Take a moment and read my heading again. Today it seems when it comes to parenting that ‘loving parents’ and ‘taking control’ are at odds with each other. Believe me – ‘Love’ and ‘Control’ are both part of parenting and fit together.
Parents are often too focused on loving their child, keeping them happy, being their friend and giving them everything they need and want. Or they perceive that parents who have rules, stand firm, say ‘no’, provide the necessities without all the luxuries are cold hearted, unloving and too firm. In many parents minds they think you are one or the other.
Lets fast forward to the future – the child who grows up with the ‘love’ parent, is where parents are focused on providing everything their child needs or desires, being their best friend, and their happiness is the family focus. Life is easy. In the future these children inevitably leave home and their parents and then think that the rest of the world will treat them as their parents did. The world, we know doesn’t. Then life is ‘unfair’. They then blame others for not helping them or giving to them to make their life easy.
Lets take the other child – in the future they know that they can’t possibly have everything they desire, that life involves give and take, disappointments happen, that the world has rules, some written some unwritten. Life is one of choices. These children inevitably leave home and their parents and then think that they need to work for what they need, they need to choose between options.
Balanced parenting involves both. Balanced children need both. How do you combine love and firmness in a balanced way which leads to children who want to do as they are told. Children who are ‘good’ for 80-90% of the time. Children who want to do as they are told. Children who follow rules. Children who have structure and are sensitive to others. They know that parents are in charge and that there are simply some behaviours you will not tolerate. They know that they have ample hugs and kisses but also rules and consequences.
Loving parents should take control – you are not creating happiness by having no rules. You are a parent is it your job to love your child unconditionally, bring them into line when they cross it, and teach and nurture them to become wonderful adults who can function well in the world outside your home. To teach them how to do it for themselves and how to develop relationships with others which involves give and take. There is no rocket science answers to how to do this….. it is simply a consistent combination of both.
Keen for more read “The Parent Child Game” by Sue Jenner