It’s important for every parent to see the world through their child’s eyes. You will never be able to help your child be prepared if you don’t approach each problem from their viewpoint. An important Parenting absolute is that children are easily confused. If you don’t see confusion from your child’s viewpoint – you will never be able to reach their heart and mind to teach them about life.
Children must learn how to navigate their world. Have you ever tried to learn a concept that was so confusing you felt overwhelmed? Maybe the boss dropped something new on your desk. It’s way out of your field but he remarks as he walks away. “No one else can do this. I know you will try. We are depending on you.” You know absolutely nothing about the project or it’s subject matter. You feel totally overwhelmed, but you want the raise that is hanging out there just three months away. How can you possibly overcome the massive confusion and make this work?
The only solution is to chop the project into smaller increments and organize the information. Seeing the information organized will make it manageable and will encourage you to learn the entire process. Your brain can take one thing at a time and will be able to make connections. By only looking at one piece of the puzzle at a time you can understand how all the little pieces combine to make the larger picture. In other words, how do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.
If you present confusing information to your children – they will become frustrated and rebellion will loom on the horizon. When adults want to throw a project out, walk away or get angry at the participants – most of the time it’s because the incoming information is extremely confusing or contradictory. And that causes you to make mistakes and ultimately can cause the project to fail. Mistakes caused by confusion are both costly and embarrassing.
Children can feel the same way about life and your parenting. Prepare your child for a rebellion free teen life by explaining your rules and how life works in a logical uncomplicated way. When children/teens are confused about the rules or when nothing seems to make sense, they are much more likely to rebel and make their own rules. Discipline must be logical and consistent. You must explain the world so completely and in such a logical manner that your children will feel confident enough to follow your lead. Children are easily frightened by confusion. Being afraid will cause acting out, rebellion and can cause violence. Children need security. Children need to be confident that their actions will produce accolades not punishment. Even when they know they are breaking the rules, they need the confidence of secure rules in order to resist and stop their own anger.
I’ve often said that the real problem with the younger generation is NOT that they are rebellious – but rather that the Older generation has NOT properly convinced them how to be wise. If the older generation (parents, teachers) don’t do their job, the child will not accept their beliefs.
If you don’t explain your requests so children can understand them and make sense of them – children will become confused, which will cause fear, which will result in bad behavior. Children who understand “why” will find it easier to obey.
Rules must be consistent. If you change daily requirements based on how you feel, your child won’t understand what to do. The uncertainty of when a behavior will result in punishment and when you will let it ride will cause rebellious behavior. If you are not consistent, be prepared for a fight.
And remember the biggest rule of all – IF IT’S WRONG FOR MY CHILD – IT’S WRONG FOR ME! Do what I say not what I do will send you racing into a rebellious home and violent consequences.
Tip: Refusing to let a child suffer the consequences of his actions should NOT be confused with compassion. If you take away the consequence you are confusing your child and setting him up for rebellion. Instead, explain that he will have to suffer the consequences but that you love him anyway. Give a big hug. Hold his hand while he moves through the consequence – but don’t over ride his lessons. Prove to your child that your rule is logical and that obeying that rule will lead to a better life.