Just as there is no such thing as a bad dog...there are only bad dog owners, there is no such thing as rotten or misbehaving children, just rotten parents. Wouldn't you agree?
That thought occurred to me the other day when I was walking with a friend and her toddler took off running up the road. She's telling him to stop and come back but he wasn't listening. Just had a little mischievous look in his eye as he's running away and she says with a sigh, "he never listens."
And in my mind, I thought, "That's because you don't require him to listen." And really, he wasn't getting into any danger so it's really no big deal. And that child really does listen when it's important but it just sparked a thought in my mind that it really does fall back onto parenting.
As a parent is it our responsibility to support our children and help them to become helpful, attentive, kind, caring human beings and of course, listen to our words when we speak to them. That is a tall order! That is why parenting is so challenging. We've had our challenges that I've shared in a previous post where the hubs was really not feeling our daughter's poor attitude. And, in looking at what we were trying to accomplish with the tools that we had, I came to the realization that yes, I could use the "let's take everything away" tactic should she not listen. You know, hit them where it hurts (though to be honest, I don't think that really works for a six year old). We could use stronger measures like yelling...but at the end of the day what I came away with was, No, there has to be a better way. I didn't have an answer but at ideally, I wanted my daughter's decisions to act accordingly to come from her and not from fear or from wanting to get something in return for said action.
My kid is all fire. What I'm trying to do from now until she gets into her teens is to connect with her. I want to work towards always keeping an even keel with her and hopefully conveying to her that she can always come to us. I don't want her to look at us and roll her eyes and have her thinking it's her against us and the whole world. Wish me luck.