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Be Firm, But Friendly

FirmThe Generation of children that we are raising now is much more aware, exposed to the world and independent-minded than the previous ones. One can not expect blind obedience from children just because an order has been issued. Nevertheless it is the parents’ responsibility to teach their child right from wrong, to help mould her nature so that she grows up to be a responsible, caring person. The question then arises that just what kind of a parent should you be.

  • You need to create a balance between being firm and being friendly. Your child needs to have the security of your firmness so that she knows her limits. But she also needs you to be friendly enough to understand her need to explore the boundaries of her world. What she really requires is your friendly guidance.

  • Don’t be a remote control parent. You are not there just to supervise her and tell her don’t do this and do that. Join her in her play. Participate in her activities, have fun and enjoy her laughter. She will respect your authority much more if she feels that you are not the kind of person who says no all the time.

  • Decide when to be firm and when to be friendly. Be ready to assert your authority if you feel that a particular behavior or action will result in building wrong characteristics in her; such as hitting people, deliberate destructiveness, cruelty to animals, etc. Put a stop then and there.

  • Learn to ignore some things and simply laugh at others. She will naturally outgrow childish behavior, such as making silly noises at the dinning table. You don’t have to make an issue of every small misdemeanor. Just guide her into better behavior.

  • Show a united front. If your spouse disciplines your child about something which you feel is a non-issue, then don’t immediately contradict it. You can agree or disagree later in private but your child must see you as one unit for empowered parenting to succeed.

You need to be both firm and flexible as per need. If you discipline your child or deny her something, then give her a logical reason. Explain why you are doing it. Your child must feel that you are fair, friendly and understanding, someone she can confide in and rely on. But she must also know without any doubt that you are in charge and have the authority to stop her if she is going wrong. Be Firm. Be Friendly. Adopt the right attitude at the right time. This is what you child needs.

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