Come and sit down parents, your fairy godmother wants to tell you a timely story…
Once upon a time a beautiful baby was born. The parents loved her dearly and took great care of her. They put boundaries around her, to keep her safe. They noticed her signs for when she was tired, and put her to bed, even though they wanted to hold her and play with her longer.
As she grew, the boundaries changed. They instilled rules about saying ‘ta’, limiting the TV time, putting in safety plugs and ensuring that the back fences were strong so that she could play safely in the backyard – all to raise a happy, well-adjusted child.
Then one day, a few years later, something different happened. When the parents said it was bedtime, she asked for another story. The parents happily read another one. The next night she wanted 2 extra stories, and the parents were pleased that she loved reading so much! The following night she wanted 2 long stories and then a drink of water, and then the toilet, and another cuddle. The 15 minute night routine was now 50 minutes!
But how did this happen, wailed the parents (who actually had enjoyed their night times together one their daughter was asleep).
And then they tuned on the TV, and there was SN (Supernanny).
Now, like her or not, the program stimulated discussion over our parenting strategies. She seemingly takes unruly children and gets them back into line.
Are your children ‘unruly’? Do you think they need ‘fixing’? Do you want the SN at your place?
The reality is, in order to change children’s behaviour, the change must come from the parents. If you have strategies which aren’t working, then something else is required. You don’t need a SN – you have the power within you!
Change comes from the parents!
It is not only that the children may be out of control, but that the parents have forgotten the huge impact that their parenting has on their children. The SN talks with the parents about the importance of:
- Setting rules and
- Maintaining rules.
This does not mean you are an old fashioned authoritarian parent who punishes harshly.
Modern parenting respects the child, but also the parent. The 4 year old at bedtime is not ‘out to get you’ (the parents), she’s exploring rules and boundaries, and wondering what happens if I push this boundary. Children ARE curious and want to see ‘what happens if….’
As parents it’s easy to drift into loose boundaries – sometimes our tiredness makes us ignore it when our children are pushing the boundaries, and we give in to them eg when they keep on whinging for a lolly in the supermarket, and we eventually give in, just so we can have some peace.
Your young child can choose for themselves – whether to wear the green top or the red one, to have milk or water to drink. However if your child is in charge of the rules surrounding bedtime, table manners or how long they can watch TV for etc, then perhaps it’s time to take the ‘Parenting Crown’ off your beautiful, but inexperienced son or daughter’s head, wear it, and rule your kingdom wisely.
Image by Tim Geers via Flickr