Discipline in kids: A dicey topic
Find out how grandparents can help instill good behaviour in your kids
Most grandparents hate stepping into the disciplinarian’s role when it comes to their grandchildren. Their argument? They have done it all as parents, and in their golden years, would rather enjoy playing pals with the little ones. It is no wonder then that most kids have their grandparents wrapped around their little fingers!
Parents largely prefer leaving their kids with the grandparents if they feel a full-time nanny or daycare is not a favourable option. But the problem arises when your in-laws or parents avoid impressing discipline in kids… at least not your way. Here are some tips you could follow to involve the grandparents in your child’s disciplining process.
Consider your rules
Be clear with your ideas on disciplining your child with your parents or in-laws. Tell them that there are certain codes of behaviour your child has to learn. For example, clearly state that you cannot have your child back answering and that it’s not okay for the grandparents to ignore this behaviour by saying, “she’s just a child."
Voice your concerns over consistency in disciplining techniques. Remind the grandparents that if consistency is not maintained, the child may turn out to be manipulative. For instance, you cannot have a grandparent entertain your child’s tantrum for a new toy when you intend to correct his behaviour for the same temper outburst.
Most often, our parents may not agree with our parenting styles. After all, they disciplined you differently, yet you’ve turned out okay. In such instances, gently reason out with them as to why an old method doesn’t hold good today. If they are a tough nut to crack, tell them that you will consider their disciplining techniques, and put them to effect when suitable.
Make it fun
Aren’t grandparents the ultimate story-tellers? So why not urge them to play to their strengths and discipline the kids? For example, encourage them to narrate stories with morals, thereby inculcating basic values in the kids.
Mummy isn’t a monster
There are times when the grandparents may adapt to your disciplining techniques, but portray you as the ‘baddie’ in the process. Gently guide them to better ways of making suggestions that won’t leave you feeling undermined or criticized.
Lastly, as a parent, remember that explaining patiently goes a long way. Just make sure to avoid mental tussles between you and your child's other caregivers. Appreciate the fact that we have an advantage of such a support system in our country. Also remember and remind, if necessary, that the common goal is to make the child grow up to be a well-behaved, well-rounded individual.
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