When we react to child behavior with anger, stress and strain, we may be trying too hard to help our children succeed in living up to our expectations.
We parents want our children to follow our rules, but the parenting strategy we employ to make that happen may undermine our objective, cause us pointless parent frustration and cause the child needless suffering.
Reacting with impatience and anger to motivate your child to do as you say makes parenting children a miserable strain and drain AND it doesnâ€™t really work.
While routinely reacting to a childâ€™s lapse in behavior with harsh, angry criticism, pitiful complaining and intimidating demands is a common parenting strategy, it can undermine the childâ€™s ability to succeed in life.
You may get your child to comply with your demand by yelling, threatening or complaining in extreme frustration, but the intense dissatisfaction you express erodes the childâ€™s self-confidence and self-esteem.
This emotional erosion not only causes the child needless suffering, it ends up lowering the childâ€™s ability to perform and ends up worsening the childâ€™s behavior problem in the long run.
Raising kids who are self-motivated to be successful requires that we honor their need to believe in themselves.
When children believe in themselves, they feel motivated to do their best to live up to their parentâ€™s positive expectations, as well as the expectations of teachers.Â
They see themselves capable of succeeding, and this can develop into a long term pattern of positive motivation.
When a child sees himself as capable of succeeding, the child has the motivation to do what it takes to succeed.
So the parent advice we need is how to constructively and compassionately lead children into higher performance.
The answer is for the parent to lose the habit of angry criticism and complaining.Â Replace it with closer supervision and more constructive involvement in the parent child relationship.
Calmly guide your child to follow the rule that he breaks.Â Each time that you help her to successfully follow the rule her self-discipline grows stronger.
Pro-actively engage the child in, say, flushing the toilet, turning off the light when he leaves the room, closing his drawers, cleaning up his mess before moving into another activity, instead of impatiently criticizing, complaining or blowing your top.
When you see her about to, say, use her fingers to eat her pasta, remind her to use her fork.Â When she follows the rule, even with your help, she seeâ€™s herself succeeding.Â You can nurture her self-esteem further by saying something like, â€śGood work.â€ť
Each time you give your child the help he needs to succeed, your child receives a â€śtrainingâ€ť that develops his drive and commitment to success.
Admittedly, following this parenting advice for raising successful children takes work, but it is proves less taxing and far more constructive, than relying on reactions of extreme harshness.