Wednesday, 29 December 2010

Conceding to Your Children

One of the most pathetic things I see parents do is to concede to their children demands. What I mean is that they ‘give in’ to their children’s demands; they roll over and submit to their child simply because they cannot stand to hear them scream, cry whinge or moan. 

I've seen some big tough adults brought to their knees by a 30lb kid!  I had parents sit in front of me with a 5 year old child (many times) saying ‘well I wouldn’t want him to do anything he didn’t want to do’. Well, how realistic is that? Often I’ve said ‘do you send him to school when he doesn’t want to go?’ of course they do. Why? Because it’s the law. But what if he wants to quit an activity that you think is good for him? Do you let him or do you make him keep going because its in his best interest? 

Many parents I come across let their children quit because the pain of trying to make them do something they don’t want to do is too much for them to bear. This is probably why we get so many people these days doing nothing with their lives because they’ve have been taught that quitting is acceptable. They basically quit everything they try once it starts getting a bit tough. But if we allow our children to quit we are not only teaching them to under achieve in life we're also saying that they know best and fact is they don't! Why? Because they're just a kid!

As a parent we are expected to know best because we’re older, more experienced and better educated. Let’s face it isn’t this the basic qualification to be a parent? 

However so many parents who should know better concede to the wishes of their children when they know they shouldn't but the price they’d have to pay to make their child do what they want is too high for them to pay. The screams and tantrums are too much for the parent to bear so they let them have what they want. 

And guess what happens the next time the kid wants something that her mum or dad can’t afford or don’t agree with? The kid has his weapons already in place – he screams and shouts till he gets what he wants and the more often he does it the quicker he gets it. 

This might seem more acceptable when a child is small and difficult to reason with but as they get older they still use the same behaviour to get what they want. In fact haven’t we all come across adults who do the same thing? Big spoilt babies who bully their way through life because their petulant behaviour has worked in the past when their parents shouldn’t have allowed it in the first place.

So here’s the drill – if your child wants to quit something that you don’t agree with, or wants something that you feel isn't for the best then make a decision about it and that decision becomes the law. 

In your home you make the laws but remember, a law isn’t a law unless it is enforced. So not only must you make the laws you must also be ready to enforce them too. If you’re not ready to enforce your own laws then you’ll pay a heavy price in the long run and so will others too. You'll pay for your neglect and wimpy parenting in fact most of the young people causing trouble for others; getting into crime, drugs etc are the children of parents who either, didn’t; demand good behaviour or enforce proper rules and discipline in the home. When you concede to your child in the wrong circumstances you are potentially creating a monster!

Now this is not to say that we should be completely intransigent, there are times where your child may have a perfectly valid point and you must be prepared to listen to this too. It takes balance and judgement to be a good parent and you must sometimes make hard decisions that your emotions or temper contradict.

So in summary; set standards and laws for your home. Obey them yourself and expect make sure your children do the same no matter how much kicking and screaming they do when they don’t like it. Be fair and be prepared to be tough but also be prepared to listen too.

The upside of this is the quality of the adult you will produce as a result of your firm but fair judgment, an adult who will in the long run thank you for your tough but fair love.

Thank you for reading today and I look forward to speaking to you again soon 

Best wishes

Tony Higo
Chief Instructor
National Martial Arts College
0800 0920948

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