I recently read an article that focused on what parents are doing wrong these days when it comes to raising their children. It was well-written and spot-on and I want expound on one of the seven reasons they listed as being the reason children are turning out to be brats (their word, but an accurate one). Reason: Quit bending over backwards trying to make your kids happy. Instead, teach your children that happiness is a state of mind.
Quit apologizing for telling your kids ‘no’ (if you even dare to say it at all). Children need to be told no. They don’t need to get their way all the time. They don’t need to get everything they want. They need to know that ‘no’ is word that makes them more compassionate, kinder, safer, humble, and nicer.
Quit instantly satisfying their every whim and want. They don’t need to be pacified at all cost while waiting in line. They need to learn to wait patiently. They don’t need to expect you to whip through the drive-thru every time they mutter that they are thirsty. They won’t dehydrate. Unless it is an actual emergency, finish what you are doing before retrieving a toy, getting their snack, tying their shoe, etc.. They need to learn to wait their turn.
Quit promising treats in exchange for desired behavior. They need to know good behavior is expected—not something you earn from them if you pay up.
Apologizing for discipline, pacifying their want (NOT their need) for instant gratification, and placing conditions on their behavior are all sure-fire ways to turn a perfectly wonderful little person into a little person who is selfish, spoiled, entitled, lacking in compassion, and feeling incredibly insecure. That’s right—insecure. Children raised in this type of environment will never feel respected or accepted by people who don’t bend over backwards to make them happy (which is everyone other than their parents) and will be severely lacking in knowing how to have a real and sincere relationship.
If you think that sounds too harsh, you’ll get no apologies here. What I am sorry for, though, are all the kids out there who don’t know that “No means no” because it’s a lesson they need to know in order to be able to navigate life successfully.
Copyright 2016 Darla Noble. No part of this can be used or copied without permission from the author.