Guide Them With Firmness & Be Kind In The Process
Strategy number five is to guide them with firmness and be kind in the process.
There are many different styles of parenting, ranging from controlling parents to permissive parents and everything in between. Everyone sort of has a natural style that they want to gravitate to. For example; I am more naturally the controlling type parent, that’s where I’ve had to focus my work. Other parents are more permissive and that’s where they would want to look at as well.
Now, controlling parents fear that if they relax even a little bit that they will turn into a permissive parent and they really don’t want to do that. They really don’t like the idea of that whatsoever, and at the same time, permissive parents fear that if they become stricter in their parenting then they are going to turn into a controlling parent and they equally don’t want to do that as well. So, if you were to find that spot right in the middle, it would be to parent with both firmness and kindness at the same time.
It’s important to do both because when you have one without the other, it opens up an opportunity for the child to misbehave or for you to be misunderstood by the child.
Therefore, if you are too firm, strict or controlling in your parenting style, then your kids could interpret that to mean that you don’t like them very much or that you are a very mean parent. That doesn’t mean that you really are mean, but this is again what your children might be feeling or deciding about you when you are too strict or too controlling.
Also, on the flip side of this, if you’re too kind, passive or permissive in your parenting style, then your kids might stop listening to you all together. They can become out of control with their behavior and starting to think why should they listen to you because you always let them do whatever they want even if you say don’t? I mean, who’s going to stop them?
And again, what they’ve decided about you is you’re not going to stop them no matter what you say so they’re going to keep doing. And again, not a bad thing on you, it’s just what your kids have decided that this means. So, the strategy here is to work on guiding them with the right amount of firmness while delivering your message in such a way that you are being kind and they know that you still love them.
Thus, it’s ok to be strict, it’s ok to tell them no, but you still love them. It’s ok to let them do things and to learn from their mistakes or to experience stuff, but that doesn’t mean that you’re being too permissive. Again, you’re allowing them to have that experience but you’re doing it in a way that is responsible for them and for you. So, of course it can be a delicate balance and this is going to take practice and you’re going to have to try some different things to really find what that middle place looks like for you.
If you’re a controlling parent, what does it look like for you to be more permissive and to find that place in the middle; to be strict but kind at the same time? And for permissive parents, what does it look like for you to actually say no, to follow through with that and to see that your child means what you say and that you’re strict enough to enforce that, but again with the right amount of kindness so that you’re not sort of turning into a controlling parent? So, you’re finding that place right in the middle of parenting with firmness and kindness at the same time.
Yes, it could be a delicate balance and it could take some practice, at the same time it could have an extremely positive effect on your child’s behavior and your overall relationship with them.