Have you got a ‘terrible tyrant’ at home? Do you feel like your toddler or teen rules the roost?
Try to think of your home like a workplace and engage your brain to support your parenting style to create a work space that works for you.
A lovely term to describe this is, ‘Parenting up without patronising’.
It all comes down to your approach to discipline – or your lack thereof! Every parent will know that if you let your child do something once, they’ll do it again. It’s about management and discipline. Work out what lines you won’t cross, and stick to them! No matter how distressing the behavioural objections from your child.
Here are some strategies: -
Stay calm. If your ‘young boss’ is throwing a tantrum don’t get caught up in it. It’s not a negotiation. Be the adult and stay calm.
Anticipate problems. Children like routine; they want to know what to expect and when. You’ll avoid a lot of problems if you give a heads-up to potential conflicts.
Use Humour. As the adult, you have the advantage of great vocabulary, experience and being able to see the bigger picture. Keep a sense of humour and you’ll be amazed at how it can diffuse a tense situation. With teens though, be careful not to patronise or belittle with sarcastic humour!
Give choices. Stay away from yes or no questions. Give choices between 2 desirable options (i.e. the green top or the red top – rather than a top or no top)
Praise. Counter negativity with positivity. Trust us…it works!
Model good behaviour. Manage up by example. Take an honest look at your own behaviour to ensure you’re not a terribly boss too!
Keep it brief. Young kids have the attention span of…slightly longer than flies. Especially with teens – keep it short and simple – no lectures!
Give the full picture. As often as possible give reasons for your decisions. Age appropriate of course – but a simple ‘no’ with no reason is a red flag to most kids.
Set boundaries. Know what you’re willing to tolerate - and get involved when you need to. Don’t say ‘later’ or ‘when dad gets home’. Deal with things as they happen.