When I was a student in my Psychology class and my Parenting class, I was told that if you are going to discipline your children you have to stick to what you say. If you tell your child that you will take something away if they misbehave, you have to follow through and do it or the child will either not take you seriously the next time and continue to act up or be totally confused with the signals you are giving him or her.
After I had a child, I found out that this was no easy task but after much practice it was the best way to go. When my daughter had her tantrums and I told her that we would leave the store or she would go straight to bed, I did it and sooner or later just a look from me would tell her that I was not happy with her behaviour.
I have to praise the lessons I learned and the education I received when I was young because now my daughter and I have a great relationship. Every once in awhile we butt heads but that’s because I taught her to be a strong woman to think on her own. After collaboration and discussions, we end up coming to a reasonable agreement instead of two hothead women arguing about something that was going to tear us apart. I wouldn’t trade our relationship for anything.
That being said, I was at the Wal-Mart this weekend sitting in McDonalds drinking a strawberry banana smoothie and I saw a mother with her son walk into the McDonalds. She walked over to the four person booth but her young son, roughly eight years old, ran to another four person table and started crying and screaming that he wanted to sit there instead.
After several attempts at telling him that they were going to sit at the booth, she finally succumbed to him and let him have his way. That disturbed me because she was giving him the power over her. Suffice it to say that when the husband and daughter joined them at the table, the son went on to scream at her about something else he wanted to do and she couldn’t get him to stop. The husband had to interfere and speak to his son. She had lost her parental control over the child and this was going to make it very difficult to continue raising her son properly.
That leads me to thinking about when he starts to date and how he was going to feel about other women. Was he going to demand to get what he wants from his girlfriend? Is he going to do whatever he likes with his wife? Sometimes parents don’t realize what kind of mark they are leaving on their children who could possibly react negatively towards other people or to society in general. What kind of manners are you instilling in your kids? What kind of behaviour are you promoting in your children?
When it comes to discipline, you don’t have to be harsh….you just have to be smart. Think of the future and what path your son or daughter is going to take because of you. It may be difficult but the good things in life don’t come easy, do they?