One of things that parents complain to me about is that their kids don’t seem to understand _______________. 

Once, I get past the frustration level, what I usually find is that parents are bothered by the facts that their kids don’t think like little adults. They are frustrated because their kids don’t seem to have the ability to think through the possible consequences of their actions. Their children struggle to connect the dots between actions and consequences. Their kids fail to see the value in a hard work ethic.

Often, it seems that the parents assume their kids should see the world they way they do.

But is this realistic? Do you (or they) view the world the same way you did five years ago? How about 2 years ago?

My fundamental assumption about parenting is that a parents number one responsibility is to teach.

Teaching is about helping our kids learn to connect the dots from actions to consequences. Most of the time, they don’t do that naturally. Sadly, most of the time, discipline is about punishment and not teaching.

It may be because of our get everything done now society but too often we fail to teach our children to consider the consequences of their actions and ask themselves if they want those consequences

We assume that they’ve already done this. Then we become frustrated. Maybe we should expect kids to be kids and plan accordingly. In other words, teach them about consequences without getting frustrated.  What does this look like in real life?

Well, here’s a few steps to do this right now with your children.

  1. Have very clear expectations. If they have chores. Have a due date time on them. If they make the deadline, do they get a reward? What about if they make the deadline for a defined amount of time?
  2. Have very clear consequences. If they fail to make the deadline, what happens. Have this clearly stated ahead of time. If they fail to turn in all of their homework this quarter and the teacher reports it to you, what is consequence?
  3. Empower your children to choose. Expect them to be kids. IT is unreasonable to expect a 10 year old to act like a 15 year old. That doesn’t mean you have to accept poor behavior, it does mean you need be able to know the difference between the two.
  4. Teach your child to negotiate. This is a skill that will be important in their life as an adult. It will help them to feel heard by you. Teach them the right way to negotiate with you regarding responsibilities.
  5. As much as possible, explain to your child the benefits of what your wanting them to do? Why is it important? What are you trying to teach them?
  6. Check your own emotions. Are you frustrated with your child, or with your boss and your child’s getting the brunt of it? Does your child remind you of something in you that you don’t like and you’re reacting to that

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