You may be giving up your parental authority without even realizing it! You might be reinforcing their less-than-appealing behavior by not acting on your threat to discipline. Lets be honest here, we are all guilty of doing this whether we realize it or not. When showing your children who’s in charge, it’s important to consider the following:
Photo Credit: London Scout
- Follow-through with discipline: When we threaten our children with discipline and then fail to act on it, it tells them that you have no intention of follow-through. If you threaten to take their favorite toy away for throwing it, then you must do it. This will help prove to them that if they misbehave and that even after a warning still does the same naughty behavior, that they will lose their toy for a period of time.
- Do not tolerate laziness: If you are constantly cleaning up after them, you’re only reinforcing the lazy behavior. They will realize that even if they create a mess, they won’t have to clean it up because you have cleaned it up in the past. Work with them on cleaning up their messes daily.
- Teach them respect: By ignoring their disrespect, you’re again reinforcing their behavior and their lack of respect for you will only deepen. You are giving them permission to trample on your rights as a parent. Our son says “Just leave me alone” or “Just go away” and we have to work with him and tell him that we will not leave him alone or go away. It’s a constant battle, but he needs to know that he can’t speak to us that way.
- Don’t let them lash out in emotion like crying and screaming: Children will cry and scream, but if we work with them on handling their emotions, we are able to better control the situation. As parents, we tend to cater to our crying or screaming child quickly especially if we’re out in public. This is your child’s way of you catering to them and their needs in that moment. Sure, it’ll be hard to not run to their side while those big blues are welding up with tears, but you’ll thank yourself down the road when your child realizes that crying or screaming won’t make you cater to them.
- Don’t allow for slow obedience: Oftentimes our child will openly admit that they don’t want to be punished, yet they don’t want to do what we are telling them to do in that moment. Our son’s way of practicing slow obedience is by saying things like, “Just give me a minute,” or “After I finish playing.” They want to continue doing what they’re doing, but will acknowledge that you asked them to do something as well because they think it’s a win-win if they propose an alternative to your initial request. Remember that slow obedience is disobedience, and we, as parents, need to remain in charge. Don’t let them practice this.
If you want your children to grow up respecting parental authority, you need to take back your parental authority and get that healthy parent-child relationship back on track before it’s too late.