It’s tough for parents to enforce rules when kids throw a tantrum. But find out the one big reason parents should stand their ground.
Imagine throwing a tantrum… and getting everything you demanded. You might think this is ideal for a child, but being too lenient can often lead to adverse consequences.
Why parents should stand their ground:
Giving in to children may lead them to believe that negative actions are the way to get anything. Kids learn that throwing a fit means mom and dad break down and oblige. So they’ll use this method more often than not to get what they want.
Kids are incapable of running a household. When decision-making falls on their shoulders, chaos ensues. Offering choices provides empowerment and holds kids accountable. But letting kids decide all things leads to a household with no order, respect or authority.
When kids grow into adults, they’ll learn that the rest of the world doesn’t bend the way their parents did. They’ll face classmates and teachers who will have little patience for their antics. And they won’t understand that jobs, partners and goals don’t come easily.
These are all useful reasons to remember when your child is being difficult. But the biggest reason we shouldn’t be so permissive is…
The biggest reason:
It frightens them.
I picked up the book The Bright Kid Challenge by Andrew Fuller and loved this quote (emphasis mine):
It is not a great thing to win every argument when you are three or four years old. Not only does that mean that your tantrums are more powerful than your parents, it also raises the frightening prospect that no one stronger can protect you. For parents, this means that you can’t afford to crumple every time your child raises his voice. Do not give in to his every last whim.
You’ll pick your battles. Some issues are easier to resolve when you let it go (not to mention saving your sanity). But kids need to know that parents will stand their ground against their whims and tantrums.
When kids throw tantrums, their brains don’t process events logically. And the emotions that run through them can often feel like a monster taking over.
Tantrums in themselves are scary enough. Now imagine feeling like no one—not even your parents—can put a stop to them.
When you stand your ground, your kids also know they don’t bear the power to make big decisions. The prospect of having so much power can seem terrifying. They thrive under the leadership of responsible adults. Not to have free reign to make choices beyond their capabilities. Encourage them to explore and assert themselves, but within the boundaries you’ve established.
We see tantrums as kids wanting things their way, but what they really want is for us to help them. I realized that fussiness wasn’t yet another challenge in this parenting journey. It’s an experience reminding our kids that we’ll protect them, even from their fears.
Struggling with your child’s tantrums? Get my FREE quick guide to help you figure out what to do when tantrums strike. Download it below:
Get more tips about discipline and your child’s behavior:
- Why You Shouldn’t Tell Your Child to Stop Crying
- How to Stop Your Child from Whining and Speak Politely Instead
- The Surprisingly Simple Question You Should Always Ask Yourself before Disciplining Your Child
- How to Stop Siblings from Fighting and Teach Conflict Resolution Instead
- How to Discipline a Toddler Who Deliberately Disobeys