Raising kids is difficult, but NOT complicated.
This became painfully obvious a few days ago, watching a dad try to “parent” his two year old.
We were sitting down in a theater and the little boy wandered out into the aisle. So the dad pulled him back into the seat.
Then the little boy wandered back out into the aisle. So the dad made him sit in the aisle next to the seats.
Then the little boy wandered down the aisle. So the dad made him stand next to his seat.
Then the little boy ran down the aisle toward the stage and started dancing. So the dad made him stand down there without dancing.
Finally an usher came and told the dad to contain the little boy. So the dad held the little boy in his lap.
Then the little boy squirmed so much that the dad got up and left.
Now you tell me….Is there anything complicated about the parenting in that situation?
Of course not. The dad knew exactly what he needed to do, make the little boy sit in the seats. But being a parent to that little boy was exceedingly difficult.
And therein lies my frustration with parents who say things like “I just don’t know what to do!”. Of course you know what to do. Be the parent.
All too often we disguise our laziness in a cloak of ignorance.
Decide what is right and proper for Little Johnny to do. Then make them do it. Be completely unwavering in your resolution to make Johnny do the right thing (and therein lies the “difficult”). And guess what? After what will seem like eternity, but is really only a blink in the story of Little Johnny’s childhood, he’ll start listening to you.
Because every time our children win a battle of wills, they’re learning. They’re learning that they’re the boss, that they know best, that they are accountable to nothing but their own whims and fancies. And there’s nothing more dangerous to their happiness, their one-day success as a husband, wife, father or mother, and most importantly-their souls….Than that lesson.