I am about a week away from releasing my first e-book and I couldn’t be more excited. I have been working on this, off and on, since the first part of the year and it is finally done. “What is this book that you speak of”, you might ask? It’s a parenting model called How To Raise Your Kids Without Ruining Them. In this book, we will be taking a look at all of the small mistakes (or at least ten of them) that we make when it comes to raising our children. One of the biggies is simply giving in on discipline. Your children are going to challenge you constantly with the rules that you establish. Do not back down on this. This is super important.
Dr. James Dobson reminds us that “when a parent refuses to accept his child’s defiant challenge, something changes in their relationship. The youngster begins to look at his mother and father with disrespect; they are unworthy of her allegiance. More important, she wonders why they would let her do such harmful things if they really loved her. The ultimate paradox of childhood is that boys and girls want to be led by their parents but insist that their mothers and fathers earn the right to lead them”.
This creates a challenge for us, as parents. How can we earn this right? How can we set up boundaries for our children to function within that are both fair and restrictive? How can we create an atmosphere that allows our children to feel safe? Where is that balance between allowing our children to live their own lives and locking them away in a tower until they are eighteen?
You want your kids to develop a sense of independence. That is to their benefit to do so. However, as Dobson points out, we also cannot allow them to do as they please. When they challenge us on our decisions and we back down, they lose respect for us. Somewhere in this discussion is the perfect answer.
Many parents become responsive to their children and begin building their rules based upon mistakes that their children make. In doing so, you’re constantly playing catch up with your kid’s problems. Once you get a handle on one issue, another one is already presented to you. This is frustrating and causes many parents to simply give in.
Here’s my suggestion. Sit down with your spouse (or whatever support system you have) ahead of time and decide what your rules will be when your children are old enough to be governed by them. Be proactive so that you are ahead of the game. Your children will appreciate this because the rules will always be clear. See, it’s easier to be straight-forward about your expectations when you aren’t creating them on the fly.