Balance in the home

Balance in the home

There was recently a conference, the topic, “The Child-Led Family.” Yes, it was sold out!
This is a phenomenon that stresses the whole family and actually rather than empowering children, it encourages insecurity as the boundaries are vague.

What does this look like?

  1. Children make decisions that may or may not be appropriate.
  2. Parents verbally set limits but do not follow through.
  3. Children are rewarded for actions that are actually their responsibilities as members of a family.
  4. The flow of the household revolves around a child’s wants rather than needs.

Parents are stressed as their own schedules are more than appropriately compromised.

The difference between being aware of a child’s needs and fulfilling them and catering to each whim/want may be slight. Parents and teachers get to know temperament, learning styles and sensitivities. A point made at the conference was not to respond to immediate demand. A child demanding something “NOW” should get a “NO.” Consideration and a sense of self-discipline will never develop for children who always have instant gratification. This sets them up for emotional failure as adults.

Allowing children to make the decisions in a household as well as stating limits and not following through breeds a sense of insecurity. Not knowing limits and expectations leaves a child feeling lost and vulnerable.

I often write about balance in all aspects of life and once again the balance between flexibility and consistency has to be struck. Giving choices which are acceptable, possibly interchangeable give children the experience of deciding yet it is within parameters and the results are acceptable. An example of this is when a child wants to wear weather inappropriate clothing. A parent can then take two acceptable items of clothing out and allow a chance between those two. Tantrum? Wait it out. It’s now or later that tantrums will subside. Let it play out now as an investment in the future. Once it’s over the choice is the same.

Children are more than capable of taking age-appropriate responsibilities. The feeling of success is a reward. Doing a job that is helpful to themselves or family members can develop empathy and responsibility. False praise and low expectations give a child no credit for their potential and are meaningless.

Parenting is tough. Parents taking the lead in the household make it easier in the long run!

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