick to your words as much as you can.

Your friend gives your daughter a gift, and you remind 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. If you do not correct that behaviour immediately, you will promote ingratittude and disrespect. Apart from creating a rude which nobody likes, putting up with that kind of response can simply make you lose an opportunity to positively form your child’s character.

Option 1:
If your child does not show gratitude, demonstrate to the child how to be grateful by thanking your friend. Do not fail to model social graces and tell your child to do same.

Option 2:
Collect the gift from your child, announcing that she won’t be allowed to enjoy it 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 him or her understand the need to abide by basic instructions giving by you as a parent.


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“Firm Parenting: Calling The Shots Without Spanking”

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