“Stop it, or there will be no dessert!”
“If you don’t clean up now, we won’t go to the zoo later!”
“I’m going to say it for the last time, stop it!”
“You lost your key? How can you be so stupid!”
These are all sentences that we parents keep slipping out of and with which we try to change our children’s behavior in the long term. But instead of making children small and making them feel bad, we should use other ways to accompany their development.
Sometimes it feels really stupid
We all know the feeling that we think we are the most incompetent parents in the world because our children are doing something that we don’t understand at all, that we have already banned 100 times or that just really annoys us. Shouldn’t we be stricter, we often ask ourselves? Should we punish the child so that he finally learns the consequences?
Can everyone do it better?
All other children, it seems, are brought up much better than their own offspring. That’s often not true, because we only ever see excerpts from other people’s everyday family lives. And if we are honest, nowhere is everything 100% perfect, even if it seems so at first glance.
How does good parenting work?
But how do we manage that our children listen to us better and refrain from doing things that are dangerous? How does good parenting work? Is it ok to tease our offspring? No! Because bullying and threats of punishment lead to behavioral changes, but the children’s self-esteem suffers as a result. And the parent-child bond gets a crack as a result of this upbringing method.
Studies have found that the authoritarian style of parenting makes children function better at first (this word simply fits best in this context). In the long run, however, this type of upbringing leads to even more wrongdoing. As we all know, we can only take a certain amount of pressure before we break down. Our children are no different.
What to do if threatening and punishing are not effective? 5 tips
#1 Watch your words
You have explained so many times that the cup can break if it falls off the table and now it lies in shards in front of you. Next to it is a broken child, crying because their favorite cup is now broken. We all think, “I told you, why don’t you listen to me?” But instead of saying it out loud, it’s better to comfort first. It is of no use if we now also complain about our children in their sadness. They don’t learn anything from it, except that our parents are not there for them when they are grieving.
If we turn to them and address the situation again later, when the emotions are no longer running so high, our children are more receptive. You can better understand what happened if we discuss together how the incident happened. But they are only ready for that when their tears have dried, their anger has subsided, and the situation is over.
#2 Make a connection
Not every error needs to be discussed immediately. There are moments when children know very well that they just screwed up. But they are so overwhelmed by their feelings that all that can be heard is shouting. How are they supposed to absorb what we have to tell them?
Instead of explanations, physical contact is now important. Alternatively, contact can be made through a conversation that has nothing to do with the current situation. Give your child the space to approach you themselves, and listen to what they say. This gives you the opportunity to take a deep breath and you don’t start the internalized program of complaining and moaning.
#3 Look at the background
The why, when something happened, can drive us, parents, insane. Why did you… Why did you have to… We want to know why things happened. But it is much more important to look at the youngsters and to question how they are actually doing. For example, a child was superficially high-spirited and broke something. But she’s actually worried because nobody in the daycare center wanted to play with her. Or curiosity was too great.
We also know from ourselves, that we should better leave something alone and then do it for various reasons. Our children are no different. But if we parents look behind the “error” and do research into the causes, we understand our children better. And the impulse to complain is much smaller.
#4 Be a role model
How do you actually react in stressful situations? Do you get loud, do you swear or throw things? All sorts of normal behavior that our children naturally imitate. If we want our children to react emotionally differently to our announcements, then we also have to show them that we can change ourselves. Talk about your feelings so your children learn to do the same. Because if you can verbalize how you feel, you can also empathize better with others.