How To Enforce Rules With Children Without Compromising
Kids have wants and needs just like all of us; however, they might use tactics that aren’t ideal for getting what they want which results to us, being a bad behavior compromiser. The easy answer is to give in to their pleading, whining, and negotiating, but is it really in their best interest to bend to these behaviors?
Some might say giving in to kids’ demands is just bad parenting. To that, I say there are no bad parents, there are only parents seeking advice that works. Writing from experience, I’ve found planning ahead helps us stay supported and not give in to the whiny pleas once they begin. But before having a pre-planned response to your negotiator, you’ll first want to answer this question honestly:
“Are you for sale?”
Being for sale means you allow your child’s tactics to change your set of established rules. And your child knows this. Perhaps you said, “No dessert after dinner tonight.” That’s what you decided, so that’s the rule. But your child has been taught that he doesn’t have to take no for an answer… so let the pestering and pouting begin. Excuses are lobbed over why he deserves dessert tonight. Are you already feeling like it’s not worth fighting him over this? Do you begin justifying his complaints as reasonable, so now he can have dessert? Ultimately, you are teaching him you have a price for which you are willing to sell out your rules. All he has to do is keep harping. Easy!
Not being for sale shows your kids you have integrity. Believe it or not, kids respond well to rules and boundaries that are clearly communicated to them. But only when they are enforced. You’ve created the rule, you’ve stated the rule. Don’t stop half way. Enforce the rule. When kids know what is expected of them and those expectations are consistently reinforced, they understand consequences and gain life lessons. Kids will test limits, that’s a given. Your dependable, steady parenting is the positive parenting solution that will eliminate whining, complaining, and pushback.
Ask Mom’s Best Parenting Strategies for Not Being A Bad Behavior Compromiser
How to Stop:
- Don’t be for sale, show your child what reliability looks like.
- Own your empowered parent-self, you’re the boss. The answer is, “No.”
- Quickest, easiest way to stop hearing whining is to stick to your original rule, no deviations. Make the rule, state the rule, enforce the rule.
Why to Stop:
- Modeling firmness as a parent teaches our kids not to fold to peer pressure of their own.
- Our kids won’t be for sale or compromise their values if they don’t see us do it easily.
- This simple technique pays off in the long run, even if it’s hard today.
Need more help? Read our post to learn how to stop bribing your kids.
Explore more parenting strategies in my book Secrets to Parenting.