Today, when kids are growing up faster than their age… and media has taught (warned) you enough how necessary it is to be a nice, considerate and accommodate parent. And you have learnt so well —You have to maintain friendly relations with your kids; You should make them feel heard, valued, and loved; You should give priority to their feelings; Let them speak their mind; Always be polite to them etc etc.
I know you don’t get to spend as many hours with your kids as you’d like, and you want the time you do have together to be pleasant and fun for them. You hate seeing your kid act sad or upset, and they act sad and upset when you don’t do what they say. You want your kids to know they can count on you, and letting them boss you around seems to prove that you’re on their side.
We want our kids to be happy, so we hesitate to tell them No.
We want our kids to express their opinions, so we let them talk back.
We want our kids to be well fed and well rested, so we overlook misbehaviors during dinner and at bedtime.
We want our kids to feel important, so we let them call the shots.
But one day we turn around and realize that we’ve got on our hands indulged, disagreeable children who are rarely told no and eat only five foods. And as wonderful as these children may nevertheless appear to us, we must admit that in many parts of the universe they would be called brats.
And that is the ultimate irony. In our quest to give our children the best — to provide every comfort, every advantage, every peak experience, every drop of self esteem — we are actually failing them pretty badly.
A toddler shrieking in the checkout line may appear to want a chocolate. A third grader rolling his eyes may appear to want chips not the regular meal. A tween demanding to wear a skirt so short you can see her thong underwear may appear to want popularity in peer group. But what they really want are limits and boundaries and consistent expectations. What they want are opportunities to learn discipline, to demonstrate responsibility, to develop self esteem, to earn self respect and the respect to those around them. What they want, deep down, is for us—their parents—to step up. To say, No, Stop it, That’s not okay. To say, you don’t need to act like a brat to get my attention or to get what you want, To say, I love you enough to teach you a better way.
Kids that are not heard fail to develop self confidence, they should have equal right to speak their mind after all today’s kids are smart ! They know everything. Well, your “smart kid” may feel good when the control is in his hands… he may enjoy having no restrictions.
Don’t like milk, pick coke from fridge…You’re a Cool Mom!
Oh! there are wonderful games in mobile and your mobile remains in his hands for hours and hours…You’re a Cool Mom!
These kids apparently may look happy but deep inside they are very stressed. Bad food habits are reducing their energy level, making them lazy. Having tired eyes and tired brain… and they don’t even know why? Messed up and unorganized routine is badly affecting school performance. More the stress more they crave for junk food. School is being a burden now, they want to grab their “sense of achievement” by playing more and more video games. Screen time is increasing and so is tiredness and irritation. And to reduce his irritation and get him back to “good mood” you are doing/giving whatever he wants. Yes, he is smart, he can crack any new feature of your phone in minutes but with all his intelligence and smartness what he lacks in, is “life experience.” He is not “You” and he needs —You, more than anything. He needs someone who can take care of whatever strange is happening to him.
This is how current dynamic feels to your kid:
Imagine that you’re feeling sick and don’t know exactly what’s wrong, so you go to a doctor. You’re feeling pretty bad, plus you’re nervous about all the superbugs being created by overuse of antibiotics, and as soon as the doctor enters the treatment room, you shouts, “see I don’t want any antibiotics.” Instead of nodding briefly, examining you, and telling you what the problem is and how to get rid of it, the doctor backs away anxiously. “Okay,” “No antibiotics. Got it. Here, um”— Try this homeopathy remedy that might help or tell me any medicine of your choice, I can write it on prescription.” “Wait,” you call as she retreats, “aren’t you going to check me out?” But the doctor is too intimidated by you to respond.
Or imagine, that you’re getting on an airplane, and when the pilot overhears you telling the flight attendant that the cabin looks filthy, he cancels the trip. Or that you meet the President of you country and tell him that you think war is immoral, and he immediately disbands the armed forces.
It’s fun having this power for about 30 seconds, right? But pretty soon you’re feeling awful—bewildered by these experts who let you posturing derail them from carrying out their responsibilities, angry at the people who are supposed to be in charge for failing to maintain control, and wondering how you can give up the reins of authority and put things back the way they’re supposed to be. Because you were just looking for a little attention, just trying to assert yourself—you didn’t actually want to be the boss.
Under all her pointing and grunting and ordering you around, this is how your kid really feels. Sure, it was fun at first—fun to exercise some power, fun to keep the grown-ups on run, fun to have bidding done. But now its pretty awful. Because just like you count on doctors and pilots and presidents to know what exactly is going on and to keep you safe, your kid is counting on you. Just like you feel better knowing that someone trained and knowledgeable and trustworthy is in charge of things outside your area of expertise, your kids feel better knowing you are the boss.
Assure your kid that she’s been heard and that her wishes are important to you. Let them fly in sky but also let your little kites know — the string is in your hands 🙂