At the playground recently, a mum informed her toddler daughter that it was time to leave.
The toddler was not happy at all by the interruption and in response begun physically lashing out at mum. There were kicks and hits with her tiny fists aiming at whatever part of mum’s anatomy she could thrash.
In response, mum tried to reason with her by explaining that every good thing must come to an end and tried pulling all sorts of logical reasons why it was really time to go.
By this time, toddler daughter was yelling, screaming and arching her back so she wouldn’t be strapped into her pushchair. The kicking and lashing out continued. Eventually mum agreed that she could play for another 5 minutes.
With all that mum was doing to try and calm her, not once did she ask her daughter to stop kicking and hitting her.
Then there was the other happening when a mum and dad were talking about the fact that they had reached the end of their tether with their 8 year old son who didn’t like to put the ipad away when asked to.
They explained that each time it was time to put it away, there would be tantrums and noises so unbearable that they would keep extending the time limit just to appease him.
I’m not sure what is going on but somewhere, somehow we seem to have become afraid of our children.
We can no longer tell them no without feeling that we have to justify our decision with at least 3 different reasons why and should they challenge each one of our reasons why not, we end up giving in and once that happens, the boundary line has been pushed a bit further. By the time you realise, “I cannot control my child,” it’s hard to know where to start.
Here are some things to keep in mind.
It takes a lot for a child to hate his parent. They may say so in the heat of the moment but that hardly ever lasts.
I know this for sure because I have worked with children whose lives have been permanently disrupted due to something mum or dad did but they still want to see their father or mother.
One pair of siblings came to me after dad had thrown a fire bomb into their house while they were sleeping. This after he had tried to stab mum on a different occasion in front of them. Dad was arrested, tried and imprisoned but during our sessions together, the boys had both confessed, separately, that they still want to see their dad.
Another thing to keep in mind is that we, as parents, are not here to be our children’s friends. You can be close, you can have loads of fun but when it comes to help, guidance, support and leadership, we need to step up and do what is expected of us by them and that is be the parent, be the adult in the room.
We need to keep telling our children – “You choose a behaviour, you choose the consequence.” You as the parent needs to know what those consequences are and stick to them no matter what.
We need to remember that parenting from guilt, hurt or anger usually backfires as does permissive parenting.
Absolutely avoid giving your child power over how things are done and run. They simply don’t have the maturity to manage that power.
Giving in is a dead end game. It very rarely ever ends well.
It’s all about teaching them to do the right thing by others, by themselves and by you. It’s all about setting boundaries because with that comes the security of knowing what is acceptable and what isn’t, encouraging social development and growth.
If you’re finding it hard managing your child today, because it does happen, do yourself and your child a favour and get some help now. Don’t leave it until it’s way too late.
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