Most children like to have or do whatever they want – and that’s where learning to follow rules and thinking about others come in. A positive, warm, fair and consistent style of discipline at home encourages your child to think of others, not just of herself. However, some parents prefer to take a softer approach. But where do you draw the line? Here are 10 signs that you may be too soft with your kid.
1 / 11 How do you know if you're too soft with your preschooler?Load more
2 / 11 1. You never say “no”Load more
No matter how well behaved, every child needs to have limits set on their behaviour at times. And that’s why every parent – including you – occasionally has to say “no” to their kid, whether it’s denying her request for extra snacks, or refusing to let her play past her bedtime.
3 / 11 2. When she complains, you always give inLoad more
It’s very difficult to stand your ground in the face of an angry child who is determined to get her own way. But if you give in to your kindergartener every time she challenges you, she’ll quickly learn that you don’t mean what you say, and she’ll scream even louder the next time.
5 / 11 4. Others say that your child is spoiltLoad more
You probably don’t think you overindulge her, so it might come as a shock to you when your friends suggest that you spoil her and are too soft.
But if they have noticed this, maybe you need to step back and consider the comment more seriously.
6 / 11 5. She always expects to get her wayLoad more
Part of growing up involves learning to think of others.
A child who is treated too softly by her parents expects to be in the driver’s seat all the time, even with friends. So she assumes, for example, that she’ll always be first in line at every game.
7 / 11 6. You never carry out your threats of punishmentLoad more
Positive discipline also involves appropriate punishment, when required. If you find that you make regular threats but never actually carry them out, then your preschooler will realise you are a soft touch, and that your warnings are hollow.
8 / 11 7. You allow her to be rude to youLoad more
Instead of reprimanding her for antisocial and impolite comments, you accept what she says without challenge, perhaps because you think she is being cute. Bear in mind, though, that although you may be tolerant of her rudeness, others won’t be so accepting of it.
9 / 11 8. She is allowed to break the rules all the timeLoad more
Some people say that rules are made to be broken, but they are usually made to be observed.
That’s why you need to encourage her to follow the limits you have set. A soft parent bends the rules so often that they become meaningless.
10 / 11 9. Every day is a “special occasion”Load more
Of course, there are days when normal discipline is interpreted more flexibly, for example, on her birthday, at a large family gathering, or during holidays.
But these should be infrequent occurrences, not something that happens several times each week.
11 / 11 10. You buy her something every single shopping tripLoad more
One of the delights of parenting is buying your child a special present – her reaction is heart-warming.
However, these experiences become less important if they happen during every shopping expedition, and she will soon lose interest.