Do you feel like you are often asking, begging, or pleading for something to happen and no one listens? Maybe you need a different approach!
Women are often not very good at putting healthy boundaries in place. It is often seen as “being a bitch” if you put your foot down on something. But this isn’t so. Putting your foot down on something and then giving consequences is often a healthy and productive way of getting to a solution.
Children, especially, crave limits and boundaries. They will often push you to your limits to find out if you really mean what you say and if they are safe someone who is confident and secure. This set of behaviors which invole testing starts at a very young age and can easily go into adulthood. There are steps you can take to allow a more productive outcome (and a happier family dynamic!)
First, ask yourself if the expectation is reasonable (i.e. is it fair to make my 3 year old clean the toilet rim every time he pees for example, or do I need to just choose my battles). Next, if your expectation is reasonable, set the rules and expectations in a clear, age appropriate way and explain why it is necessary for the problem to be solved (i.e. “You room needs to stay clean so that it’s a safe place and you learn responsibility when you’re on your own”. A three, for example, they do not need to know all the reasons other than you are the parent and that you know whats best for them. Then explain the consequences.
Consequences are tough but a necessary part of raising a child. If your child doesn’t learn consequences now it will be a lot tougher when they are out on their own and they don’t think they have to pay their bills or get to their job on time. When giving consequences, do it in a direct and unemotional way. DO NOT DISCUSS DURING THE CONSEQUENCE!! You can discuss later if appropriate but NEVER during the consequence. IF you get in a debate about it then it will seem like you are trying to prove yourself as if what you’re saying may be negotiable. If you have thought long and hard about this situation than feel confident that you are doing the right thing. Believe me, they will respect you for it later!
Are you sick of asking your husband or significant other for the same thing over and over again? Think about the problem and the solution and sit down with your husband and explain that you do not want to keep discussing this problem and therefore ask him how the 2 of you can solve the problem as a team. Use “we” statements. Instead of “you” need to fix this problem, say “we” need to fix this problem! If the problem is that you need more help around the house for example, explain how you feel than set boundaries by stating that if the problem doesn’t change than you will need to hire someone (for example). Set a deadline and then drop the issue. Sometimes it takes some creativity to come up with a solution that works for both of you so be open minded.
If you’re a person who is known to give empty threats than it will take some time for people to learn that you mean what you say and this can be a grueling task for all involved. Hang in there…the payoffs will be a happier you and ultimately a happier family!!