Blog: Family Times

The Relaxed Parent - Helping Your Kids Do More As You Do Less

"We are divorcing and I find it difficult to say 'no' to my kids. After a long day at work, the last thing I want is drama. I just want peace. We've been through so much conflict and hostility. I find myself giving in. I need to be more consistent, but sometimes I just don't have the strength," confided Serena.

"It's difficult to have the resolve when you are going through a divorce; sometimes it's a matter of survival - you just want peace and quiet. I understand Serena. One of the first goals in raising capable kids is to decide not to spoil them. Don't do anything for your kids that they can do for themselves. Now this isn't a hard and fast rule, but a general principle."

"But I find myself giving in! It's disappointing. It's like my kids are holding me hostage with their threats of a tantrum or an outburst. And they aren't preschoolers! Why do I wimp out?"


Why Do Parents Give In To Their Kids?

I think there are four reasons why we give in:

  1. To avoid a confrontation. We don't want a meltdown in the store, or a tantrum in front of the school or screaming at church; so we go against our parental hunch, and give in. (Kid: 1 - Parent: 0 )
  2. To save time. We are busy with work and the demands of being a parent and running a home. We don't want to waste time on discipline, so we just give in to our child's demands.
  3. To compensate for our childhood. We want to give our kids everything we can because we may have grown up without much. I grew up without video games, high definition TV, computers, and drones with cameras (as toys for kids). I feel somewhat deprived, so I want to provide for my kids what I didn't have.
  4. To maintain our social status. We don't want to be the only parent on the cul-de-sac who doesn't provide the right clothes, toys, school, sport, music lessons, dance academy and summer camp for their kids. So we give in. We gotta keep up!

Do any of these sound familiar? What's a parent to do instead of wimping out and giving in? (Please share what works for you in the Comments)

For solutions, check out my Facebook page: THE RELAXED PARENT - especially the FREE introductory offer for a 45-minute coaching session by phone.