I’ve been thinking a lot this week about how to help people raise their kids. I really can’t sit here and say I know what its like to raise kids, because I don’t have any. Still, I do know a bit about behavior modification, and I’ve helped parents with problem children turn their child’s behavior around.
But then I started thinking about the parents that know what they need to do, and don’t do it because they’re afraid to. Then I started thinking “How did this happen?” I started going through decades in my mind, and I realized that something very interesting happened over the course of the last 30 years or so.
Parents got scared of their kids.
“Why is that?” I asked myself. I knew the answer right away. Parents used to be able to hit their children when they got out of hand. The laws changed, and I’m glad they did, because adults who hit children are spineless wimps, but it occurred to me that parents today may have been raised with “spare the rod, spoil the child” mode of parenting.
Which means that if you can’t use the method you were raised with, how do you parent your children without hitting them?
And this, I believe is the crux of the matter. I think a lot of parents are afraid because they don’t know what to do and how to handle the stuff that kids are throwing at them. You wanna know what’s worse?
Kids know you’re afraid, and they use it to their advantage. They know you won’t hit them, so what’s the worst you could do? In fact, a lot of manipulative kids know that the worst that you can do, is nothing compared to the worst THEY can do. Think about anything you could take away from them, and then think about all the fragile stuff in the house they can break. See what I mean?
Now granted, not all kids are like this. There are some well behaved kids who act up every now and then, but those aren’t the kids I usually work with. So here are some ways to tell if your kid is the kind of kid who is pushing limits (this goes for children over 6 and teenagers alike).
1. Gets verbally abusive with you and others.
2. Pushes your boundaries, then gets upset when you get upset about it.
3. Tries to change what you “said” about an issue. Attempts to confuse you about what you said and what you didn’t.
4. Tries to manipulate rules you set up, hoping that your boundaries are really just rules made for bending.
5. Doesn’t care about your consequences, no matter what you take away from them.
See, children are human beings like you and me, and as much as we love them, they still need guidance. I’ve seen many a parent struggle with this, because they don’t want to see their children upset, or they want to give their kids everything they didn’t have. Unfortunately, raising children is not about you feeling better about their lives; its about raising them to make good choices and keep the circle of life going with law abiding citizens.
I hate to make it so scientific, and having and raising children is one of the greatest and toughest jobs on the planet. Loving children is the first part of parenting, and most parents do fairly well here. Its the raising them to do the right thing that makes it hard. It is the challenge you must rise to as a parent.
Are you ready to meet that challenge?
If so, respond to this post! If not….respond to this post! 🙂