Stop Undermining Your Own Authority and Parent Your Kid Already — RANT

by Kristen King

I am sick and tired of seeing parents around me undermining themselves as parents and then complaining because their kids don’t listen to them. If you tell your child that he or she has to behave because of one of these reasons, YOU’RE CREATING YOUR OWN PROBLEMS:

  • Santa will put you on the naughty list / put coal in your stocking / not bring you any presents / be watching you all year to see if you’re good / etc. (if you use the Elf on the Shelf, same deal.)
  • The police will come and arrest you / take you away / put you in jail / etc.
  • When Mommy / Daddy find out, s/he will be very mad / you will be in trouble / you’re doing to get it / etc.

First of all, the first two aren’t even true. So aside from the fact that you’re telling your kid that he doesn’t have to listen to YOU but rather other people (one of whom isn’t even REAL), you’re just straight up lying. And sooner or later, they’ll figure out that you’re full of it. You’re also teaching your kids to be afraid of the police, in addition to telling them your word doesn’t mean anything. Duh. That’s just a GENIUS approach to parenting. Stop being a moron, please.

If you constantly blame the other parent when your kid does something you don’t like (cuz if you make the other parent solely responsible for your child’s discipline, that’s exactly what you’re doing), not only are you seriously passing the buck but you’re teaching your kid that HE DOESN’T HAVE TO LISTEN TO YOU BECAUSE YOU HAVE NO POWER, AUTHORITY, OR CREDIBILITY. What are you THINKING?

I get why people do this. It’s easier to make threats and scare your kids into submission than it is to make them listen to you and to teach them that your word carries weight and that you mean when you say. I get it. It really is easier. But only in the moment. What happens every time you do this is that your rules, expectation, and authority shrink in value. Do it enough, and those things are meaningless. You are setting yourself — and your kid — up for failure.

He doesn’t listen to you? THAT’S BECAUSE HE DOESN’T HAVE TO. And you made it that way.

So, knock it off. You have the power to change it — and to stop being a lazy parent.

Start here:

I freely admit that I am a backseat parent. I’m also parent pretty well from the front seat, and I won’t be doing it with empty threats to control or intimidate my kids.

Do you ever use threats to control your child’s behavior? If so, does it work for you? And are you happy with that approach, regardless of whether it’s effective? Leave a comment.

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Kristen King (aka, Mommy-in-Training) is a red-headed, glasses-wearing, wine-drinking, perpetually undercaffeinated twin mom who lives at 10,200 feet in Leadville Colorado, and founder of AmateurParenting.com. She and her husband, Jesse (aka, Daddy-in-Training) have fraternal boys born in December 2011, two dogs, and two cats. They are both endurance athletes. She works full-time from home in virtual training, and he drives the local school bus. Learn more and meet the rest of the AmateurParenting.com team on our About page.

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