“My child just won’t take no for an answer!”
It’s interesting that this comment actually tells more about the parent than about the child. Usually, children who won’t take no for an answer have no reason to believe it because their parents are too permissive – unable to really say “no” and mean it.
How can you tell if you are a permissive parent? And what can you do about it?
Signs of Permissive Parenting
The behavior of your child will give you a clue. Consider these 9 signs:
1. Your Child Controls Your Life
Your child thinks the world revolves around them because they always come first, even above your marriage.
How to turn it around: Regularly make time for you and your mate. Plan dates and have a babysitter watch your children. It will teach them to be considerate.
2. Your Child Always Complains About Being Bored
Nothing seems to gratify your child. They get a new toy, but it doesn’t hold their attention for long.
How to turn it around: Teach them to make choices. Don’t give them just anything they want. Offer them two things and have them pick one.
3. Your Child Constantly Throws Tantrums
Toddlers often have tantrums because they have little experience handling their emotions – it’s normal. But a child throwing tantrums every time you set limits has a problem.
How to turn it around: Be empathetic, but let them know their behavior is unacceptable. Help your child find the right way and words to express their feelings.
4. Your Child Shows Physical Aggression
Your child lashes out on impulse, hitting others when they don’t get their way or grabbing toys from other children.
How to turn it around: Hold your child accountable in a manner that’s appropriate for their age. Teach them that physical aggression is unacceptable and how to make amends.
5. Your Child Pushes the Limits of Safety
Wanting to leap off roofs or doing other unsafe things displays your child’s inexperience and inability to make good judgments.
How to turn it around: Setting limits and protecting your child from danger goes above wanting them to be happy. A parent’s responsibility to keep their children safe is non-negotiable.
6. Your Child Is Rude to Others
Your child displays verbal aggression and disrespect, talking rudely to you and other adults and being mean to their peers.
How to turn it around: Teach your child empathy, let them know that other people have feelings and they get hurt when spoken to rudely. Have them apologize.
7. Your Child Acts Bossy
Your child thinks everything is theirs. They always want everything to go their way and their friends to do what they want them to do.
How to turn it around: Teach your child to share and see that it’s more fun to be able to play with their friends than always having their way. Help them understand that not everything belongs to them and that they wouldn’t want anyone to just take their things.
8. Your Child Whines and Begs
Not just now and then. This goes on throughout the day, wearing you down and trying to turn your “no” into a “yes.”
How to turn it around: It can be unnerving to listen to, but firmly inform your child that you won’t respond until they use a regular voice because you just can’t understand them when they speak in that wailing tone.
9. Your Child Shows Defiance
When your child says “no,” always negotiates with you, and doesn’t follow rules, they are attempting to manipulate you into bribing them.
How to turn it around: Don’t bribe! You have to stand your ground and reward your child only after they show good behavior. The best reward – special time spent with you!