Why it’s time to reclaim control and say NO to our kids


What do you do when your little person repeatedly returns to say goodnight after being put to bed?

And what do you do when your child is about to throw a full-blown lollipop tantrum in the supermarket when you are juggling buggy, basket and a babe in a sling?

Do you bribe them?!

You won’t be alone if you do. Countless parents find themselves making an offer capped with a bribe in order to move on and avoid conflict.

Don’t be afraid to say “no” – and mean it. And don’t ask your children – tell them.

“If you go to bed now we can go to the swimming pool tomorrow. Deal?”
“If I get you a lollipop then can you promise to stop crying so I can finish the shopping?”

But how quickly a rule like “You won’t get pudding until you’ve eaten your broccoli,” turns into “How about three bites of broccoli and then you can get your pudding?”

It’s not easy laying down the law but unfortunately when you choose to negotiate with your child in this way you give up your parental authority.

Over time you’ll lose confidence in your ability to enforce discipline – you no longer have the upper hand and your child is far more likely to be disrespectful towards you.

Allowing your child to assume the role of leader like this ends up in role confusion. We all know that testing boundaries is part of growing up, children aren’t born knowing right from wrong, but it’s your job as parent to show them the way.

Yes, but how do I do it? This may sound mad but the answer is simple: Don’t be afraid to be your child’s parent, the grown up, the team leader, the one who knows best.

Don’t be afraid to say “no” – and mean it. And don’t ask your children – tell them.

It’s never too late to grow an authoritative backbone.

Here are five easy suggestions to help you say no!

1. Set just a few firm rules that have clear consequences. Be continuously consistent, firm and fair, remind your child that they always have a choice.

2. Know your trigger points and those of your child; try to work around them to avoid conflict when you can.

3. Have high expectations and give real value to good behavior telling them with words that explain why you are praising them – “Well done William you went straight to bed when I asked you to, that made me really happy.”

4. Get down to your child’s level when reprimanding them, take some deep breathes before telling them off, try hard to never shout, keep your cool and stay in control.

5. And last but most important of all, give your child an abundance of love, time and attention whenever you can.

Be brave, your child needs authority in their lives, it gives them a sense of safety and security. It’s time to get back in the driving seat!

Good luck!

READ: Why you should let your children be bored this summer… by Lulu Luckock


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