They say that death and taxes are inevitable.
I would add horror stories of bratty kids to that list.
Stories like this:
My little cousin is probably the most spoiled brat ever, she still isn’t completely potty trained and she’s almost six. If she didn’t get exactly what she wants the second she wants it she’ll lie an the floor and scream until she gets it. There was one time she screamed for about an hour and a half because she didn’t get to watch tv in the living room, even though they have 3 working tv’s throughout the house….
I was eating in a mall and the parents are sitting at a table with there probably 5 year old son just yelling and making a mess. The kid then starts climbing on the table in the mall and the father tells the boy to get off the table and eat his food. The kid hits his father in the face knocking off the dad’s glasses. The dad picks up his glasses and the mother just trys to coax him down with some drink/food. The father then didn’t say anything to the kid and the kid came down because of the coaxing of treats.
These are only two of the many responses on a Reddit thread, but you don’t have to hunt far and wide for these stories.
You have seen stories like these pop up in your Facebook feed, or even seen it in real life.
Most parents, when faced with this kind of attitude, take the non-confrontational and easy way out.
Like the mom and the dad, they indulge, appease, and kowtow before their child instead of disciplining them and setting them on the right path.
Want another example of the parents I am talking about? Check out this Harry Potter video.
Like the Durselys, these permissive parents, who are more concerned about being a “friend” to their children instead of being an authority figure and providing guidance, raise children who:
When these kids grow up to be adults they will have no clue how the world works.
They won’t know how much a car or a house costs because they never had to save up and buy their own vehicle.
They won’t know the basics of finance because their parents never let them open a bank account or taught them to read the fine print on the credit card bill.
They will never learn how to negotiate a pay raise or take part in a constructive political debate.
They will shirk away from life changing experiences like going on a solo backpacking trip to a foreign country.
You get the drift, right? They will suck at doing everything that a normal, confident adult is supposed to do.
No sane parent wants that to happen to their child. As a parent, you want your son or daughter to be self-dependent and lead happy and full lives.
You don’t want them to be an adult version of Dudley who jumps on his mom’s lap in abject terror the moment something unexpected happens, like all those admission letters to Hogwarts blasting out of the fireplace.
This year, don’t slip into the “kids will be kids” mindset that many parents in typical western societies default to.
Instead, wield the rod more this year, metaphorically speaking.
I know that a whole lot of you might want to flame me because I might seem to suggest putting on a cold and unfeeling face in front of your child or condemn them to a grind of piano, violin or swimming lessons.
Hold your horses!
I am not advocating the Tiger Mom parenting style.
Like the Buddha, I am advocating a middle path between gulag style punishment and Dursely style leniency by getting your kids to follow regular routines.
The exact routines you will set for your kids will depend on a number of variables, like the age of your kids or your family circumstances.
Here are some helpful ground rules, following the guidelines of the American Academy of Pediatrics.
1. Predictable Morning Routines
From getting up at a fixed hour to eating breakfast or having a hearty breakfast before leaving for school, morning routines for your kids will ensure that mornings fly by without chaos.
2. Safe after school routines
Many children come back to an empty house in the afternoon after school.
If there are no sitters or responsible adults and if your kid is too young to use phones, you can consider an option like Vgowatch which will show the location of your kids or let you make video calls from your phone.
3. Evening routines for healthy kids
Everning routines are the ideal time for the family to get together and catch up on what’s happening at school. No TV or games on the dinner table is often mentioned, but I would like to contribute another idea: the same dish or dishes on the same day of the week.
4. Brush, floss, lights out
You know the importance of kids sleeping at an early hour.
But equally important are daily routines like brushing and flossing which most children tend to ignore. With the Vgowatch scheduler, you can set alerts for activities so that your kids will be reminded of the important things to do before they hit the sack.
If all else fails, there’s one word that you should use over and over again.
When you back that word with appropriate action, this word will automatically tell your children that whatever they are doing is wrong and unacceptable, and repetition will invite punishment.
Your kids will still attempt to push their boundaries and test their limits, but this word will get them to back off.
That word is…wait for it…NO!!
Go ahead, try it. It works wonders.