This week we’ve been talking about building a strong foundation of authority in the home. Yesterday, we said that it starts with a strong, intimate relationship. Now let’s talk about the real nuts and bolts of authority.
There are Three C’s of Authority:
If the parents are flying off the handle, losing their temper on a regular basis, they won’t have authority. Kids (and adults for that matter) have a hard time respecting someone who has little self-control.
Everyone loses it once in a while, but it should be a rare occasion, and we should be willing to go to our kids and apologize when it happens. However, if we find ourselves apologizing often, we need to make some serious changes because we won’t have authority if we’re not calm.
Our kids need structure. They need clearly defined boundaries, and they need to know exactly what to expect when they choose to walk outside the boundaries. They need predictability — routines and traditions that they can count on and parents who are consistent in temper, mood and habits.
Our kids need to know we are in this for the long haul. Keep in mind that sometimes, changes can take a year of consistent effort. If you’re trying to teach your kids to be excellent when they clean the kitchen, plan on working with them consistently (day in and day out) for as long as it takes to reach the goal.
If you use a Time Out method for willful disobedience, then you’ve got to be committed enough to let go of your agenda when your child needs a Time Out, even if that means hanging up the phone, canceling an appointment or changing your dinner plans.
When you’re calm, consistent and committed, you WILL have authority. We promise.
Stop by tomorrow. We’ll be talking about the things that undermine authority.