If your kids are bossy

Open letter to today’s young parents

Nowadays, there seem to be some kind of confusion about what’s the parents’ job. As you know, I have raised three children and I would like to share the vision my long experience has taught me:

  • Every newborn baby is an infinite pool of desire or primary impulses
  • It’s the parents’ task to help the child learn how to postpone and manage all these desires, which is the basis of self-regulation and socialization
  • Setting limits means protecting our child from being overwhelmed by too many choices; there is a technique how to pretend giving them a choice but still keeping the control
  • The only way we can do that is say « NO » in a calm and determined manner – and it’s learnable!
  • However, the task is immense because children have loads of energy and time to demand
  • Therefore, setting limits all day long is exhausting but nonetheless necessary
  • Once you start restricting the kid’s space by these clear limits, they integrate them very quickly if you are consistent; it’s learning new habits
  • That’s why it’s important to start with a single limit at a time
  • The good news is that once the framework is set, your life becomes much easier 🙂
  • This might be the time to experience your own power by holding on to this one particular limit (make your voice and body language unmistaken)
  • In a nutshell, why not convert your tolerance into a new love of a kind through clarity (on what’s acceptable behavior, and what’s not)

These points of reference are the “hard” side of my maternal role. If you’re interested in my “soft” side, please also view the article about “The Magical Touch”. Enjoy!