I never claimed to be a perfect parent. I never claimed to be the best parent. I try my hardest, and pray every single day that I don’t screw up. I do notice things that people do to their children that DRIVES ME ABSOLUTELY CRAZY! When you tell your little rebel “no” and they go ahead and do it anyways. There’s two ways this can go, you can stand firm and remind them that you said no and use some form of discipline (time out, take away a toy, etc- you are the parent I’m sure you know what works for your kids and what does not), or (and this is what makes me crazy) you become soft and let them get away with it.
Let’s take an example: Little Johnny is a maniac, he’s rebellious to the core. You tell him not to do something and he will go out of his way to do it, even if he wasn’t planning to do it. You’re walking along the sidewalk in a shopping center and little Johnny runs off and jumps on this bench. You tell him no, and to get down. He runs along the bench and jumps from one to the next. Here’s your dilemma. Do you (A) go grab his arm and take him home? Or do you (B) say, oh okay just this once you can do that?
By selecting option A what damage are you doing to their child? Potentially saving him from falling, getting hurt, running off even further and getting hit by a car? You’re teaching him that no means no.
By selecting option B what are you doing to your child? Showing him that just because you say no you don’t mean it, that he can decide what he does, that it’s okay to run off in a chopping center?
It makes me crazy when people go the option B route. I was at a shopping center the other day with my children and we saw that scenario play out. I was about 5 feet from this lady, and her little rebel. He ran and jumped on the ledge that provides a barrier between where the people walk and where people drive their cars. What is to stop him from continuing on and running in traffic? His mom told him not to run off, he ran off, and she said “oh okay that’s far enough” and he kept going.
I am not saying that discipline is always the option. I’m not even saying how to discipline the children. I’m just saying that by remaining firm on your rules will help you child. What happens when they get to school. There’s no flip-flopping in school, with school rules. There’s now, there’s rules made by mom and dad, and those are the first set of rules in your child’s life. Changing to rules because you child “got too excited” doesn’t make his/her life any easier.
Please, if you tell your child not to do something, don’t let them get away with doing it. Let them know what they did was wrong and figure it out from there.
We have a gradient system, we will leave immediately if my daughter does something I tell her not to, if it happens again she has a privilege taken away, and a third time the privilege is taken away for even longer, we haven’t had to go to the fourth degree. I’ll let you know if/when we get there. My son is 1, and he’s a handful. He doesn’t quite understand everything, but he knows when I tell him now, and he stops what he’s doing.