• kimberlygdubois

Parents, Take Your Power Back!

Parents, you do not need your children's permission to set boundaries, and you don't need them to agree when you tell them no.

I remember being a child and thinking I would never say things like, "because I said so" to my own children. But I was also 12 and had no idea what was really best for me. And no matter how vocal and opinionated they are, you're children don't either.

As a parent it is your job, among other things, to protect your child and create a healthy physical, emotional, and even spiritual environment for him or her. You have the advantage of time, perspective, experience, and wisdom. You understand things they have never even been exposed to in some situations, and you have every right to make decisions your children do not agree with.

She wants a $9 Starbucks and tells you how unfair it is that you get one and she doesn't? Yep, sometimes life is unfair. This is a lesson she'll need to learn if she's going to survive in this world. It's ok to tell her no.

He wants the newest iPhone because all his friends have one, and "I know you can afford it" he defends. Maybe you can. You are still allowed to tell him no. It's your money, and as a parent or head of the household, you get to decide where that money goes. When he earns his own money, he can make those decisions.

"I hate you!" she screams when you tell her she cannot go to a party or hang out with a certain friend. No, she doesn't. She hates the discomfort of your decision, but she doesn't hate you. And no matter how much time you spend trying to get her to understand, there's a good likelihood she isn't going to. So don't fall into the trap of feeling that you must justify or adequately rationalize your decision. In 20 years when she's having the same conversation with your grandchild, she'll see things differently. Until then you're allowed to hold your ground.

Parents, I write these words to empower you and release some of the guilt you might be feeling as your kid gives you the stink eye and pouts all over the house. Even though parenthood really is like a dictatorship, I'm not suggesting you create that sort of rigid home life. It's ok to talk to your children and help them understand the rationale behind your decisions. I encourage you to treat them with the age-appropriate respect they deserve. But at the end of the day, you really are the one in charge. And you don't need their approval for that.

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