This Week’s Small Change – Develop Your Skills as a Benevolent QueenPost written by simplicity on 21 February 2011
It’s so common for parents to believe that they are respecting their young children by providing them with choices and freedom and decision-making, when, in fact, the power you are bestowing upon them is such a burden to them and can be the very reason for tantrums and defiance. Ultimately, if continued over time, you can develop your little one into the family tyrant.
Communication is critical.
This week, let’s focus on ensuring that we are stating our few requests calmly, providing rhythm and structure (rather than choices), and that we are establishing a high standard in how we want our children to speak to us (your child may not demand things, she may ask with courtesy and kindness).
You are the benevolent Kings and Queens of your home. You provide structure and predictability and a solid knowing of what will happen next.
More parents in our generation believe that their children should have choices throughout the day – about what they want to do and where they want to go. There are times when a small choice is appropriate. However, developmentally, it provides greater security and more cooperation in the child when parents take the lead, act confidently, have clear boundaries, make requests and ensure their child follows-through.
It is so tempting to allow your little ones, with their emotions and their tantrums, to make decisions. It’s amazing how bossy a 4 year old can become and how easily you can let yourself give into their demands, if you aren’t careful. You must teach a child how you want to be treated. Parent out of knowing what is right, not out of fear of your child’s tantrums.
I remember an incident when my daughter was frustrated with her brother and hit him. He said nothing to her and ran to me, “She hit me!”
I told him, “Don’t ever let anyone hit you. Go back to her and tell her, “You may not ever hit me.”
When my children get frustrated with me and start to yell, “I want to go now!” I recognize that it is my job to teach them how I want to be treated. “You may not yell at me. We don’t talk to each other like that in our family. Try again and say, “Mom, I’m ready to go.” ”
Are you giving your little one too many choices?
Are you teaching him or her how to treat you and others?
Effective benevolent Kings and Queens do not allow their princes and princesses to rule the kingdom. Developmentally, your princes and princesses are happier when you confidently and wisely take the lead.