A primary duty of every parent in their child’s training is to establish and retain authority over them.
Raising children is probably the most challenging phase an adult can pass through. There is no particular formula or technique that works with every child because every child is different.
Parents have to figure out what works for their kids on the fly.
While each child is unique and has dissimilar needs and desires, every child needs stability and security that we should be able to do as their caretakers.
Children have always desired independence; this is a trait that can be seen from a toddler learning to walk to a teenager who can’t wait to be free of sharing spaces with their parents by attending college or moving out.
Because children are their own people and can be totally different from their parents, this can leave conflicting emotions for charge and ward.
This is when parents need to let the kids be aware of who is in charge without overdoing it.
Lots of parents have challenges with how to maintain their authority, especially parents whose children grew up with someone else.
Asserting parental authority doesn’t mean that you should become a tyrant or dictator. Just know how to help your kids stay balanced so that they can be prepared for the outside world.
If your children lack total discipline, you are basically setting them up to lack value and become a lesser version of the beautiful people they ought to be as they grow.
The good news is that every parent can learn to be more authoritative in a way that matches their children’s temperaments.
These few tips should help you understand how to retain authority as a parent:
Unlike parents who are un-authoritative, authoritative parents are very welcoming of their children’s opinions. They teach their children to be polite when making their concerns and ideas known.
So, whether they are listening to the same funny story for the umpteenth time or getting some complaints from their kids about something they don’t feel great about, as someone trying to establish control, you have to be able to positively listen so they’ll know to count on you always.
2. Accept Parenthood
Being a parent goes beyond setting rules and meting out punishments. To be a great parent, you should be ready to provide safety and structure for your children.
Take the time to understand the kind of values you want your family to have. Sit your children down and talk about the rules and values you envision for the family.
Let them understand their roles and the reasons why they should follow the rules.
For example, when you ask your kids not to lie, give them reasons why lying is unacceptable. This will help you maintain your hold as the head of the family.
3. Learn to be Respectively Authoritative
Authoritative parents can be respectful toward their wards! You have made rules, and you expect them to be followed. But have you considered what you would do when those rules are ignored or forgotten?
You should remind them respectfully and explain the reasons behind your rules.
Instead of saying “go to sleep because I asked you to,” say “you should get some sleep so that your body and brain can rest and grow strong.”
When your kids understand that your rules were set due to their health concerns, moral and social issues, safety, etc., they will be more interested in following your rules.
4. Teach Life Lessons Through Consequences
Authoritative parents should not make their kids suffer because of a mistake. Neither should they shame their children or use corporal punishment. They also don’t use words like “I am disappointed in you”
Instead, they make their kids understand that it doesn’t make them bad people even though they made a bad choice.
If your child refuses to turn off their video game, you should make them understand that you might withdraw their gaming privileges for 24 hours.
Use consequences to help them do better in the future. If they do something wrong, make them understand the consequence of their action.
5. Do Not Issue Additional Warnings.
If you have to warn your kids, make sure you do not repeat the warnings because this will likely make them ignore your warnings.
If a child doesn’t heed your first warning, let them know what will happen when they don’t. You could refuse to take them to the park for that day or hold their game privileges, as mentioned before.
Don’t waste your time on “Knock it off” or “Stop making me repeat myself.” And if these offenses are major, a time-out is the best way to go.
Never resort to corporal punishment as a way to set your children right.
6. Brace Up For Resistance
When regaining your authority as a parent, have it in mind that you will be confronted with a few bumps.
Children will test your patience and authority, especially when there are few changes made in the house rules. This is normal as children always want to be independent.
Do not fret; rebelling is totally normal, and it happens in every home from time to time.
No matter how hard you are pushed, maintain control and know that things will get better.
When you mete out consequences, stay firm in your decision and have a backup plan in case your children show more resistance to your punishment.
7. Pay Close Attention
Being an authoritative parent should not mean you have to be insensitive to your children. Consider your children’s feelings when taking action. Pay attention and see how they react to your authority.
This does not imply that they have equal voting rights, but it does demonstrate to them that you are in charge and that you are concerned about how your decisions affect them.
If you are thinking of moving across the country, seek your children’s opinion about the move. Don’t ask them if it’s OK to move. The reason is that children lack the wisdom and experience to make major decisions.
8. Maintain a Healthy Relationship With Your Children
As already stated, being an authoritative parent is not about barking orders and insisting on being obeyed. Instead, be a good role model for them and teach them how to grow into responsible adults with love and patience.
Unlike authoritarian parents, authoritative parents exude warmth and love. They give the affection that is needed to nurture and guide their children correctly.
Give your kids undivided attention for a few minutes every day, even on days when they act badly. This will send a message of acceptance and love.
Giving them your time without imposing will make your children less likely to develop anxiety attacks, eating disorders, and feelings of loneliness or depression.
Most often than not, children’s ability to grow up and make good decisions for themselves is usually dependent on how they grow up and the impact of their parents on their lives.
Photo by Kelli McClintock on Unsplash