Pushover Parent: Signs, Problems & How to Fix Them

Are You a Pushover Parent?

Parenting styles are important factors in your child’s development. There are usually three kinds of parents: ‘authoritarian, authoritative, or permissive’, according to an online parent’s magazine. Out of all three, the permissive parents tend to be the pushovers. Do you fall into that category?

Signs that You are a Pushover Parent

  • You always try to keep your kids happy.
  • You feel miserable after punishing your kids.
  • You fail to implement punishments.
  • You use soft and yielding language when giving directives.
  • You always end your directives with, “will you?’ ‘okay?’
  • You feel guilty being strict because you don’t have time to spend with your kids.
  • A divorce or separation with your spouse compels you to be kind to your kids.
  • You think limits versus love.
  • You submit to their demands easily.
  • You avoid conflicts with your kids.
  • You feel strict disciplining is old-fashioned and not your idea of parenting.

Problems with Being a Pushover Parent

Let’s imagine a scenario: You are serving dinner. You ask the kids, “What do you want to eat?”

Bang come the demands – egg and bread, chicken sandwich, biryani!

Does this seem realistic every day? It is too much work for you to cook so many different dishes. This is not manageable and has many problems:

1. Discipline Compromise

According to an article quoting Judy Arnall, author of Discipline Without Distress says, “To avoid them, they tend to cave on rules and consequences.”

2. Authority Issue

You will not be seen as the point of authority. Your kids will not take you seriously.

3. Behaviour Problems

Your kids will throw tantrums whenever they don’t get what they want. They know you are easy to bend.

4. Sense of Insecurity

If you don’t seem to be the one in command, your child will not feel secure with you. In reality, kids don’t want to be the one in control of everything and look up to you for that.

5. Health Issues

They may develop health problems like obesity, aches and pains, dental problems because you may not be strict about healthy habits.

6. Long-term Effects

They may even develop addictions and habits that come out of being too permissive. According to an article, underage drinkers got alcohol from their own parents who were too permissive.

Common Discipline Mistakes Pushover Parents Make and How to Fix Them

Here are some common mistakes pushover parents tend to make when it comes to disciplining their children.

Mother Scolding Her Daughter

1. Soft on Rules and Consequences

Parents who are ‘softies’ are sensitive to feelings, especially to the strong feelings that traditional discipline evokes in kids. To avoid them, such parents often cave on rules and consequences.

Why Does This Happen? 

If you often backtrack, it means you don’t think about what enforcing a punishment will feel like, according to Jenn Mann, Psy. D. author of The A to Z Guide to Raising Happy, Confident Kids. As an afterthought, you feel that implementing consequences are strenuous for you and your child.

How You Can Fix it

Take a deep breath and calm down before you tell the kid about the consequences. That will help you think of a better solution. If you do need to change your plans, explain to the child that the change is for you, not him. For instance, “I am taking you for the movie because I have already spent on tickets. So, instead, you will not play video games tomorrow.”

2. You Request and Not Assert

You always ask for things to be done. Bang comes a negative reply! You don’t know how to handle the rudeness, so you ignore what needs to be done.

Why Does This Happen?

You want to be liked by your kids and feel unhappy that you may seem unkind.

How You Can Fix it

Understand that just because you implement the discipline doesn’t turn you into a terror. It is only about effective parenting. You must also learn to create the correct conversations when you set the rules. Be decisive and don’t make it seem optional. Don’t end tasks with “….can you?” Rather firmly say, “….do it please!,” Avoid sudden requests, create a household routine. This imbibes a sense of mutual respect for each other’s time and plans.

3. You Allow Excuses

You easily accept excuses from kids. So, when you ask them to get you their homework dairy for you, they may say, “I am already doing my homework.” You let it be, hoping that he will finally get it for you. You let the task delay.

Why Does This Happen?

You like maintaining peace always, even at the cost of your kids having one up over you and having their way.

How You Can Fix it

Give firm directions, with no scope for negotiations. If they don’t fall in line the first time, sternly repeat the command, like “One last page to read from your book and then I switch off the lights for sleep. “Sometimes also play deaf to excuses. At times, you may allow some leeway like selecting between two shirts to wear to a party.

4. Happy Kids Make You Happy

You like to see happy kids all the time. This encourages tantrums for minor disappointments.

Why Does This Happen?

You don’t like to see your kids feeling miserable especially when they have loads to do and exhausted. You feel that the situation isn’t you and your kid’s fault. If you do make her do something, after all, you feel guilty.

How You Can Fix it

Check with your child about how they feel before you try to alleviate their misery. Then remember that when you set limits, you see them through. So, if the cupboard is very unclean, it needs to be done. This will also help your child to face tougher challenges in life.

When it comes to parenting, it can be a challenge to balance between being firm and being kind to your kids. With our tips, you can successfully discipline your children and set down rules for their behaviour while still being kind and loving towards them.

Also Read:

How Does Co-Parenting Work?
Foster Parenting: What It Is & Qualities
Attachment Parenting: Benefits and Principles

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