Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Parent : Are you a teacher, a Coach or a rule maker ?

How many times do each of us parents feel the need to explain our reasoning to our children? Almost every time we feel we need to make this attempt to get them understand. Is it that you do this because you want them to understand or are you seeking out for their approval or acceptance? And the result is that we land up over-explaining. But does this really fulfill our purpose? Aren't you over-negotiating? 

This does a lot of damage in the rule setting that we are trying to do. If we fall to this habit of over-explaining it's very likely that kids would want to challenge our authority, decision or your rule. We need to be cautious here to understand that all we are doing here is training them not to accept rules. A simple example here would be when you tell your child " No,you can't do that now," and the child keeps nagging for the same and finally you give in and let him do it....here you have just watered and nurtured the behaviour of not listening to you and he affirms to himself that he can have his way!

So what does one do? Setting limits anything from the "TV and Internet timings," to establishing a curfew, to sleeping on time can be experienced as being told a "No." Some kids get angry and demand an explanation, the act out begins and could turn out to be a yelling match and we land up negating our own authority and there goes another step towards a back talk habit by our kid. 

During parent coaching, I happen to come across parents telling me, "my teen won't take a "no" for an answer." Actually here," if you are giving in, it's kind of a reward for that kind of behaviour, then you "no" doesn't really mean a "no." It's more of,"keep trying."

So what we, as parents need to do is establish authority very early in life by setting boundaries and having a structure. In case of an argument the best thing you can do is to say, " No, I am not having discussion on this," and walk away and never respond to any back talk. Just walk away and if you turn around he will have the power to do that always. Kids do need a bit of explanation but not beyond a point.

The best time to explain rules is when there is a smooth sailing. It can help coach them.The time to explain concepts to your child is when things are going smoothly. So when things are good, sit down and say to your child, “When I tell you "no," "no" it is.  

We need to play the three vital roles as a parent, that of a teacher, a coach and a limit setter. 

Sometimes parents find it hard to set limits as they prefer being friends with kids. I understand that but we really need to a bit of thinking into this. Does our teenager need a friend or a parent to say, "no you can't stay out later than this time." We need to be friendly with kids and that's what we call " positive regard." We need to have that look of , "I like you," and that comforting tone to say, "I understand you," so that a message goes that we care. You got to start early.

We, as parents need to come up with a game plan, with a sound parenting basics. It needs to have a great planning about what you want to do, how you want to teach the to react in a certain situation and most importantly how do you respond to them. 
Happy parenting!! You are doing a good job!

Article in the news paper