One day, a few years ago, I was eating at a Thai restaurant. The waiter and I began talking. He asked me what I did for a living and I told him I was currently a traveling nanny.
“I have a huge problem and I think that maybe you can help me.” He told me. “My children don’t listen to me and I don’t know what to do. Do you have any advice for me?”
I wasn’t used to such blunt honesty. I took a moment before responding. “When you tell your children to do something, do you follow through and make them do that particular action? For example. When you tell them that they must go to bed at 8 pm, do you follow through?”
“No, I don’t but it is just so hard because my time with them is limited and I want them to love and appreciate me and I just thought by letting them stay up can I give them that.”
“They don’t respect you. That’s why they’re not listening to you. You don’t follow through with your words which gives them no reason to respect you.”
I saw this same man months later at the same restaurant and he told me he started following through and it changed his parenting. He said his children now respect him.
Children need parents to step up to the bat and follow through. Goodness, it might not always seem that way in the moment! In the moment your child is screaming and if you give your child the piece of candy you previously told them they couldn’t have then it will shut them up in the short term. In the short term it’s so easy to cave and give them what they’re asking for, but is that really what you want? The outcome will end in a child who doesn’t respect you.
You’ve got this, go out there and kick butt. It’s time to follow through.
Walk a Little Slower Daddy - Author Unknown
“Walk a little slower, Daddy” said a little child so small.
“I’m following in your footsteps and I don’t want to fall.
Sometimes your steps are very fast, sometimes they’re hard to see;
So walk a little slower Daddy, for you are leading me.
Someday when I’m all grown up, you’re what I want to be.
Then I will have a little child who’ll want to follow me.
And I would want to lead just right, and know that I was true;
So, walk a little slower, Daddy, for I must follow you.”