John Rosemond Tribune News Service
Is the following statement true or false? It often happens that children like what they do not like and do not like what they do well.
Then the question arises: are you trying to please your child?
Other forms of the same question are: Are you worried if your child is behaving as if he doesn’t like you? If your child is behaving as if he doesn’t care about you, are you trying to fix the situation? Do you want your child to consider you a friend?
If you answered “yes” to these questions, you have proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that you are not in your right mind. In this case, common sense is defined as one way or another, whether your child likes you at any given time or not.
What an amazing concept, an adult who wants to please a child. Children are guided by their feelings. For example, a child will choose sugar, artificially purple-orange, rather than pure refreshing water. The child will choose unhealthy foods rich in sugars and carbohydrates rather than green foods that have grown in clean soil. What an amazing concept, an adult who wants to please a child.
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What, please, tell such a person, given that they clearly do not indicate a lack of evidence of common sense?
I suggest, “Good luck with that.”
Kids are quick to sense when an adult wants to like them. They may lack the ability to express their understanding, but keep in mind that children are intuitively ingenious. When a child feels that an adult wants to be liked, the child begins to get out of control – some faster than others. The child rightly feels that someone who wants to be liked is not able to effectively correct his behavior. The adult in question behaves like a child’s peers, and peers cannot effectively discipline each other. Successful child discipline requires an adult to behave like an adult.
Behaving as an adult means establishing an emotional and physical boundary between yourself and the child. You can be friendly, but you can’t be a friend. You are available, but you are not at the will of the child. The child is not the center of your world. Quite the opposite: YOU are the center of HIS world.
You are an example of what it means to be an adult. Your main relationship is with other adults, starting with your husband. You are, in terms of your child, an interesting person who does a lot with other interesting people your age.
You don’t let your child’s behavior provoke and stimulate your emotions. If you often say things like, “My kid sometimes drives me crazy,” you’re one of those people who is run by kids. And I’m sorry to have to tell you, but the problem isn’t with your child.
To be an effective boss, you must first be a perfect boss for yourself. And make no mistake, your child needs a boss, not a friend in 30-40 years.
Write to family psychologist John Rosmond at firstname.lastname@example.org.