Do you sometimes feel like your child has some sort of upper hand?
They probably do and this might be because you do not follow through. Whatever your child’s age, it’s important to be consistent when it comes to discipline. If parents don’t stick to the rules and consequences they set up, their children won’t either.
One of our biggest undoing as parents is the fact that we sometimes don’t follow through and children take advantage of this when they notice. If you warn your child that you will you are going to discipline her but you conveniently forget to follow through, you are setting yourself up for failure because you are undermining your authority.
The earlier you establish that you set the rules and children are expected to listen or accept the consequences, the better for everyone. That is why it is important to start early. A toddler does not understand “no” the way an older child does, but you can redirect him and he gradually learns that there are certain things he should not do.
As they grow older, let them realise that certain actions will be disciplined and when they break the rules, follow through with the consequences. If your 5 years old draw on the wall, for example, tell her that is wrong, and you may clean it up together. Then let her know the consequences of doing it again.
Although it’s sometimes easier for parents to ignore occasional bad behavior or not follow through on some threatened punishment, this sets a bad example. Children notice what you do or don’t do, and they take advantage when they can. Don’t let your child conclude that you only make empty threats. This will undermine your authority as a parent and make it more likely that children will test limits.
Consistency is the key to effective discipline, and it’s important for parents to decide (together, if you are not a single parent) what the rules are and then uphold them.
What happens when parents don’t follow through?
- You will lose your credibility.
- Your child will realize that they can get away with certain things.
- You accept or ignore misbehaviour.
- Your child will see you as all talk and no action.
As parents, it is our duty to make and enforce rules. And on their part, children try to break the rule, look for loopholes or wiggle out of it. If you establish that you are a no action parents, your child will take advantage. It is quite simple. It is human nature to take advantage of a situation when the rules are lax.
Why is it that children behave one way with one parent and differently with another? Because, parents behave differently and children quickly learn what “works” with one parent and not the other. They learn which parent they can manipulate and which one they can’t.
Why do parents sometimes fail to follow through?
- We sometimes try to avoid disappointing our children.
- We don’t want to see them throw a tantrum
- We believe that when we relax the rules, we are showing them that they are loved.
- Sometimes, we are just too tired.
You already know that once you make a rule, you should stick to it to maintain your credibility. The formula is quite easy: SAY IT, MEAN IT and FOLLOW THROUGH.
What is the worst that can happen when you follow through?
- Your child will learn that you mean what you say.
- They will learn the value of rules
- Children also need to learn that they can cope with life’s little disappointments and that just because they want something doesn’t mean they can or should have it.
- Your child will learn to be responsible for their behaviour when they see that certain actions come with consequences.
So are you going to start following through? I hope you have learnt something. If yes, would you like to join me on the Parenting for Jannah Membership? You should join the waitlist HERE to be notified when next we are open.