Far too many parents train their children to view mom and dad as having all power over them. We don’t necessarily try this, but somehow it comes across fairly often. For example, have you ever heard a parent say this, “Because I said so?” And then there is this one, “Just do this one more (fill in the blank) and then you can go and play.” Neither of these examples empowers your children; they actually train your child into thinking that you are more powerful and it’s that power they need to resign themselves to. I have news for you; the use of power is often void of relationship. One day that power will be resisted, tested or simply ignored. Where does it lead?
Powerless children become victims because powerless people view themselves as victims. Powerless people do not have to take responsibility for their actions; they can blame others. Eventually, powerless people may want everything done for them. So, what is the alternative? Empower your children to think and reason and to make choices of their own. While providing proper boundaries, teach them to make decisions rather than you as the parent deciding for them each and every time. For example, try this. Ask your child (as is age appropriate), “Would you like to finish your meal and then play a little longer or would you like to not finish your meal and go right upstairs for your nap?”
What’s the difference? You are empowering your child to reason, think through the process and come to their own conclusion and consequences. Powerful children will do powerful things one day as they take responsibility for their decisions.