Image: Flickr/Lotus Carroll
“You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, ‘I have lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.’ You must do the thing you think you cannot do.” (Eleanor Roosevelt)
Most parents really do want to be a loving authority at home. And yet we often feel trapped by fear and indecision when it comes to making the hard calls. We may be afraid to admit it, but the truth is, we’re a little bit spooked by our own children. We’re afraid of disappointing them or making their lives difficult. We’ve fallen prey to the notion that making our children happy should be the ultimate goal.
This is why a child’s tantrum can completely derail any attempt at discipline. We cringe at the thought of making an unpopular choice because we fear how our child will react.
Here’s one way to get rid of that fear: embrace it. What is it that you know you should do but think you cannot because you’re afraid of how your son or daughter might react? Now, remember that you cannot control your child; but you can control yourself. You can handle it, regardless of how he or she behaves. When you think of it this way, you might find yourself looking forward to their next throwdown — at least a little bit.
You will live through the horror. In all likelihood, you’ll end up stronger for sticking to your guns in a calm and connected way.