Tired of your kids not listening to you? Are you expecting too much of them? As a seasoned parent, I know how frustrating it can be when kids just don't want to listen. Perhaps you are treating them like property rather than team members. Kids are more likely to listen when they feel they are a part of something. Always remember your kids are team members, not property.
Be the boss without being condescending. Just because you are in charge does not mean you should take advantage of this position. Yes, children should be taught to listen to their parents and respect their elders. But there is a big difference between expecting good behavior and demanding perfection. There is no need to make children feel scared or unworthy to get them to behave. In fact, doing so is likely to create the opposite effect you are looking for.
Kids are people, not robots. They are living, breathing beings with their own thoughts and opinions. While it may not be what you'd like, children will speak their minds and should be allowed to. This doesn't mean they should run amok. But they also should have a say in some things. They are not robots who can just be ordered to do something and it's done. There is a learning and growing process and there will be bumps along the way. The goal of a parent is not to create a robot, but someone who knows how to make wise choices.
Listen to your kid's choices. They might have a good point you didn't think of. Just because your child does not agree with you does not mean he is wrong. Listen to what he has to say. Perhaps he has a valid point. Speaking one's mind is not the same thing as misbehaving. It doesn't mean he wants to go against you. It just means he wants you to listen to his viewpoint.
Be understanding, even if you don't choose their option every time. Whether your child's view is one you agree with or not, just listen. If you never hear him out, he will think you don't care what his thoughts are and he will have a valid point. Understand and respect your child's opinions. Being understanding does not always mean being in agreement. But it does mean considering more options than your original one. There are times you will need to form a compromise.
Your goal is not to create your clone. It is to teach your child to be a productive member of society in their own unique way. A good parent/child relationship is one where both parties are working together as a team. Remember that your child is not property. You have responsibility to raise him, but ultimately each person is in charge of himself.
Note: The author's positive parenting method has evolved into what she calls Upstream Parenting.
*I originally published this via Yahoo Contributor Network
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