Let’s face it. It’s extremely difficult to parent the right way. Anyone can have kids but only some take the job of parenting seriously. It’s easy to give your kids what they want, and let them do what they wish. It’s makes life less complicated for the parent. It makes for simple living, and best of all, you don’t spend any time fighting against their ideas of what their lives should be like.
Lazy parenting is prevalent in today’s society: If our children are noisy in public other people ‘can just put up with it’. If our kids steal the neighbour’s fruit, the ‘social worker can deal with that’. If our kids don’t want to eat any vegetables, ‘just let them eat a TV dinner’. But is this the way we want to parent? Is this our vision for what the next generation should be like?
Achievement is not a destination. It’s a hard, prolonged journey. Giving our kids something redundant or frivolous just because they want it on a whim (even when we can’t afford it) is giving them the wrong impression of life. This is definitely not referring to love, principles or basic needs. Buying a second phone when they already have one – just because they’re tired of it - is saying that life owes you luxuries. Life owes you every desire and there will always be someone there to provide it for you.
How unfair this is to innocent kids! This gives them the opposite impression of what life is really like.
Combat this: Children should realise from a young age that results come from hard work, and that it’s okay to wait for gratification. The best way to do this is not to tell them, but show them. Show them how to save up their pocket money to buy the things they want. Work out how much they need for toys they have their eyes on. Ask them to work extra chores around the house to get extra cash. Promise to put half the money towards items they crave – if they can save half the money they cost.
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Some parents don’t want to deal with bad behaviour because they think discipline is too upsetting for kids. The fact is they don’t want to deal with it because it takes too much time and sounds like hard work. Bad behaviour doesn’t improve without proper instruction. When kids get older they just find other ways to misbehave. You have to set a system in place for your kids to know and recognise limits. These limits evolve as kids get older, but they have to always be there.
Combat this: Rewarding good behaviour is one of the best ways of combating negative behaviour. Kids react more positively when they expect something sweet in return. Don’t leave bad behaviour unaddressed. Even if you’re rewarding good behaviour, the bad needs to be cited and dealt with. Your kids need to know that other families live different lives from theirs. His/her friend’s parents may think it’s okay for them to swear (for example) but your family do things differently, and in your home – you don’t.
Young children obviously can’t be told everything. Kids are fed information pertinent to their age. Having said this, parents find it easier to lie about things rather than find a suitable way to explain difficult situations to their kids. It’s better to tell kids, ‘I’ll explain this to you when you get older. For now all I will say is…’
Combat this: This is the simplest one. All you have to remember is; kids will lie to parents who lie to them or make them lie for them.
What’s the worst parent cop out in your book? What ways would you advice parents to combat it?
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Anne Lyken-Garner is a blogger and author of, ‘How To Raise Kids To Be Responsible Adults’.
About the author: Owner of JamericanSpice. Sharing my journey in the present, from the past or thoughts for my future. Mom of two who loves to travel and read and decipher people. Please read my disclosure