Who’s in Charge, Anyway?

Girl cryingBack in the olden days, kids were punished, flogged and told off by their parents for “misbehaving” or “having no discipline”. The definitions of proper behavior and good discipline were very clear to the parents and everybody else in their community, so they felt justified in applying whatever pressure to control their children and get them back “in line”.

But we no longer live in the olden days.

Nowadays, formal manners and other phony requirements glide off our children like cooking oil off a Teflon pan. As soon as parents start using force to inspire some specific behavior, action or result, modern kids realize they have leverage over their parents in a game of control and power. Moreover, as soon as they are old enough, they get so good at this game, many parents have zero chance of getting what they want and can only go backwards.

Let’s say your kids have a royal mess in their room and you want them to clean it up (or stop watching TV or get off the Internet or whatever). You ask, you ask again, you say it louder, you yell at the top of your voice, you add ultimatums and threats, you hiss, you fume, but nothing works. Promising a reward for doing what you want makes it even worse, because the price keeps going up and still nothing changes.

Read more about how to control your kids’ behavior

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