The difficulty so many parents are facing these days is a child that refuses to listen. Can you imagine the pain of watching your child that you raised for years growing up to stand in absolute defiance to your rules? The child that you kissed goodnight, comforted when hurt, and bounced on your knee has grown up to resent your authority. Yelling and screaming only seems to make the issue worse. Grounding is of no use and threats go unheeded. These parents are facing pain and suffering unlike they ever thought possible. How can a parent regain control of a child that has flipped them off time and time again? The answer is found in the power of ‘NO!’
I deal with many parents that say they have tried everything to fix the situation but to no avail. The more I discuss the practical application of the parenting style, the more I find that the parents are not willing to stand behind the consequences they give to their children. Parents will restrict the child from going out yet pay hundreds of dollars each month for cell phones, movie passes, clothing, and fast food. The consequences seem minor in comparison to the blessings the child is receiving.
The first thing I tell the parents that are facing this emotional hurricane is that the battle is not personal. As children, human beings are wired to test boundaries. We touch stoves to see what ‘hot’ really means. We challenge parents when we hear the words, ‘I’m warning you,’ to find out simply out of curiosity what will happen. We are born depraved and it is only by testing the boundaries of right and wrong that we find what we truly believe to be good.
The second thing I communicate to parents is that we are only to be trusted when we live up to our word. If you tell your child that he or she will NEVER watch television again, you are a liar. If you say that they can never see that friend again, you cannot be trusted. Children want the truth… Always! They want to know the safety of knowing that parents are in control and they will test parents to the max to find what a parent really believes.
The last thing I tell the parents is that their child will stop when the consequences hurt. Pain is a powerful teacher. Yelling and screaming are an emotion. Emotions pass. Yelling back will not help. Yelling does not hurt. When your child yells at you, it is not the yelling that is causing you grief; it is the disrespect you are being shown. Let the emotions pass and think of what you are trying to accomplish. You are causing your child discomfort in order to teach a lesson.
When you tell your child, ‘NO!’ you must mean what you say and have the courage to stand up against the backlash. The tantrums will cease, the respect will grow, and the lessons will be long lasting. Love your child enough to help them value the boundaries you set.