~ “It is okay if your child does not like you.”
Last week my 10 year old daughter decides that she needs to ask me something important. She sits down on the couch, crosses her legs, faces me, takes a deep breath and then proceeds to ask me if she can have an Instagram and Snap Chat account. I am thinking to myself “She cannot be serious!”. But she is very serious. I begin to ask her why this is important and why she needs one. I do not remember her response because my mind is racing. But then it comes to me, one of her friends must have an account. So, I ask her if this is the case and she verifies my suspicions. She asked “Why?” and I give her the “because you are not old enough” response. She wasn’t buying that and she asks again. I begin to give her this long drawn out response about how technology is negatively impacting the health of Americans in this country and that I do not want her to develop certain habits at an early age, etc. She begged for another minute and was met with an emphatic “No and don’t ask me again..like never!”
This experience made me realize how much permissive parenting becomes stressful for the parents that lean toward the authoritative side of parenting. Especially when your child is feeling alienated because you will not allow him/her to do what everyone else is doing. I have gotten used to these types of experiences over the years, however, these days they are getting a bit more challenging, especially as it relates to media accessibility.
So, if you are the type of parent that finds it hard to say “no” to your child or avoids confrontation, here are some things to consider about how this parenting style may cause more problems for you and your child long term.
- Children of permissive parents are more likely to have issues with self-discipline and self-control. Consider how developing these skills will positively impact your child once he/she is an adult.
- Allowing children to deal with disappointments of hearing “no” in a loving and supportive manner teaches them to be able to deal with real world disappointments. Your goal is to provide the opportunities for growth in a nurturing and supportive manner.
- Although some conflict avoidance may be necessary for your sanity, when it comes down to tough issues that matter, stay strong in your position as the parent and don’t back down, even if you are met with attitude. Your child’s safety and well-being is a priority.
- It is okay if your child does not like you. Children, especially as they approach the teenage years will be very vocal about how they do not like you when you tell them “no”. Remind your child that you are responsible for providing a safe and loving environment for him/her, not be their friend. Remember, they need healthy guidance as they grow and make decisions. Be that person for your child.
If you decide that you want to become more authoritative with your child, sit down with him/her and be honest about how you haven’t been going about parenting in the best way and gradually begin to implement changes/rules/routines, etc. If you don’t think you can do it on your own, find a professional that can help you all ease the transition.
Follow Hilda on IG @hildafields