Kids' Choices and Parenting Dysfunctions

I understand that the Acronym for P.D.D. is already taken for Pervasive Developmental Disorders, but I believe it should have stood for Parental Dysfunction Disorder.  What IS Parental Dysfunction Disorder?  It's parenting with dysfunction which creates disobedience disorders in children.  You tell me if you think this is based on theory.

The parent who argues with their children, tells them what to do in angry tones and threatens them without teaching or explaining to the child why it's important, safe, or mature to obey have P.D.D.   This parenting method will bring rebellion into any child's heart and it will become a matter of who has more control in the teen years. 

Parents learn discipline from their parents so behaviors are passed down generationally and these behaviors are usually blind spots.  Those who do not learn better ways to parent will repeat the patterns in similar ways.  

Parents who insist that their child "isn't listening" need to understand one very important point; your child is listening to every word you say but they are not obeying you because your own rebellious spirit hasn't learned to obey.  It's like telling a child not to smoke while you have a cigarette butt hanging out of your mouth.  Teaching your child how to obey and how to make good choices starts by you teaching in a calm loving way what a choice is that leads to obedience.  

Perhaps you are getting spun up by reading this article because you believe kids are to be told what to do and should only be seen not heard.  That's one perspective, then there is the one of choice.  What is right for me may not be right for you, but the question is, what is right for your child?

Below are two examples of choices you can say calmly and lovingly before an argument breaks out and you can use these in any given situation: 

For Toddlers or older:  "You have a choice;  A - either you can obey me and come sit down to eat your food, or B - you can sit in a time out first and then come to the table.  Which would you prefer?"  Give them time to think and respond.  If they chose B, then follow through with the consequence according to their age (a 2-year-old would have a 2 minute time out, where a 10-year-old would have 10 minutes).  Develop a 'time out spot' in your home and keep bringing them back to that spot if they get up over and over.  Every time they get up their time must start all over again. When they finish the time required you ask them if they are sorry for disobeying and give them a hug.  Situation resolved.

For Teenagers:  "You have a choice;  A - You can come in by 11:00 pm tonight and we'll gladly help pay for your car insurance, or B - you can come in at 1 am but your car will remain in the driveway on cylinder blocks until you learn to abide by the 11:00 pm curfiew." Follow through with this if you have said you would do it.  Be a person of integrity so your child can be one also.

In these examples there is no arguing, no unloving yelling, no fearful threats being perpetrated against the child, and a choice was given for them to be accountable and responsible.  If they make the right decision, you acknowledge them with a hug, a pat on the back or verbally saying, "Nice job on making a good decision."  Acknowledge yourself for making the right choice to discipline with love.

Help them learn to think for themselves by giving them a choice so they learn to do the right thing before you go into combat.  Being consistent is key.  This becomes a win-win for everyone in the home.

Would you like to know more about parenting skills to preserve your relationships? Learn from Coaching Expert Kellie Frazier, CEO of Connecting LLC.

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