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Is Your Child Holding You Hostage?

Photo by Marco Verch

How do you know if you are being held hostage?

Answer yes or no to these questions to find out.

Does crying and whining drive you to give in to your children’s desires just to make it stop?

Do you change your behavior to avoid the crying, whining, and yelling you are sure will happen if you don’t?

Do you believe your children when they claim, “Everyone else is doing it,” or “Everyone else has it”?

Do you let your children have apps you don’t really approve of, like SnapChat, because they tell you they will be left out of the social group if they don’t have it?

Do you let your child go places with friends that cause you worry, because you are afraid your child will miss out?

Do you let misbehavior slide when you are away from home because you worry what other people will think if you discipline your child? Do you let misbehavior slide, because you are worried how your children will respond if you correct them?

Did you answer, yes, to any of those questions?

Then you are being held hostage by your child.

You are adjusting your behavior to accommodate them and ignoring your own judgement and wisdom.

Answer yes or no to these questions to see if you are ready to break free.

🔐 Do you want to throw off the hostage chains?

🔐 Do you want to value your own wisdom and judgment?

🔐 Do you want your children to learn they can’t have everything they want whenever they want it?

🔐 Do you want the crying, whining, and yelling to decrease?

Did you answer, yes, to any of those questions?

Then here are effective strategies that will create the changes you want.

🔑Children cry, whine, and yell. Get used to it. Find some videos online of children crying and whining. Listen over and over again to desensitize yourself to the sound.

🔑Children want it now. Once you can hear crying, whining, and yelling without “losing it”, breathe and give yourself 10 seconds before responding. This gives you time to employ your own logic and judgment before acting.

🔑The argument that “Everyone does it or has it,” has probably been used by children for centuries. Don’t believe it. Your child doesn’t do it or have it, so the “everyone” argument is moot. (I love using that one with kids.)

🔑My friends like to talk about the shows they watch on streaming services I don’t have. Are they still my friends even if I can’t contribute to the topic? Yes they are. It’s the same thing with social media apps. Your children’s friends are their friends. And your young children are better off without the pressure and stress of a lot of social media.

🔑There may be many reasons why children struggle when they are out of the house. Are they tired? Is this a strange, new environment? Would they rather be somewhere else? The list of possible reasons is long. You have some choices:

  1. If the location and event is new, talk about it ahead of time. Go online to see what it looks like and prepare the kids for what they may encounter. Make a plan for what they can do if they feel uncomfortable.

  2. Leave. Yes, I said leave. If your child is tired or uncomfortable, this may be the only way to deal with the behavior.

  3. Leave. If your children are crying, whining, or yelling to get something they want, leaving is the best response. Not only do they not get what they want, they don’t get the excursion either. You will be surprised how effective this is

  4. Take them to a quiet place until they get calm. Then find out what is going on.

  5. Be brave and tell your children you don’t like their behavior. The people who you think are judging you may just cheer you on. I once told my whining child to ”Knock it off!” and two parents clapped for me.

  6. When you get home, discuss what happened and enact an appropriate consequence or other response.

🗝 Do you want more ways to break those shackles?

I have more strategies to help you do it. Contact me.

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