Are your kids driving you crazy with their demands and whining?
No matter what you ask of them, you get resistance. They’ll keep pestering you for what they want and if you so much as hesitate, they throw a tantrum.
Nooooo…I don’t want to go to bed right now, I want to stay up with you.
Nooooo…I hate vegetables, I want ice cream instead.
I don’t want that yucky cereal I want THIS one!
I don’t want to go with you to the store with you, I want to stay here and play!
Maybe it’s to the point that you say yes or just let them have what they want just to stop the screeching and circumvent the tantrum.
You know it’s probably not the best idea, but you just don’t have the patience anymore. You’re exhausted.
Plus, you hate being so negative with them all the time, always telling them no. And most of all, you just want to maintain a semblance of peace in the house.
If this describes you, you’re in the right place. Because you’re about to read something that will make you feel a WHOLE lot better about parenting and help you get your sanity back.
Ask yourself: How would you describe your parenting style and why do you suppose you’ve adopted that style?
Maybe even before you had kids, you decided that you didn’t want to be the heavy-handed authoritarian type parent because that’s how YOU were raised and you didn’t like it.
You didn’t appreciate that your parents never asked for your input and would tell you to do things because they said so.
So you decided you would run a more democratic household. You’d ask your child to decide on what they wanted to do based on what THEY prefer, not always what YOU wanted.
Maybe you grew up in a household where there were a lot of punishments and yelling and screaming, so you told yourself that you’d be a compassionate parent, a calm parent, a “nicer” parent.
However, it’s apparent now that whatever “style” of parenting you adopted for whatever reason, it’s just not working.
There are many styles of parenting, according to Dr. Pat Love, a licensed Family and Marriage Therapist and best-selling author.
Most parents want to offer their kids love, support and structure. It’s the “structure” part that some parents misunderstand. Some parents have a family structure where kids are on an equal tier with parents and that’s a mistake.
“Kids will fight for control but you need to be the boss. Because a child who runs the family, who makes the decisions, who pleads and throws a tantrum or begs or connives or manipulates to get his or her way is an anxious child.”
The reason they’re anxious is because you have a hard time saying “no,” making decisions for them, or sticking to your boundaries.
They’re anxious because they don’t sense that you are in charge.
“Love and structure is in the child’s best interest. But you’d be surprised how many parents have been in my office who say, well, I just can’t stand for my child to be upset with me.”
If you don’t like it when your child gets upset with you, it’s because you may see your child as your “buddy.” Or it’s because you rely on your child’s happiness as a gauge of your own emotional wellbeing. In other words, when your child is upset, you are upset.
When that occurs, you may say “yes” far too often when your child makes demands that aren’t always in their best interest. You know they need to eat healthy meals but you let them ruin their appetite with junky snacks. Or you allow them to stay up late with you because you like the company or don’t like bedtime battles.
The result is that your kids are making the decisions, refusing to accept “no” and YOU are being run ragged and losing control of your kids and your sanity.
The last thing you want as a parent is to create an atmosphere in your home where your child is acting out because deep down, they feel anxious.
That’s probably never been your intention. Parents only want what’s best for kids, and you’re no exception.
But sometimes the things we think we’re doing to be “good parents” run counter to what we are hoping to achieve.
You want your kids to feel safe and loved, supported and protected.
But if you are gauging your effectiveness as a parent on how happy your kids are with you and your decisions, that’s a big mistake.
“If you’re doing parenting right, your child is going to be upset with you a significant percentage of the time,” says Pat.
“Even though they’ll fight for the right to do it, they really need us to be the bottom line boss. Of course you get their input. Of course you validate their feelings, but you make a decision on what’s best for their maturity, structure, protection and what is going to enable this child to grow and develop in the most optimal way.”
Pat says that it might feel difficult at first, because children have access to so much technology and information that they can seem precocious and can out-argue you and even sound mature because of verbal acuity at a younger age.
But they’re not mature and they’re not ready to make decisions for themselves. They still need you to take charge and be the adult, because despite what you may think, their brain won’t mature until closer to age 30, according to Pat.
Furthermore, Pat says that kids who are given privileges they’re not emotionally equipped to handle teaches them the wrong thing—that their needs and wants are more important than anyone else’s.
“And that builds entitlement.”
Even more reason to reexamine how you’re approaching parenting and whether you’re getting the results you’re hoping to achieve.
After reading this article, you may agree that it’s in your kids’ best interest for you to be clearly and firmly in charge, so they don’t feel anxious and throw tantrums.
But how do you manage your kids if they’re used to you saying “yes” a lot? How do you discipline your kids in a way that’s NOT heavy-handed or punitive?
That’s a GREAT question, and one that many, many parents have as well.
That’s why we decided to turn to some of the world’s top experts and get their insights and advice on how to avoid the most common mistakes with parenting, and what to do instead.
When you subscribe to our free expert advice newsletter, you’ll get information-rich articles delivered to your inbox, with tons of actionable tips and specific advice to help you make positive changes in your parenting approach. These are articles by psychotherapists, authors, speakers and experts with decades of real-world experience working with families.
You’ll get articles from how to avoid some of the most common mistakes parents make and what you can do today to make sure you’re raising kids who will become happy, successful adults.
You’ll learn how to get your kids to cooperate without punitive time-outs and harsh punishments (which don’t work anyway), so you can finally end the tantrums and battles and create more harmony in your home.
You’ll hear how to tell your child “no” in a way that’s kind and firm, so you’re still able to maintain your boundaries while training your child to strengthen their “disappointment muscles.” This trains them that they will survive, even if mom and dad can’t give them everything they want, when they want it.
You’ll hear about the importance of self-care and giving yourself a break in order to be a better, calmer parent for your kids. You’ll get both short-term quick stress busting tips and longer-term strategies for maintaining YOUR wellbeing as a parent.
You’ll also learn:
And much more…
Our goal in creating this program was to help parents see that what they’ve been doing is not only making their jobs as parents more difficult, but that it’s often having the opposite effect of what they’re hoping to achieve with their kids.
Once you learn the secrets, you’ll be so relieved and your kids will be much happier.