Learning to Use Power Well

If you want to stop a negative behavior, punish the child. If you want to change a behavior, use consistent, fair consequences. When a child receives consistent feedback that a certain behavior is not acceptable and is given appropriate consequences for that choice, the child will stop a behavior.

Here are some questions to ask yourself to find out if you are on track:  (1) Do your children fight a lot?  (2) When you ask a child to do something does that child listen and comply? (3) When your child receives instructions from you, does that child throw a temper tantrum? (4) Is it necessary to constantly badger your child to get him/her to do something? (5) Do you often have “spankers remorse,” realizing you were too angry or that spanking was not necessary? (6) Are you exhausted at the end of each day from so much conflict and anger? (7) Is your home a predominantly happy, loving place in which you all live?

The above examples deal with the misuse of power by children. When a child’s power exceeds the parent’s, the adult resorts to anger-based strategies. One reason it is so important to use a consistent discipline system is that it keeps children safe from irrational anger.

When a child challenges everything a parent says or does, anger is the natural response from the parent. It is annoying when someone 2 feet tall has more power than you do!  It is frustrating when a teenager treats you like something the cat dragged into the house!

Spanking becomes more than a little tap. Yelling is constant and totally ineffective. Bribing, threatening and other demonstrations of anger leave lasting negative imprints in the child’s spirit.

Your job is to raise reliable, respectful, responsible, resilient human beings. That won’t happen if your children are allowed to misuse power.

I am beginning  a new adventure for myself, writing this blog.  If you want more help from me faster than the blog will provide,  go to pareningsos.com.  I promised my grandchicks, when  they were born, I would do everything I can to help make the world a safer place; parentingsos.com is one segment of keeping that promise .  It’s up to you to take the time to invest in your parenting journey.

Tell your friends and family the blog exists. Stay with me as I learn to make writing a part of my life—like it was when I wrote a parenting column for the Orange County Register in California.

Remember to take gentle care of you!

Love,     Sandy

Sandy Spurgeon McDaniel