Ten commandments for the PARENT:

Be calm, as much as possible when you need to confront them. Do not be vengeful, or 'take out' your anger on them, or scapegoat them for the frustrations you acquired through an encounter with someone else (most likely the other parent or a grandparent).
Be consistent. You cannot afford to confuse the child with contradictory signals and experiences such as when you change your mind about the consequences of her behaviour. For example, think BEFORE you lash out with a “life sentence”. If she has been grounded for a week, follow through and do not shorten the grounding time or grant amnesty as soon as she smiles / begs / charms you or puts up such a fuss that you reconsider and give up.

Be united with the other parent in your decisions, punishments and rewards. If you disagree, you absolutely HAVE TO find a compromise in your position and, once accepted, implement it religiously.


Ask yourself: why do I hate this kid so much? Is it his fault that I/we made this decision to keep the pregnancy and my life became so much more difficult afterwards?

Relate to the child as a person, regardless of how old he is. It will pay manifolds. The hierarchy (pecking order) still applies, but your attitude towards the child should be with authority and dignity to you both. No matter how busy or flustered you are, remember: you cannot afford to dump your frustrations on this dependant, powerless, loving person. So often, your manner will be just outright sadistic.

Do not expect your child to UNDO your childhood or whatever mistakes/mishaps from your own life. She ought not be designated to become, for you, what you couldn't be. It doesn't mean that you can't try to relate to your child differently than your parents related to you, but don't forget - their teaching is what you learned. So, be careful when implementing your good intentions. If you force-feed the child with your 'UNDOING" - she may become confused and might resent it since it is your agenda for her. The subsequent resistance on her part would fuel your resentment for her 'ungrateful' behaviour and you will retaliate. Eventually, you may end up doing exactly the same as your parent(s).

Be the example of the behaviour you expect from the child. Don't forget - they are incredibly perceptive. When you instruct them to say, " tell them I'm not home" … “don't tell aunt Agatha we visited grandma", you are basically telling them, “do what I say - not what I do".

Never fight in front of or within earshot of the children. Both love and hate are passions. Would you make love in their presence?! Fighting makes a worse impression on them. Dragging them into your fight, using them as a cover or ‘go betweens’ with angry messages is not good either: e.g., “don't tell your mother/father … “ “… go tell your mother/father … “

Do not 'triangulate' by making statements such as: " you are upsetting your mother..." Mother should be able to assert her authority with your support, both explicitly (with your demeanour) and implicitly (by your inner feeling). For that you need to have this unanimity (discussed above).

Love your children - it wasn't their decision to be born.

  © 1957 - 2014