"Ok yes dear, so you want the cereal without the sprinkles? let me get a microscope and take them out, but please don't cry" "Oh sweetie! you didn't like what you ordered for lunch, call the waiter ask for whatever you want" "Yes I will buy you another doll just stop screaming!" "Ok yes baby you can have the iPad the whole day, happy now?"
A very usual scenario in us young parents, and of course! We want to avoid conflict and give the best to our children (so they don't end up with childhood traumas like us), but our willingness to please and give in might be not helping our children at all.
Being present and loving is a wonderful thing, but there is a thin line between caring for your children and giving them your power.
Children are very smart and they will push you to the limit in every way they can. As a parent, every day ayou have to remind yourself YOU are in charge, you are the adult and you are the one who should be putting the rules of the game and setting clear limits.
Children NEED clear limits, they need to know they can rely on someone stronger and smarter than them, this gives them security.
They need to feel you are in control. This gives them confidence.
I'm not saying you need to become a dictator and act like Cruel Deville. You just have to lovingly set rules and limits ( first have them clear in your mind), and stick to them even when it's not the easiest path.
So... next time you enter a toy store to buy a birthday gift and your child starts crying over some "Pokemon Cards" or a lollipop, you grab his hand look at him in the eyes and talk clearly and confidently with a short sentence and saying his name: "Mike we will NOT buy anything today." And you stop there, that's the end of the conversation, they don't need to know why or how or when. You don't need to explain the rules, remember you are the boss.
You are on vacation and they want their third soda which they are obviously not allowed (I hope) so, instead of giving in, you take their hand look at them in the eye, and confidently say: "Boys enough soda for the day". End of conversation, you don't need to say more.
It's time to get a bath for your 2 year old, he hates shampoo and makes a drama about it. This time, instead of giving in, you take control of the situation; look at him in the eye grabbing his hand and say: "Pete, your hair will get shampoo every night" End of conversation. And you start shampooing even if he is acting like crazy.
When children here confidence and clarity in you, they feel secure. A consistent behavior from your part will greatly help build up their self esteem and healthy personality.