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March 26, 2015
Firmness with Relationship
Children and parents should be friends, but don’t let that desire weaken your limit-setting. One mom of three teens said, “I used to feel bad when I had to say ‘No’ because I thought they’d be mad at me. Now I’ve learned to make a decision and enforce it because it’s the right thing to do. They may get angry, but I have to do it because I’m their mom. After they settle down, they know I did it for their own good.”
Firmness doesn’t need to be cold and distant. Eye contact, gentle words, and extra time can add a personal touch to parenting that helps children feel valued. Putting your hand on your son’s shoulder, calling your daughter close to give an instruction, addressing a child by name, and speaking softly are all ways to show children that they’re important. Children are not possessions to order around with harshness—they’re treasures to treat with honor. Sometimes we have to respond, “I’m sorry but I have to say no.”
Nagging and harshness, are relationship-damaging patterns and require retraining of both children and parents. Children must learn to respond to different cues, and parents must learn other habits of giving instructions or warnings. Changing habits is not easy and requires self-discipline, courage, and humility. The work, though, provides parents with one of the skills that demonstrates honor-based parenting.
To learn more about honor-based parenting, consider the book, “Say Goodbye to Whining, Complaining, and Bad Attitudes, In You and Your Kids” by Dr Scott Turansky and Joanne Miller. We call it The Honor Book.