I am a 90s kid, brought up in a traditional, conservative family. Rules back then were pretty different for us Millennials. We played outside the whole time and mom wasn’t worried about strangers lurking in the darkness. I got my first cellphone at the age of 16 and that too for communication. Also we didn’t have a craze back then for possessing the latest model of phone or brand. Having a phone in itself was a huge thing.
I like how simple things were back then. But now it’s 2021. The world is not simple anymore. More cruel I’d say. I have chosen to homeschool my kids even before the pandemic hit because I cannot trust the people at schools. I dont send my kids out to play alone; there could be pedophiles lurking in the gardens and play areas. Porn addiction and drug addiction is a greater reality that I fear.
These kinds of modern day problems call for different measures. Surprisingly some of the old school parenting hacks can help us raise strong kids the kind we turned out to be. Let’s take a look at those.
1- Let kids fail.
If he forgot about the science fair tomorrow, it’s not your job to run out and buy supplies tonight. Kids need to understand that someday you won’t be there to bail them out.
Under the guise of care and concern you might get an urge to help them out but remember kids don’t learn to do things on their own overnight. You have to give them opportunities to handle things their way
2- Establish house rules.
It doesn’t matter what their friends’ parents allow. It’s your house. If you are not comfortable with your girl wearing crop tops or your son staying out late at night with friends then that’s what should happen. Your child’s safety is your responsibility not theirs. You call the shots.
3- Take away privileges.
Got tweens or teenagers? This is the only method of discipline you need. It has so many benefits from teaching kids to adjust, to learning logical decision making where they know a particular action will usher in specific consequences.
For this method to succeed layout the expectations well in advance. For eg. No phones in the bedroom for the night. And if someone breaks they rule then they lose their device for a day.
Now the kids can make responsible decisions.
Naturally, there will be wailing initially, but that’s the point, isn’t it? Kids need to understand the consequences.
4- Carve out grown-up time.
Get over your guilt-trip; sometimes you need adults-only time to reconnect and recharge.
Go ahead and spend an evening with your friend on weekends. Or go for dinner dates with your spouse. This will keep you sane and less overwhelmed.
5- Let kids be bored.
It’s absolutely our responsibility to feed, clothe, and protect our kids. Provide them with entertainment 24/7? Not so much. This holds true especially for younger kids. Boredom sparks creativity. Want proof. Next time your child says she’s bored, hand her an empty cardboard box and witness creativity and imagination at play. That box will now be a cupboard, a castle, a parking, a doll house the possibilities are endless
6- Don’t let kids speak disrespectfully to you (or anyone else).
And don’t speak disrespectfully to them.
It’s not uncommon to hear words like i hate you mom, I don’t want to see you ever from a teary eyed teenager running back to her room who’s just been denied her request for a sleepover.
The moment you are faced with such a behavior, call it out. Such talk is not going to be accepted in your house. Acknowledge her feelings first by saying things like I know you’re upset but that doesn’t mean you disrespect me. And if they still continue the same behavior then walk off and address the behaviour later when the teen has calmed down n is more receptive. There are going to be moments where you need to explain to them why you are denying their demands but the time you do that is of utmost importance. teenagers especially have a different brain than adults and understanding that can help us navigate our conversation to more productive ones. Take a look at the teen brain below.
7- Insist on good manners.
Help your kids stand out—in a good way—by teaching them basic etiquette. Niceties such as saying “please” and chewing with your mouth closed are lost arts (just look around you next time you’re out!).
Treating people around you with respect especially those who work for us like the maid or the driver or the person on the counter at the shopping mall. A lil thankyou or a courteous smile, can go a long way and can even make someone’s day. The best way to teach good manners is to model them yourself
8- Refuse to be a short order cook.
Kids always have two choices for meals: Take it or leave it. Sounds harsh right. But if you keep over burdening yourself with last min double work you are going to end up with a burnout. Second, your kids will be used to getting their way each time. In the future when things don’t go their way, for example with friends or at work, they will not be able to manage the emotions arising from it because they have never faced this before.
A simple behaviour change on your part will teach your child a huge life skill for the future n that is adjustment
9- Be a parent, not a friend.
Have fun together, but know when to be grown up. Parenting isn’t a popularity contest; the truth is that if your kids “hate” you sometimes, you’re probably doing something right!
If you want to call the shots in your house, make the rules then you can’t be a friend and be lenient.
Also kids need a guide more than a friend. They need parents to help them steer in this world.
10- Assign every family member chores.
Even the littlest kids can do something to help out. Age appropriate chores can help in teaching basic life skills. Helping in meal planning, grocery shopping, mowing the lawn, setting up the table for dinner, helping out in deep cleaning.
11- Create traditions.
Maybe they think they’re silly now, but we promise they’ll be special memories someday. It could be something as small as a 10 min family time chatting every night or a sunday family meal where everyone cooks together. Whatever you choose, make sure it suits your schedule and is convenient for you.
What have been some of the house rules that you have adopted from your parents? How is it turning out for you?
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