It is absolutely a parent’s responsibility to guide their child into a responsible and contributing adult.
It is necessary for you to have some discipline, and not to give your child everything they want, even if you can afford it. You should ask your child to do small jobs for you even from a young age, to participate and contribute. If you don’t, you will foster a person who expects a slave also in adulthood, and you set them for disappointment.
I recently heard a Mother say that she never says no to her child, she always reframes it. Actually, hearing the word ‘no’ is a very normal part of life, and certainly when they go to school and work they are going to need to be used to hearing this word, as they will hear it from others. I have close experience of the behaviour problems of a young man, who rarely heard that word as a child/teenager. He now resents the word and embarks on a destruction campaign towards the person who said it. He is 20 years old!
So, we establish some basics: that sensible discipline and life training is good. What is very important is that you use your parent skills as a family leader, not as a military commander. You want your children to be open and able to come to you without fear with their mistakes, so you have this chance to guide them appropriately.
Lets understand how the 7 principle of how the Commander works:
1. They usually want to know who is to blame, for any misdemeanour. Often asking your children to help you find a solution first is a good idea, asking them to help you fix it or clean it up.
2. Commanders Yell loud and clear! Talking in a calm and rational way to children, even in their most frustrating teens, is a much stronger statement. You can be angry but you still do not need to yell at children, or anyone. Have you noticed they do not respond well?
3. Commanders expect that their children have no opinion, and no ideas. Try and bring out the mind and creativity for useful purpose. Ask them to share a task with you, ask them how they think it should be done. Make the task interesting for you and for them. You will be rewarded.
4. Commanders do not take time to listen actively. When your child needs to tell you something, make the time to listen properly. Actually hear what they mean, not just what they say. If you do not have time to listen right now, the make a time. Better still, schedule a time everyday where you sit down and really listen, so they are also looking forward to a small piece of quality time with you.
5. Commanders ask closed questions, that is questions that can be answered with a ‘Yes’ or a ‘No’ Try to ask open questions of your children, ones where they must give some information in the answer. Eg. Instead of ‘Is that the T-shirt you were wearing yesterday? Try ‘When did you last wear that T-shirt?’ Then go back to point 4 and listen to the answers you are given.
6. Commanders forget the please and thank you Don’t forget it, manners and politeness start with you!
7. Commanders assume they are only in control when in command mode.
Command mode can be intimidating to small children and downright confrontational to older children. try rephrasing things and communicating properly with children. As an example, let us assume your 13 year old girl is wearing a dress too short – Instead of ‘You will not wear that dress, it is ridiculous’, Try ‘ What do you think that men feel when they see you in that dress?’ Start a short discussion, usually they do these things to defy the commander, and will quite quickly admit it is a silly idea themselves.
Parents have much stronger bonds with their children than commanders, and children respect a parent, whereas they will normally defy a commander ( or worse withdraw and never realise their potential!)
Raise your awareness as a parent, and Enjoy Life with your kids! All rights reserved Copyright 2009 Terrie Anderson
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