Captain of the ship

“Parents seem so uncomfortable with setting limits and taking their rightful position as captain of the family ship. Their hearts are in the right place; they want to be more attentive to their kids’ needs than their parents had been to theirs. But we have overcorrected, turning into a generation of ‘parent pleasers,’ rarely saying no for fear of hurting our children’s feelings.”

I don’t know who said this. It appeared on my Facebook page today with the title QUOTE.  

Whoever said it, I totally agree.  I see the results everyday.  I even have parents saying things like this to me.

“Can you make him brush his teeth because he won’t do it for me and he does anything you say.”  (Really?  Whatever next?)

Adults really have to be adults. They need to understand that children need boundaries. Kids need to know how far they can go and what the consequences will be should they cross the boundary.  That knowledge provides a feeling of security for the child, even though he may rail against the imposition of the boundary. I have been called the ‘worst mother in the world’ many times over the years but, even at those times, my kids always understood why I was enforcing the rules.  We always talked through the situation after the angry moment had died down and, if new rules had to imposed, we discussed that too.   

Children crave a level of certainty in their lives.  They need to feel safe and, at the same time, have the freedom to explore their environment and extend their knowledge.  Finding the happy medium is the skill of parenting.  

We do need to say ‘no’ and demand that our children behave within the boundaries we set.

I believe being the captain of the ship is part of being a parent – a very important part.  

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6 thoughts on “Captain of the ship

  1. Nice thoughts here! I have noticed that what has been lost is the fact that “no” and rules and boundaries are what helps a child feel safe. They do not have the life experience to make all their own choices and whether they know it or not they are craving safety. Hearing “no” means you care about me, you care about my safety, I trust you more now because you have my back, and it works best if you start young, but it’s never too late to let a child know you care by setting a boundary. Visiting on the “road trip” and glad to have found you! Conlee http://www.conleericketts.com/blog

  2. Parents have forgotten they’re not suppose to a good friend, kids can have plenty of those. They’re suppose to be a parent, which a job 24 x 7. I see way too many parents think all things should be the kids idea….NOPE! Road Tripping through a-z

  3. Great post Erica thank you. The child needs to know that when the parent/a say ‘no’ then no is what is meant, otherwise they learn the art of manipulation whereby no can mean maybe or I can be persuaded even if not in the child’s best interest.

  4. I agree being the captain of the ship is a very important part of being a parent.
    Unfortunately, these days, many parents start spoiling their kids from a very young age. When the kids grow up, the same parents complain that “Today’s kids are spoilt kids!”

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