Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Walking on Egg Shells

It's Loving Our Children Tuesday at Kate's blog today and I've been enjoying participating in this.  It's a way to think about my parenting style and my children in a deliberate way each week.

Do you walk on egg shells around your children?  Are you afraid to say, "No." or to disappoint them in any way because of fear of a temper tantrum?  And yes, teens can have tantrums too.  They may not be ranting and raving, but pouting, whining, and grunting answers at you are all forms of having a tantrum.

The problem with this is that parents are being held hostage by their children!  And, when you don't work on these attitudes in the midst of disappointment, than you are setting your child up for failure down the road.  Do you think a boss is going to give in to the employee that continually throws a fit when things don't go their way?  More than likely, that employee will find himself or herself on the unemployment line.

What about marriage?  Do we want our children to be in a happy and healthy marriage?  Will that happen if we teach them that whenever they want something they should throw a fit to get it?

My children are 21, 19 and soon to be 13 and on occasion, I still have to discipline in this area, but overall, we do not have a problem because I started training them when they were little.  They were not allowed to throw a fit if things didn't go their way.  If they did have a tantrum, they were put in timeout until they were ready to be pleasant.

If we were in store and they threw a fit, we walked out of the store and I dealt with them outside and then we came back in and I finished what I set out to do.  I know some people say put them in the car and take them home, and I would do that with a toddler, but my feeling was as they get older they needed to learn that they can't always get their way.

I tried to keep calm and speak quietly, but firmly so they knew that I meant what I said.  As older children, if they continued to talk back they lost a privilege.  But again, I stayed calm and in control which was not always easy!  Once you lose it and start screeching at your child they know you aren't in control of anything!  

I feel badly when I see parents frazzled, upset and worried about their children's tantrums.  I know that it is VERY difficult to train in this area because it requires you to be consistent.  And if you haven't worked at this from an young age, it's harder to do it as they get older.  But it's not impossible.

Parents please, please, please do not walk on egg shells around your children.  Teach them from a young age that life will not always go their way.  You both will be so much happier!