How to control a child: tips for parents

If this car had a child control button instead of a cruise control, you could pay good money for it. How to control a child.

How to control a child: tips for parents
How to control a child: tips for parents

Imagine that you are driving with the whole family. Your favorite music is played on the radio, and with each kilometer all the problems become more and more distant from you. This idyll is broken by the cries of your children: "He hit me!", "She is teased again!". You think, "If this car had a child control button instead of a cruise control, you could pay good money for it. How to control a child.

In fact, if you could control your children completely, any family trip would be without excesses, and you would be able to talk on the phone and avoid many domestic quarrels. If control is such an important part of parenting, how can we effectively control our children?

Parental control: pros and cons

Consider the main problems that parents have in controlling their children's behavior, as well as ways to establish that control.

First, you need to understand that both parents can control the child equally. Many of us have a feeling that a child who is overly controlled becomes irritable, intolerant of himself and others.

Imagine that in the first class in a drawing lesson, when it is necessary to draw a landscape, the teacher gives the children only blue, green and brown pencils, because he believes that nature has only these colors. In this sense, control means strict restriction. On the other hand, it is self-control that makes society civilized, and, since the child is not yet in complete control of himself, the parents must explain to him that every action has real consequences that need to be anticipated. Both views on parental control are not absolute.

Most misunderstandings about controlling children's behavior are rooted in the fact that we forget two important things. First, we can control not children, but only situations. Second, in the process of controlling children, the relationship between them and their parents is no less important than encouragement and punishment.

Control and parenting styles

Many studies in the field of psychology are devoted to the problem of parental control. Well-known American psychologist considers this problem in the framework of his theory of parenting styles. It distinguishes three main styles:

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  1. Authoritarian style. Parents who follow it are guided by the rule "because I said so" and encourage the child to obey. They strictly ensure that the child follows the established rules, and the most effective way to achieve this is punishment. The child must first listen to the parents, and only then- listen to your own feelings. Children of authoritarian parents become "good" adults: they know how to obey, but usually do not have sufficient social skills and are generally unhappy.
  2. Democratic style. Democratic parents, like authoritarian ones, communicate their expectations to the child, but they are more receptive to his feelings and reactions. The expectations and goals of such parents are presented to the child in a positive light, and not as forever established rules, that the child should be afraid of. Democratic parents balance negative consequences for bad deeds and positive upbringing. In some cases, they forgive the child for her guilt. Democratic parents respect their children, so children grow up happy and successful.
  3. Liberal (which allows everything) style. Parents do not set strict rules for the child, and their expectations of the child are low. Liberal parents believe that a child is naturally inclined to choose the best patterns of behavior, and he should not interfere. Honestly, liberal parents are sometimes afraid of conflict with their children and want to be their friends, not their enemies. Not surprisingly, children often have problems with self-control as a result of such upbringing.

It may seem that authoritarian parents tend to control their children the most. In such families, children do not show audacity in conversations with adults, listen to them and behave well. However, authoritarian parents often confuse control over the child and control over the situation. The problem with this type of control is that over time it does not lead to development in the child Self-control, and to her fear of authority. In addition, the control of authoritarian parents is based more on punishment than on encouragement. The child learns to avoid punishment, not to feel positive emotions from encouragement.

On the other hand, liberal parents, who allow everything to the child, often do not have the skills to control the situation: a command voice, the ability to control the child through praise or anticipation of problematic situations. In the end, liberal parents admit their defeat because they believe that when they take control of the situation, it means that their method of upbringing has not worked. When the situation gets out of hand, both liberal and authoritarian parents can shout at the child, impose excessive punishment on him or threaten him ("Wait, here we go home and you will see me").

Democratic parents are in control of situations better than others. They find effective ways to influence the child and know how to use the positive and negative consequences to achieve the desired. Here's how democratic parents differ from other parents:

They understand that a child cannot change his behavior in an instant. Therefore, such parents always try to influence the situation, and as a result, the child gradually changes for the better;

They know that a positive relationship with the child (attention to him, praise, encouraging phrases, corrective behavior, establishing consequences for bad deeds, etc.) is more effective than a system of incentives and punishments. Democratic parents understand that children's respect can be gained through trial and error; when a child misbehaves, parents honestly and clearly explain to them what they are doing wrong.

Central to democratic upbringing is the understanding that control over a child's behavior is established step by step as parents follow a clear plan and choose the most effective parenting strategies.

How to properly control children

As we can see, parental control can not only limit the child, as we used to think, but also benefit him. Consider specific control-related situations that parents often face:

  • Children sit in the car in the back seat and misbehave. Children often do not like it when they are forced to ride in the back seat, so they become cranky and misbehave. Parents may lose control of the situation. First, they are limited in time due to the need to get to the destination on time. Parents think, "As soon as we get there, I can stop this behavior of children." Second, children behave badly because they lack space and attention parents. To stop this, praise a child who behaves better (psychologists call this technique "differential praise for good behavior"), even if he behaves well for only a few minutes. It will also be useful to occupy the child with one or another job. For example, take a map with you, mark the start and end points of your trip on it, and ask the children to keep track of which streets or towns you have traveled to;
  • The more children, the more noise. It is difficult for parents to keep track of several children. The more children in the family, the more difficulties may arise in this regard. Instead of shouting or punishing all the children at once, talk to each child individually. Even if you are talking to two children at the same time, consider each child's misbehavior separately. Consider each case. For example, talk to your child only about the fact that she ran away from you in the store or that the son went into the daughter's room without permission and fought. Do not try to fix everything at once.