I’ve never met a parent who has not been frustrated and angry at their kids. In fact, I would say most parents are worn pretty thin with kids who just simply wear them down.
Are you a parent like that? In this series on Getting Control of Your Frustrations, I talked about getting frustrated and angry when our kids constantly interrupt us, and when our kids constantly fight with each other.
Here’s scenario #3.
“It’s time to do your homework.”
“I said go do your homework.”
“Go do your homework NOW!”
“DIDN’T YOU HEAR ME TELLING YOU TO GO DO YOUR HOMEWORK?? YOU’RE GOING TO FLUNK YOUR CLASSES AND END UP A BUM ON THE STREET, YOU HEAR ME?”
Doesn’t that just make you angry and frustrated?
As they say, you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink. Actually, I think it’s pretty hard to lead a horse to the water if he is not thirsty.
So first, there has to be a thirst, a motivation.
These are NOT motivators:
1. Our children will obey us because they love us. That might be true on another planet, but not here.
2. Our children will obey us to avoid our nagging. They merely tune out our nagging. See my post here about nagging.
3. Our children will obey us because they should be intrinsically motivated to do the right thing. Even adults have to be motivated to work for a paycheck. Children certainly need a little more than intrinsic motivation.
Here’s how to motivate our children: What they want will not happen until they do what we want.
“Mom, can I have a snack?”
“Mom, can I go to my friend’s house to swim?”
“You didn’t do what I asked you to do. I am not happy with that. So why should I do what you ask me to do?”
We teach our children mutual respect when we teach them to obey us before we obey them. They take advantage of the fact that they are little and assume we have to do things for them. Well, guess what? We don’ t have to do things for them.
There is no yelling here. There is no nagging. Use a kind and loving tone of voice when we convey to our children that they need to do what we’ve asked them to do if they expect us to do what they want us to do.
It’s just a fact that there has to be mutual respect in family relationships. This should be learned by children as young as possible so they don’t get into a habit of disrespectful attitudes towards us.
Give it a try and let me know if it helped to reduce your frustration and anger when your kids do not obey.