Who is really in charge at your house?

It is so easy to feel like a failure as a parent and so hard to remember that the early years are unbelievably testing times for all parents. We will all fail over and over, especially if we have set impossible standards for ourselves. Sadly, it is usually the parents who have the highest standards and ideals who feel they have let themselves down the most.

Many parents write to me asking for help. They do so usually because the light has gone put of their parenting experience and they are struggling to enjoy their role as parents. They often say they feel they have failed through their own mistakes. Most of the 'failures' are about ordinary daily events such as sleeping and eating and for toddlers, about listening to and carrying out simple instructions. Many recount how, through sheer exhaustion, they have just given in time and again and now they are reaping the sad rewards of their own making.

These parents need to learn how to be consistent.

Being consistent requires making a decision and sticking to it - surprisingly, it usually only takes a short time to change even some firmly embedded behaviour.

To adopt a consistent parenting style we need to rethink who is in charge at our house - the kids or the parents!

Take Charge of Your Parenting

Your children need you to be the parent first, not their friend. They are children and you are in charge of them. When they are little, they need you to be in charge of decisions while they get on with the business of just being.

It sounds simplistic, but many parents gradually give away their sense of power to their little ones without really noticing that is what they are doing.

Tiredness means we often can't think clearly and again it is often the mothers who try their hardest to be the very best they can for their babies who end up overwhelmed by their children's demands.

It is a rude awakening to discover that you have given all the power over to an infant under the age of one. Especially if you came from a cracking career where you were very responsible for a great deal and did it extremely well!!

I frequently hear mothers say, my baby doesn't like - her high chair, the car seat, lying on the floor, sleeping in her crib, eating carrots etc. I usually ask them how they know that, and when they decided that the baby would be responsible for those decisions.

One young mum told me she was feeling desperately lonely as she had recently moved to a small country town, leaving all her friends and family about 30 minutes drive away. I replied that I really felt for her having no transport to visit them. "Oh, no", she replied. "I have a car but my baby doesn't like the car seat so I can't go anywhere". Her baby was 14 weeks old at the time.

You are the parent - you take charge of the situation.

You decide you need to go out in the car then they need to go in the car seat. If your child is distressed then look at a combination of factors to see what their triggers are, rather than deciding they don't like the car seat.

Are they over tired? Over stimulated, hungry, thirsty, uncomfortable?

Take a deep breath and don't rush them. Be consistent and firm in your decision. Take charge! Nothing lasts for long in baby world and within a short time, the baby has moved on to another stage.

It pays us to remember that on a daily basis a child is constantly asking by their actions and reactions,

"Show me how to use my power"

When we create consistent boundaries and serve fair consequences, we have given our children the answer to this question. Children learn about power by the way we use it for ourselves and how we use power over others.

Take charge and be the parent at your house! Your children may balk at first, but in the long run they will thank you for it and a calm, happy household will be your reward.

Author's Bio: 

As Editor of Consistent Parenting Advice.com,
I believe that being a consistent parent is both vitally important and totally necessary to ensure a happy family life. However, becoming a consistent parent is rather like trying to push water uphill if we are not consistent within our selves. This website addresses HOW to adopt a firm, clear, consistent parenting approach, while enabling you to enhance and increase your emotional well-being.