The lines of authority in a family should be clearly demarcated. The parent should not only be the boss, but also make sure that the child is aware of that. Failing to do so will confuse the child, as he will be unsure about who is in charge. This might result in obnoxious behavior, which will also lead you to dislike them more. You may feel like you have lost the authority over them. Hence, try to stop acting like a child if you do not want to lose your status as a parent.
Some parents try to be too friendly with their child. However, the problem with such an approach is that friendship is based on egalitarianism. This is not a very wise decision because a parent’s role is different from a child as it involves taking decisions, making judgments and being in charge of the child.
When parents become the boss in the house, there are three roles that they have to strictly adhere to. The first one is that they are the ones to set the limits. The parents categorically need to set the limits in the household for the kids and set out consequences for not abiding my it. The second role will be of a teacher where the child’s appropriate behavior patter should be monitored and improved. Thirdly, there would be the role of a coach. Just like in sports, a coach needs to constantly challenge the kid for them to improve. Good parenthood will depend on how you can blend all these roles perfectly while bringing up your child.
When the child is six to ten years old, parents have a healthy, friendly relation with their child, where they have full charge in controlling their behaviors and the child responds accordingly.
However, as adolescence hits, the tables are turned. The child rebels against any parental authority, and wants to be the boss and try to dominate. You feel a lack of respect and things going out of your control. One of the reasons why this happens is that because in the adolescence phase, a child is developing. He chooses to do things individually and wants minimal parental interference. They feel comfortable with their peers or friends around who share similar development at that time. There will be loads of resentment and anger and inappropriate exchange of behavior patterns. A child can be verbally abusive, aggressive or simply not chose to talk to you. “Stop telling me what to do always” might be pretty rampant and repetitive.
A child should be raised independently. Allowing him to have a voice in family decisions will encourage him towards being responsible and help them make better choices in future. Encouraging their participation will enable them to develop their independence and the kids will feel happy about this. However, a parent should always be clear about the choices you are giving your child. A parent should always be aware of the thin line, which defines the issues on which you have authority and the issues on which even the child can vote. The things on which the parent should have the final authority are safety, health issues, performance, and preparation of adulthood for the child.
So the deadline for your son to stay out of home or the fact that your daughter should complete her homework and get acceptable grades are certain issues you have authority on. Whether they should have a healthy snack or not is your decision, as you have the task of caring for your kids. These are the hard choices and it essentially depends on your opinion.
However, the children can voice their opinions or vote for other matters, which do not concern these four issues. For example, your daughter can say what color of dress she wants to wear or your son can choose the movie to watch for the family. These can be called as soft choices. A parent should honor and encourage their kids’ soft choices from time to time.
During your child’s adolescent phase, the constant battle between giving independence and being the boss goes on. You need to be firm and be clear in your head between what is the hard choice and soft choice. Authority of hard choice rests only with you and you should navigate kids on those decisions.
Kids, especially teens, want control in the family decisions and on their lives so they think they should have a vote in everything. They think they are equal to their parents and argue until they can convince you of the fact. For example, if your son wants a late night out. You need to be firm and clear yourself in the head about whether it is a hard or a soft choice. If it is a hard choice and you decide he should come home early, you have to stick by it.
When the teen gets irritated and questions, “You do it. Why can’t I?” Your answer should be, “We’re not talking about me. We’re talking about you.”
This way the issue remains focus on the kid and you need to firmly tell him why you think he is not ready for a late night out. Always have ample reasons, which involve responsibilities, choices, and decision-making. Also, negotiation with kids should never be dome right after a decision is taken. Always give ample time before everyone calms down.
If kids want to challenge the choices made by parents, they need to behave in the appropriate manner. Initially the kids need to prove their diligence and the fact that they are responsible enough to make good choices and manage time. Trust of parents need to be gained before questioning their choices. There should be no communication gap between a parent and their child.
Do not behave like your child as it leads to bickering and losing of your status. When a child is pushing the limits, have a plan to deal with it beforehand and try to outlet your anger elsewhere by discussing with the spouse, friends or relatives. If you never had authority over house and want to start it, prepare for initial backlash from your children as they will feel they are losing power. But you need to hold firm and be an effective parental authority as this is for the sake of your family.
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