Whenever I verbally discipline my four year old, or tell her she can't have something, she responds by telling me she doesn't love me or that she loves her father more than me. How should I respond to such behaviour? Mum of two, Deeragun
Discipline is tricky at any age. Often, and so they should, parents find themselves in the situation of having to ultimately say ‘no’ to their child. There are many reasons why you have to say NO. They may ask for ice-cream for breakfast, to buy a treat when out n about, to stay longer, swim longer, not want a bath – the list goes on. Saying no is part of being a parent.
Not the part we like mind you, it tugs at your heart strings and often you may waver and wonder if you made the right decision. But a word of warning, once you have said NO, you must, must, must stick too it! If you don’t and change your mind, then other times when you say no and really mean it, your childs brain will think, based on past experience that No, really could be a yes if you just ask again, and again, and again. Face it, kids often have more energy than us and you end up just giving in for peace and quiet. But as a parent you need to ask yourself ‘what is my child learning from this?’.
Giving your child everything they want and ask for may feel better inside for you but it doesn’t do them any favours. Will the rest of the world give them everything they want and ask for? Of course not. Then how will they cope? How resilient will they be when things do not turn out right?
As for her reaction of saying ‘she loves Daddy more than you’, she is already learning that you show someone how much you love them by giving them things and saying yes to their requests. As for the reaction – I would just simply pretend that you havn’t heard those words, they are designed to get a reaction from you and make you change your mind. Don’t. Later on, hours later if you really feel you need to discuss it, do so then. But my recommendation would be not to discuss this one!