It is quite tough to parent nowadays. There are parenting experts advising on how to discipline your children, on how to speak, and how not to raise your voice for fear of damaging your children’s self esteem. Meanwhile your friends, relatives, and your mums are sharing their experiences (with love) about all the shoulds and should nots.
There is so much advice: do this and don’t do that, or you should and should nots… If this is what you are feeling, I am with you.
If you are worrying about if you were to do this and that, would you be damaging your children’s self esteem? Or affecting their confidence?Or they may hate you or be angry with you? Or they may choose to go on drugs?
I understand. However, if you let your fear of possibly damaging your children and choose not to do anything, it can be far more damaging than doing something or saying something.
Let’s look at an example: If your teenager is drinking excessively, and your first thought would be to talk to him or her about the downside of excessive drinking. Or you have a choice to ban your child from going to pub in the future if he or she continues to be irresponsible. Or you can set a boundary on how they should conduct themselves when in the bar… You can act and say No.
Another example: If your child spends too much time in front of the computer or TV and you do not think it is a good idea, but decide to let it go rather than setting the boundaries…Believing that it is their own choice and you should let it be. Yes and No.
Yes – if your child is mature enough and disciplined enough, then that’s OK
No – if your child is still young and in need of guidance of the consequences, then by not talking or setting boundaries around TV time is not enabling your child to learn.
There is a saying ““Parents who are afraid to put their foot down usually have children who step on their toes.” Chinese Proverb
What’s your fear?
- What may have gone through your mind?
- Too hard to discipline?
- Too much effort?
- Don’t know how?
- Fear of confrontation with your children and causing too much tension?
- Fear that your children may hate you for putting your foot down and drawing some boundary?
Your children will no doubt challenge your boundaries, it is natural for them to do so;however, if your boundaries are set on fair terms and come from a place of care, love and good intentions, your children will accept it and respect that.
On top of that, your children will be learning and gaining confidence daily through boundary-setting. They need your guidance to make decisions, and boundaries are a great way to guide them step by step.
It is OK. Don’t be afraid to say NO to your children. They will respect you more by putting your foot down when you know what they are doing is detrimental to their well being. It is about loving them and guiding them in the best possible way.