Now that you can understand a little better why your child acts like a buffoon, now that you can picture what exactly you are looking for in your child’s attitude, behavior and character, now you are ready to see why it is important to change you.
Many parents don’t realize that the child’s goal is to please the parent. Your child wants a relationship with you, not a friendship, but a partnership that leads to developing a human that has a healthy respect for his self and others. They don’t want to be bullied into submission. They want your guidance, but they want to you to help them develop into an independent thinker. Being happy all the time isn’t real life – it’s Disneyland. And if you lead your child to believe that real life is like Disneyland, you are doing him a great disservice, and probably going to end up with an adult child living with you…
On the opposite end of the spectrum, of course, is the parent who is never happy with their child. Eventually, your child will give up trying to please you…Thankfully, if you stop nagging/complaining/yelling/etc, it is very easy for the child to return to wanting to please you.
My most favorite line in the book came on page 54: “What your child thinks of you at this particular moment is not necessarily what they will think about you for life.” The author doesn’t go into great detail about this weighty line, but does say “If you are calm, you are consistent, and you always do what you say you are going to, you will earn their respect and trust.”
If you are not an adult your child can trust, there will not be a connection. If there is not a connection, you cannot be surprised when a toddler embarrasses you in a grocery store or a teenager listens to an iPod at dinner or an adult child never calls…
If you have the end in mind (10, 15, 20 years down the road), it is easier to decide what to address in your child now. Find the things that do not fit into the big picture and address those.
And this is where I encourage you to buy the book (or rent it from the library). The book has so many great tips and details and insights that I cannot possibly lay out for you. Please, if you have ever wanted to pull your hair out because your child is ridiculous, please read this book.