Guest Author - Chinedum Ify Obikili
It is quite usual for your kids to call you mean, especially when you deny them a request or refuse to bend to their subtle manipulations. If there is one thing our kids do best is try to outsmart us. This they do by getting on our soft side. They know where our soft buttons lay and they also know when to press it to their advantage. The word is manipulation. Much as we love and cherish our kids, being firm where necessary would not only save you lots of headache but would help put your kid on the right path. You can be firm or mean in a loving way. Here are ways you can do this.
1. Rebuke with explanation: The essence of rebuking our kids is to help them see what they are doing wrongly and hopefully help them retrace their steps. This goal will be defeated if the child in question, has no idea why you always rebuke him. Telling a child that what he/she had done was bad and making them understand that they are being punished for that reason would most likely make him careful to not to go that route again. But if you deny a child his/her request, and leave your explanation at, 'because-I say –so,' That kid would not only think you are being mean, he or she would actually believe so, and seriously you don’t want for your kid to grow up with the notion that mom is just mean to me.
2. Ensure that a lesson is learnt: There is a popular adage in my country that if you rebuke a child with the left hand, you pull him closer or console him with the right. After every punishment ensure that your kid learnt a lesson from it. One way to do this is by talking it over with him or her. You could give instances where someone behaved the way he did and what negative result came out of it. That way your kid gets to understand that what he’d done was bad through and through.
3. Forgive him and show him you have: Now, your kid may or may not come forward to apologize for what he or she had done, but as parents we get to know when they are contrite and remorseful. Showing them we’ve forgiven them reassures them of our love for them and also makes decide to be better kids.