There are no bad children. Only bad parents! Don’t agree? Come on, be honest. Do you really treat your child consistently and fairly? How many times have you barked orders for no other reason than that you felt like it? And then resorted to verbal and physical assault to see that your orders were obeyed? After all that, you still expect a little angel who listens patiently to you, understands your need for space and quiet, excels at everything that he or she does, and etc… etc…Who’s the adult here?
Your child is a human being endowed with intelligence. Acknowledge and respect that and you’ll do fine. Yes it is your responsibility to see that your child grows up into a healthy, happy and responsible adult. All the more reason why you should take parenting seriously. Not treat it as some part time job that can do with sporadic attention.
First of all, you are dealing with a child. Don’t expect it match up to all the standards that you set. You’ve had so many years of practice at living in this world. Yet how many things do you do right? So why should your child know automatically how to wield a spoon and fork, greet elders, and read well? Give her time and lots of patience and she’ll learn.
But lots of patience does not mean a carte blanche for your child to do whatever she pleases. You have to set some ground rules. Not because you are omnipotent and omniscient in your child’s life but because you’ve been around longer and know something (remember, not everything) about getting on in this world. You want to teach your child that. So some rules like not screaming, not picking up fights with other children, not using abusive language are quite acceptable. Make sure a rule that you set is justified and will help your child’s growth. For example, not allowing her to watch TV for more than an hour a day is acceptable. But insisting on watching the news when she wants to watch her favourite cartoon, is plain selfishness. You can catch the next bulletin can’t you?
Implementing the rules you’ve set is the difficult part.
No matter how tired or busy you are, take time to notice deviations from the rules you’ve set and insist firmly that such behaviour stop immediately. It might be very tempting to give in this once. But remember parenting is a full time job.
Don't Lose Your Temper
Don’t lose your temper and raise your voice. Think of how weird you look when you are ranting wildly. Would you behave like that with your subordinate? Then why should you think that your child won’t notice that you look very idiotic when you lose your temper? Moreover, how are you going to be able to tell her not to throw a temper tantrum when you throw one ever so often? Your child will respect you more if you are calm and firm.
Explain Your Point
It would help if you could explain to her why you don’t want her to act the way she is doing. An off-hand “Because I say so,” isn’t good enough. Remember, your child is a thinking being. Respect that and help her understand why you are saying what you are.
There are many parents who force their child into a whole lot of “extra-curricular” activities—swimming, art, dancing, music, the works. They usually insist that they are only providing direction to their child’s innate talents. Your child was not put on earth to fulfill all your unfulfilled ambitions. Keep that in mind and you won’t have to deal with mulish fits of stubbornness every time there is a class to be attended.