Who’s the boss in your family?
(and how do you get that power back if you’ve lost it?)
We’re the parents.
Obviously we’re in charge and our kids just know that, right?
It’s true that kids DO know who has the power in the family.
Families are just like any other group dynamic.
The person who has the power isn’t necessarily the person with the “power title of boss, coach, teacher, parent.”
It’s the person who makes things happen … or keeps things from happening.
A boss who is afraid to correct an employee who skirts the rules, is disrespectful, arrives late, makes mistakes, does the bare minimum … that boss loses the respect of all the employees.
A teacher who is afraid to challenge a student who is repeatedly rude, doesn’t complete work, disrupts class discussions … that teacher loses the respect of all the students and loses control of the class.
A parent who is afraid to apply consequences at home, or who allows a child of any age to be rude and disrespectful to anyone, or who gives in to temper tantrums, or who doesn’t have rules and boundaries that are non-negotiable … that parent may be giving their child too much power.
Being the boss of your family doesn’t mean ruling with an iron fist, refusing to allow kids to have any respectful input, making every decision about every single thing.
Being the parent/boss DOES mean that you have expectations, boundaries and consequences that are non-negotiable.
●Do you expect your kids to treat you with respect?
●Do you expect them to be respectful toward teachers, coaches and other authority figures even when they respectfully disagree with something?
●Do you expect them to be kind to siblings?
●Do you expect them to do their homework & chores to a certain standard and by a certain time?
●Do you expect them to honor a curfew?
●How do you expect them to behave at the grocery store, bank, post office, etc?
●Are there certain types of foods you expect them to eat and to avoid?
●Are there family events/activities you expect them to participate in?
●Do you have limits on screen time and the types of things they may watch/play?
●Is it important to you that they develop integrity?
●Do you have expectations for the types of activities & role models/mentors you want them involved in?
●Do you want them to learn to set goals, to not give up, to understand the importance of honoring commitments?
The behaviors & attitudes you reward and correct - or ignore - will determine the behavior you get more of.
Where should you start?
Define the non-negotiables for each child, depending on their age, abilities and personality, and put them in writing.
Decide what the consequence is for each of those non-negotiables and put that in writing also.
Go over the list with the child and both of you sign the agreement.
Then it’s important that you follow the agreement and apply the consequences immediately and consistently.
We often think that knowing there is a list of expectations and consequences will make a child behave.
Children of any age typically want to test boundaries to make sure you really mean what you say, especially if they have been avoiding chores, ignoring family rules, being disrespectful.
It's not having a list of consequences that makes kids behave; it’s suffering the consequences and wanting to avoid a repeat that makes kids learn to follow your rules.
Habits are hard to break and change can be difficult. If your child has been breaking family rules, treating you and others with disrespect, they may not welcome this change in family dynamics and will likely rebel. Stand firm, be confident and follow your expectations/consequences plan consistently, and over time, the family dynamics will change.
Raising children to become strong, confident, respectful adults with integrity and who develop great business and personal relationships requires us to set the example and help them learn about boundaries and consequences.
Spending the time to put in a strong foundation means less time fixing the structure of a house later.
The same applies with your family and raising children.
It takes a village, and at Hilliard Taekwondo Academy, we love being part of our families' villages!