Author Topic: Dealing with Children: Winning the Battles with Your Children  (Read 1132 times)


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Dealing with children is a daily challenge for parents.  Parenting is not an easy task and even if you’ve read all the books on how to parent, you’ll still feel that you are not getting parenting right.

Have you ever been in this situation?  You say to your 3 year old, “No, you can’t watch the telly and off he went to turn it on?  You feel your hackles raise and you go and turn the telly off and your little one goes on a screaming fit.

Here’s another one: You tell your son “It’s tea time” and he just ignores you. You call him again and again and again.  And nothing (by the way, this behaviour is not limited to a son.  Daughters are very good at playing deaf too.) At the end you give up, lift him up and put him on his chair. He screams his head off and quickly jumps out of his chair and runs out of the room or worst still tip all the food on the floor.

If you have encountered this situation, you’re not alone.  Many parents have had the same experience.  It doesn’t mean your children are real monsters nor are you a bad parent.  It sounds wrong to say this, but it’s normal, unless it’s affecting your family dynamics and your relationship.  As children grow up, they’re learning to be independent, to assert themselves and to control their environment.  They push boundaries and it is part of parenting to guide them and teach them how far they can go and how they should behave.  Remember that children learn better by example.  So, talking to them or shouting will not necessarily have your desired effect. 

Every child is different and it is safe to say that the best person who knows your child is you.  Here are some tips that may help you deal with your constant battles with your children and make parenting a little bit easier.

1.   Choose your battles – Before you say “no” to your children, think why you’re saying it. Is really important that they don’t run around?  If you’re having an argument with your children; do you really need to win that argument?  If not, why can’t you allow them to win?  It will give them a sense of achievement and reduce the time spent on arguing.

2.   Use positive words – How many negative words do you use when you talk to your children? Instead of saying “Don’t turn the telly” why not try “Let’s play something else”.  That way, you’re not forbidding them to do something; you’re offering a better alternative.

3.   Show them instead of ordering them around – When your children don’t respond to your command, it is possible that they actually don’t understand you.  Remember, as an adult you have had more time to learn the meaning of words.  You may say “but he is smart, he understands, he just refuses to do it.” How sure are you that when you say “come inside” that they know you mean “come inside the house now”?  Most importantly, why should they do it when they’re having a good time outside?  So, instead of saying “come inside now”, why not say: “let’s go inside”, accompany it with a goodreason and go down to their level as you speak, hold their hands and take them inside.

4.   Give them time to process your words.  Don’t expect them to do what you ask straight away.

By Bayo Ajibola

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