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Are you a PUSHOVER parent?

by on 28/10/2013 4532

Often times, parents who have jobs outside the home are easier to “manipulate” than those who don’t. Your child knows that you feel “guilty” for not spending, as much time as you would like to with them, therefore it is easier for them to get their way.

It’s quite understandable, when you are working outside most of the time, whatever little time you have when you come home, you really do not want to spend it disciplining your child. So most “working” parents give in to their kids, rather than put up with the whining or the “fighting”.

Now having said that, there are situations where many parents, in general are pushovers.

Imagine this scenario, you are at the supermarket, and your child sees a toy he or she wants, when you say “No” they drop to the floor and start rolling around, kicking and yelling causing every single person to turn and look at you. You are horrified and self-conscious and you can only imagine the thoughts that might be going through their heads. You can feel their glares like laser burning into you and you just want to do anything to shut your kid up and not attract any more attention. So you buy him or her the toy. When you do this, it only sets you up for more of this kind of behavior. Regardless of how lengthy your explanation is to your kid later on that this is “one time only” or “their behavior is not right” etc. You can be sure what your kid has just learned is that, if they throw a tantrum and embarrass mummy or daddy, they will get their way.

So how do you handle this? First take a deep breath, calm yourself down, and tell yourself you can handle this. You have a few options, you can leave the supermarket immediately with your child, or you can take your child to the car and let him cry to his heart’s content while your spouse finishes shopping. Or you can just leave him or her there to roll on the floor, continue your shopping and pay no attention to him or her. Either, way your child will learn very quickly, throwing a tantrum and yelling gets them nowhere.Are you a PUSHOVER parent?

Second is distraction. Your child knows when you are distracted you are more likely to say “Yes” to whatever they asks for. So try to stay focus and not stress too much about answering every text, or email that comes your way. There is no need to update your Facebook or tweet what you just had for dinner. You need to be relaxed to be consistent in your parenting. If they know that mummy or daddy is busy with work or is distracted playing Candy Crush and will not enforce bedtime then most kids would just keep on playing too. Or sometimes when you are watching TV and feeling too tired to read to them or with them, they will know this and asked you for more video games time. If your rule is no video games after 9pm then you have to stick to that. To parent properly you have to have to be mindful of your own behavior as well.

Do not be a wimpy parent, if you have rules, and limits keep to them. Enlist the help of your spouse, if you happen to need to work while you are at home, then get your spouse to help you enforce those “rules”. It is best that you and your partner have a similar outlook on parenting. Your kids will learn that if mummy or daddy says “No” then there is no point going to the other parent.


About the Author

Kopi Soh has a MA in Psychology, Specializing in Marriage, Family and Child Counseling. Her area of specialty is in working with children, adolescents, couples and families. She is also an artist and has published two self-help best sellers distributed by MPH, available in all bookstores throughout Malaysia.