John Rosemond, child psychologist and parenting expert, reminds us to "keep it short"! By that I mean, and he reminds us that in disciplining our children, we need to remember to be concise and firm and avoid giving "explanations" of why! He states that when it comes right down to it, we have to understand that most of our disciplinary actions are not going to be met with "approval" from our children. It's not like they are going to listen and say at the end, "You know Mom/Dad, you're right! I never thought of it that way, but you have a point there. You have helped me see the light! Hallelujah!"
Have you ever heard that come out of your child when you've dealt a consequence or made a parental decision? Well, I hate to tell you: but you really shouldn't expect to, especially during the teenage years! Chances are they'll try to pick a quarrel, or roll their eyes, give a dramatic huff and stomp out of the room, slamming their door once they've screamed their way to their bedroom!
Actually, as teens,they'll more than likely fight us tooth and nail on most issues as they are stretching their wings. What we have to learn to say is, "If I was your age, I wouldn't like my decision either, but it is final!" or "I don't expect you to like this, but I am the parent and you are not, so my answer is still NO!" If we claim that our children are argumentative, Rosemond says, it is because we allow time and space for the conflict to take place...
So often, as parents, we go into lengthy explanations of our thought processes in making our decisions, feeling we must justify ourselves once we have laid down the law. No! We must speak with authority and firmness and walk away so there is no room for argument. We can not resort to pleading, cajoling, begging, bargaining...that is NOT how we lead in our homes. We must be calm, concise and clear! Thank you, John, for this amazing tip in how to reclaim our authority.
Blogger's note: there is a difference between parenting with authority and being authoritarian! Make sure you are parenting with leadership and love. Love is the key!