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Teaching our children who is in charge

In today’s world, we see role confusion in our youth. We find ourselves wondering how they can talk to us a certain way, why they argue incessantly about rules and limits, and why they disregard our authority. How did we get here?

When parenting our children, we can cement a sense of authority by using certain key strategies:

1) Be consistent. Enforce the same rules consistently so your children learn what is expected.
2) Remain calm. If you over-react, you teach your children it is ok to over-react. When we model calm conflict resolution skills, we show our children we have self control. When we lose our patience and yell, we look out of control. If we can not control ourselves, we lose that role of authority.
3) Enforce consequences.  Natural and logical consequences are how we teach our children the way of the real world. If we fall behind at work, we either stay late to catch up or face negative reprocussions. when your child falls behind on school work, he/she needs to understand the potential consequences and be part of the solution for catching up to avoid the consequences. Removing privileges and grounding may not be enough.

What do you do to teach your child who is in charge?

Eileen Dummer MA, LPCC
Hutchinson, Willmar, and Minnetonka.