I just read a great article that explained that it used to be that kids were scared of their parents. Now parents seem scared of their kids.
That’s how I sometimes feel when it comes to disciplining the kids left in my care when working as a nanny. The older the kids, the less successful I seem at controlling the behavior of the kids.
The solution according to Robin Berman author of Permission to Parent: How to Raise Your Child with Love and Limits is to create consequences and to say what I mean and mean what I say.
Berman explains it is unsafe for a child to have too much power. She says kids today are more demanding and more anxious. When parents (and let’s face it when nannies) are skittish about asserting their parental authority, too often kids learn that “no” means “maybe.” That gives kids wiggle room to keep negotiating, throwing fits, and emotionally bullying their parents and nannies. This reinforces the bad behavior and fuels the notion that the louder they whine, the more they get. Push fast forward on a child who consistently throws tantrums and gets his way. What teacher would want to teach him, what employer would hire him, and who would want to date him?
Berman suggests we remember that discipline actually means to teach, not to punish or shame, and that setting loving limits will help raise a thriving child. We can acknowledge and empathize with children’s feelings but still hold the line.
She says, “You need to do what is right for your children, even if it means tolerating a brief drop in your popularity polls. You are the one with experience and perspective – a perspective that children just don’t have. Your job is not to please your child; your job is to parent your child. We have to be able to hold a loving space for our child’s anger or hurt feelings while staying the course.”
You can purchase your own copy of Permission to Parent by Robin Berman by clicking the link below: