“You’re not the boss of me,” you say when your little one throws another temper tantrum. “I have a life too you know,” you protest when they make demands of your time. “You’re not in charge,” you argue when they grab you by the hand and lead you to the sweet aisle of the supermarket.
“I’m the boss!” you say to yourself, despite knowing that in your household, it seems as if your children are the ones who rule the roost!
And so it is with many parents up and down the land. Like the young Mary Queen of Scots who became queen at six days of age, your children may have taken up the throne of leadership at a very young age in your home. Many parents accept this, of course, as in a way, it’s part and parcel of parenting. Our lives change, and it’s something we have to put up with.
Our sleeping patterns are based around the sleeping patterns of our kids, especially when they are young. When they wake up, we wake up!
Our weekends are not our own, as we spend time looking for activities the kids can do, instead of doing those activities we might have done in the past.
And we lose control over the television, spending more hours than we would like watching Peppa Pig, Frozen, Horrid Henry, and any other film or television show that we reluctantly put up with to keep our children happy.
Are you relating to what we are saying thus far? We are sure more than a few of you are nodding your heads. In many ways, your children may have become the head of your household, and it might be something you have grown to accept. And in the examples we have given above, this can happen in quite natural ways. As parents, we will have less time to ourselves. We do have to give in to a new way of life. Our children’s needs will take precedence. And that is the way we assume it is supposed to be. And it is, to an extent.
However, we do need to find time for ourselves too!
As a parent, we need to ask for help. There will be times when we want to have a weekend to ourselves. There will be times when we want quality time with our partners. And there will be times when we want to spend time with other adults, without having to worry about time constraints because of our children’s needs. For those times when we want more control over our lives, we need to ask for help. We might get the grandparents involved, pay for a babysitter, and book our children into holiday clubs and weekend activities. And then, for a while at least, we can regain some control to live our lives and cater to our own needs for a change.
Of course, there are times when the situation at home can become unreasonable. There are times when our children take control through difficult and demanding behaviour patterns.
They throw temper tantrums when they don’t get what they want, and to try and get some semblance of peace and quiet, we give in to their volatile outbursts. We might let them eat what they want so they at least eat something. We might let them stay up longer before going to bed. And we might let them take control of our televisions. Anything for a quiet life! They shout “I want” and we give them what they want.
In such instances, especially when at an age when or children can behave in a more reasonable way, we have to let them know that this behaviour is not acceptable. We need to instil boundaries so they don’t treat us unfairly. And we need to let our no’s be no’s!
When we tell our children they can’t do or have something, we must stick to our guns. The more we give in, the more our children might take advantage of us later. They will whine, throw tantrums, and act stubbornly in a bid to get us to change our minds. But we need to be firm, no matter how tough it is. There are a lot of tips here for dealing with children who engage in such behaviour, so to regain some control over your household, use any of the advice that is appropriate to your situation.
Parenting is about sacrifice, but it’s not about losing who you are as a person. Parenting is about relinquishing some control, but it’s not about letting the children take charge. And parenting is about being the boss, but like any good boss, you need to treat your children fairly. So, today, if you feel as if your children are ruling the roost and taking control of your life, consider our suggestions. Regain control again, and be the head of your household.
*This is a collaborative post. For further information please refer to my disclosure page.