Parenting Tip of the Week

 in Bradenton - Ancient Ways Martial Arts Academy

Directive and supportive choices

Good parenting isn’t about saying “No.” It’s about giving directive and supportive choices. So when my daughter was at “that age,” she asked me the question every dad gets from his daughter at that time, “Daddy, can I have a pony?” My response was quick, I don’t say “No” to my kids, I say yes with caveats. “Absolutely honey, you can have a pony, as soon as you are grown and have your own farm.” Then I redirect to get her focused on something else. “Do you want a farm when you are grown? What other animals will you have there?” Problem solved. I haven’t created animosity, I haven't spoiled her and I haven’t dis-empowered her.

You want to empower your kid by giving them choices, I get that. Give them the choice between two things. “You have to eat something green, you can have the peas or the broccoli, which would you prefer?” If you let them pick their own dinner, they might pick neither. In that case, you haven’t empowered your child, you’ve crippled them and spoiled them.

As a parent, you’ve made the choice for your child to do martial arts, now continue to be the parent and keep them coming when things get tough. They need that and will thank you for it in the long run. Give your child the choice, “You have some time before Martial Arts class. You can either clean your room or do your homework before we go, which would you prefer to do?”

Stop raising your child by trying to be their friend, be their parent. They are going to have hundreds of friends in their lives, but only two parents. In their adulthood they are going to look back and know which parent was better and it won’t be the one who gave them all the choices and all the toys. It’ll be the one who raised them.

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