Be In Control Or Teach Self Control

I often hear people use the term "control your kid". Not that they are

saying it to me, but it's thrown around as though that were the goal

of a parent.

I don't really see that as the primary goal of a parent.

Realistically, what a child needs to learn is self control. And the

only way they can learn that is if they are not controlled by someone


The problem with a child being given the opportunity to exercise self

control, is that they might fail. Actually, they probably will. And

they may cause themselves pain. And it might not be pretty. You could

avoid that pain for them and yourself simply but controlling them, but

they lose the chance to learn and grow.

I see some well behaved and well controlled kids reach 17 or so and

they really have no idea how to handle decisions and consequences

because they have been insulated from them their entire life. It's

kinda sad to watch.

My youngest son, Israel, used to sulk when he didn't get his own way.

He would drop to the ground and bang his head on the floor. At first I

would grab him so he didn't hurt himself, but I soon realized I had

prevented him from learning some basic rules about physics. After a

few attempts at the head banging on the floor routine with absolutely

no response from me, he reasoned in his 1 year old brain that it

wasn't a wise thing to do.

Was I in "control" of my son? Nope. I gave him an absolute free choice

to hurt himself or not. Did he choose to hurt himself? Yes, a few

times. What if it had been serious?

Any parent that thinks they ACTUALLY are controlling their kids are

lying to themselves. You simply cannot be there for every possible

moment of your child's life. Think about making it your goal to teach

them to control themselves.