All tactics are situational.
In the outside world, we want our kids to be polite and nice, and, at the same time, strong, courageous and determined enough to stop bullies. There’s no conflict between those values although the kids will need different tactics when befriending other decent kids than they’ll need to stop bullying predators.
At home, the problem I often see is kids who are not polite and kind; they bully their parents and siblings.
These parents lecture their children about having respectful, loving behavior but allow them to throw temper tantrums even when the kids are grown up. They allow their children to be negative, abusive, critical and sarcastic. They allow their teenagers to curse them, threaten them, blame all their problems on them and to contribute no effort toward doing the household chores.
It’s as if these parents believe their task is to make things perfect for their children. And unless they do, the children are entitled to treat them horribly and are allowed to fail in life because their parents weren’t what they wanted. It’s as if they hope that if they love their children enough and give them everything and allow rotten behavior, one day the children will wake up and civilized and loving people.
I’ve never seen that tactic work. I’ve always seen the opposite effect.
Children need to be trained to be social and civilized. Many resist that training. These children find it easier to be arrogant, selfish, demanding, narcissistic and hateful. Civilized, respectful behavior takes much more effort.
If children are allowed to grow up expecting to be the center of the universe, expecting to be catered to and expecting to get everything they want to make them happy they’ll stay the same when they’re teenagers and adults. They become narcissistic control-freaks. They’ll threaten failure, suicide or beating you into submission. Think Veruka Salt from “Willie Wonka.”
The rule should be to treat your parents and siblings better than you’d treat strangers who have something you want.
The only tactic that I’ve seen effective is to set behavioral boundaries and maintain them with consequences no matter how much the kid’s throw tantrums.
You can’t beg or bribe children into behaving respectfully. No matter how guilty they try to make you feel because of the bad things that happened to them, require civilized behavior at home. Since you’re not a bullying parent, you’ll allow them more flexibility when they’re young, but the older they get, the higher the standards you must set.
These resistant children have a hard time between the ages of approximately 10-20.
When kids are young, we allow them to get away with more. We see potential and we accept promises. But between ages about 10-20, the whole world shifts for them. Potential and promises are no longer enough. Results matter more and more.
Especially at home, when they move through the teenage years we must pay only for performance.
Just like the world does also.
How to you know if your child is damaged beyond repair?
The best way to learn how to raise caring, polite kids and to stop selfish, hostile, bullying adults is to hire Dr. Ben for personalized coaching and counseling so you can:
- Develop the strength, courage, will and determination to be and to act your best resolutely, diligently and effectively.
- Develop a plan and master the skills necessary to create the life your spirit has always hungered for.
Since all tactics depend on the situation, call me at 1-877-8Bullies for expert coaching by phone or Skype.