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Your Child Is a Good Child

by Michael E. Kirk, PhD
Dr. Kirk is a local clinical psychologist, father and grandfather, who specializes in working with families, adolescents, and children.

On occasion, you may have to reprimand your child for something. Sometimes, you may have to raise your voice. But, overall, your child is a Good Child. You may have to remind your child to turn off the iPad and get back to her homework or, perhaps, get that room of hers cleaned up. But, overall, your child is a Good Child, even though you clean her room for her. You might get somewhat frustrated at times when your child neglects to do what is expected of him but, basically, your child is a Good Child.

Here’s the problem. If you continue to create a situation where just every now and then you find yourself scolding, reminding, yelling, and then doing the work for your child, you may be creating a problem that will be difficult to turn around.

Parents often say, “I am just too tired to deal with it,” or “The children just wear me down,” and “I finally just decide to do it myself,” along with “I ask the kids and then yell, and still they ignore me. I just give up!” Herein lies the problem that will prevent your Good Child from appearing to be good to you and others: you are not consistent with your interactions. A parent’s job is to ready the child to be a successful adult in the real world, the workplace world, not feel sorry for them because you give them too much work.

Expecting your Good Child to comply when you direct him to do something and then taking responsibility for the chore when he does not perform it is illogical. You have told him to do it, but then you do it. How is he to believe you when you do his work for him? A parent mentioned that she has to “remind these kids so much, it is just easier if I do it.” How is that even logical for you to ask someone to do something and then do it yourself?

Your child is a Good Child. The problem is that you continue to: tell or ask your child to do some task; remind him when it is not being completed; then remind him again; and eventually, acting out your frustration, you complete the chore. How is your child to actually believe what it is you want when you continue to show him something completely opposite? I am going to ask you to do something, but you should just ignore me, because I will act frustrated and then will do it later. It may seem easier to complete the chore for the child, but easier for who?

If we want our children to do as we tell them, then we must insist they do the chores we have set out for them. Telling your son to clean up the kitchen should be an expected event. “When the kitchen job is complete, I would be glad to give my son a ride,” you tell him when he is requesting something from you but has given nothing to you as yet. You can inform your daughter that she will be allowed to watch television or use the computer but only after she cleans the house and folds some laundry. “My daughter can use my computer when she has completed the chores I told her to do,” you can say out loud. She will hear you, but you are not interacting with her. That can wait until she has been compliant. In the adult world, people have to work hard for what they get, and that is certainly something we should be teaching our children. Allowing them to ignore a parent’s demand does not prepare the child for the demands and expectations of a real world workplace. Help your child be successful and allow him or her to do the work.

Your child is a Good Child. You can help him or her to be a Successful Child as well.

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Tags: Featured Story, Parenting

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