Children want us to set rules and enforce them. Boundaries make kids feel loved and secure. Katherine Lee from Child Parenting says that children who have been disciplined have more self-control, are more self-sufficient, are more self-confident, understand accountability and are simply more pleasant to be around. Of course, how we discipline is just as important as whether or not we discipline.
In other words, if you're going to be the boss, you had better be a good one.
The Huffington Post shares some of the traits that make a good boss.
. If you want to be the boss of your children, you need to make sure that you have clear expectations. Set family rules and make sure your children are aware of the consequences.
They hold themselves and others accountable
. Be consistent when enforcing your family rules. The University of Alabama Parenting Assistance Line web site says that consistency in parenting makes your children feel more secure and less anxious. Inconsistent parenting causes confusion, poor self-esteem and often negative values. Hold yourself accountable, too. When you make a mistake, don't be afraid to admit it and ask your children for forgiveness.
The other day, my husband asked my 12-year-old son to help him organize the garage. They were trying to hang bike hooks, and my husband became frustrated with my son. It hurt his feelings. When my son told him how he felt, my husband apologized and said he would try to be more encouraging. Because of my husband's actions, what could have become a rift between them strengthened their relationship instead.
They fix things
. Parents need to be problem-solvers, and we need to teach our children problem-solving skills. When our kids skin their knees, we fix it with a kiss and a band-aid. When their hearts are broken, we fix it with a listening ear, hugs and ice cream. As children get older, let them work out their problems with you as the mediator. Help them compile a list of possible solutions and choose the best option.
They're effective, not productive
. When did busyness become a virtue? Slow down and enjoy the small, tender moments that matter to your children. Take time to listen to your kids and find out what is going on in their lives. Scale back your activities if you feel they are taking too much time away from your family.
They have a sense of humor, humility and empathy
. You will discover if you have a sense of humor the first time your toddler cuts her own hair, scribbles on the mirror with your lipstick or pours honey on your carpeted stairs (yes, that happened to me). Psychology Today says that laughter is the best way to warm up a relationship. It drains the tension from a situation and helps diffuse rising tempers.
Try to remember what it was like to be a kid. Share stories of your childhood with your children, especially if it's funny, embarrassing or relates to what your child is going through. Let your kids know that you survived, and they will, too.
They live for their jobs as parents
. Parenting is the most challenging, relentless and difficult work you will ever do. It is also the most rewarding. You get a front-row seat to watch these amazing young things grow and develop and become fascinating adults. There is nothing more satisfying than watching our children succeed (or fail) and pick themselves up to try again. You get decades of hugs, kisses, giggles, and eventually, thank yous.
Be the boss. Be a really good boss, and you and your children will be blessed for it.