Who is in charge in your house?
This Article was a really interesting read, though not really a new concept. It talks about how parents today almost seem afraid of their children. The author, Robin Berman, cites a recent incident she witnessed. A mother was dealing with a 5yr old child throwing a tantrum in a toy store. They were supposed to be buying a toy for a friend's birthday but the boy wanted something for himself. The mother tried to explain that it wasn't his birthday but everything she said made the child louder and angrier.
Berman says that parents today have overcompensated for their own relationships with their parents. Children used to be afraid of their parents but now we're afraid of our kids. In an effort to be more attentive and supportive to our kids then our parents were with us, we've gone over bored and forgotten the importance of saying no.
I agree with Berman when she says we need to say no. If we don't set our kid's boundries then someone else will, like their teachers, bosses, or the police. Frankly, I don't want to leave it up to them. Avery won't die if she cries because I won't buy her something or let her stay up late. She might die if she doesn't learn how to respect the rules and listen to authority. Children's tears are not poisonous, they won't hurt us if we let them fall every once and a while.
Punishment shouldn't be shaming or abusive, it should be a learning experience. Explain what the problem is and then implement a consequence. However, we can't get stuck in a loop of explaining over and over again to child in the throws of a tantrum. That leaves room for negotiation for the child and that's not okay. I'm the parent, I'm in charge. Negotiations and debates can be saved for intelligent conversations, not tantrums over saying no.