How You May Be Losing Your Parental Authority

As a busy parent, it’s easy to fall into bad habits that you may develop during times when your child is being difficult. Here are some ways that you might accidentally be losing children’s respect and obedience without even knowing it.

1. Ignoring Your Child’s Disrespectful Behavior

When your children are misbehaving, you may not know what the best approach is. You’ve tried scolding them and telling them that it’s wrong, but if those don’t work, should you just ignore them and hope they stop? Absolutely not. If you ignore their disrespectful behavior, you are showing them that it’s ok to act that way, and they will get away with it.

Do your best to stay calm, and teach them that they must respect you if they want privileges of any kind. If you raise your voice and get angry, your children won’t be open to cooperating with you.

2. Not Following Through With Discipline

If you don’t enforce your punishments, then this will show your children that you don’t actually have the power that you say you do.

If you send your child to their room, make sure they go and stay there until you tell them they can come out. If you take away their phone as a punishment, don’t give the phone back until enough time has passed for them to learn their lesson.

3. Not Ever Telling Them “No”

Sometimes, you’ve just got to let your children cry it out. If you make a decision and tell them “no,” about something, they will probably try to cry and throw a tantrum to make you feel bad.

Don’t give them what they want just to pacify their tantrum. It’s important to follow through with your decision so that they will know in the future that no means no.

4. Clean Up Every Mess

If your child never has to clean up their own messes, they will become lazy. As they are growing up, clean their messes with them so that they learn how to, but eventually let them do it on their own.

If you clean up all of your child’s messes for them, they will never feel the need to clean up after themselves, and they’ll never learn. If they never learn how to clean, then this can cause some serious dependency issues in their adult lives.


Still have questions? This Tedx Talk by Kim Constable, “Whose Fault When Children Disobey?” should be very helpful. She’s a radical unschooling mother of four who discusses how disciplining with anger may just be doing the opposite of what your intentions are for it to do.