Does your child have you wrapped around their little finger? Do they get what they want a lot of the time? NO! Of course not...right!?!?
"It was just easier to give them the toy at the store rather than listen to all the screaming and tantrums."
"I told them they could just watch one episode of their favorite show and then it was time for bed. They wanted to watch another episode and instead of dealing with a meltdown, I decided they could watch another one."
"We love eating at our favorite restaurant, but we can't go there anymore because our child doesn't want to."
Do any of these sound familiar to you? If they do, don't feel guilty. They happen to the best of us. Being a parent is the hardest thing you will ever do and there is no manual. We are all blindly walking through this journey together and are hoping we don't screw our kids' lives up. In the midst of being a parent, especially a mother, we often lose ourselves and who we used to be and become what feels like an empty shell just trying to make it through one day at a time. Kids are an absolute joy, but they can suck the life from you, too. So, if you find yourself reaching for that toy at the store or going against your original demands just to appease your child, think again. What we are teaching them is that if they whine long or loud enough, they will get what they want. The squeaky wheel gets the oil, right?!
In the real world, we rarely get what we want when we want it. In fact, as adults, we over work and sacrifice relationships and time just to get what we want. By giving into our kids' demands we are setting them up for failure and surprise when the world doesn't work that way. We all know entitled people who throw adult tantrums and it's not pretty. Children need to learn perspective from a young age. I know it's exhausting to deal with meltdowns at home or at the store, but it's important that your children know who's boss and that they have a leader. A place with no leader is ripe for anarchy and strife. No rules or direction leads to boredom and mischief.
Save coveted things as rewards. Allow your kids to feel like they've earned it. When they have cleaned up their toys, gone to the potty, done really well in school, worked really hard on a project, then they can have what they want. That's how the real world works. In order to get that car you always dreamed of you don't just go to the car dealer and throw a tantrum on the floor until he hands over the keys!! You work really hard and earn the money to pay for it. And as far as giving up all the things you want to do so you can focus solely on your child?... Well, I have an article coming this week that addresses that very thing. Stay tuned!
by Kristee Mays