Are you controlling or in control of your child?
15 January 2021

Are you controlling or in control of your child?

Granted, you are the parent and have the right to be in control - but do you go overboard with the control. There are moments during parenting when there can (perhaps) seem to be a fine line between the two, but there is a difference - a big one.

When it comes to our children, we should be the ones in control.  We should be the ones responsible for their safety and well-being. That said, we should also be the ones to guide them; teach them skills to promote independence, good decision-making skills, and help them build their self-esteem. 

If your child decides they want to sport that jumper they have been wearing for the past few days - even though it has a stain on it and you feel it is way overdue for the washing basket. The question has to be, “Is it is worth falling out with your child over a jumper they want to wear out to have fun with you…?”

Why ruin the moment, or the day with a difference of opinion? Perhaps a chat beforehand, if the trip to is to somewhere that requires a bit more of a dress-up. If your child is of that age where they have started to want to make certain decisions themselves, your job would be to help them shape their decisions – not yank them out of their hands.

Does your child always leave their room in a state? And bring that situation to the family room perhaps…? Is this because they love to get creative with craft or just love playing with their toys. Whatever be the case, perhaps ask yourself this…..”Would I prefer a neat and tidy room with a child sat in front of the tv at every chance they get or a child who grasps every moment they can find, having fun in other ways?”

The compromise could be for them to help tidy up afterwards.

Would you deprive your child of the fun of baking or helping out in the kitchen, simply because you feel it’s more hassle than it’s worth – because of all the mess they cause?

Think about the fun it brings for your child (and hopefully you too). Again, your job is to guide and teach your child. This is to be done in many ways. Over time, your child could become a great ‘sous chef’ under your guidance – think about it.

Children will make mistakes. It is unrealistic to expect them to be perfect, as they will need to practice the skills, we teach them.

That is not to say that you should not apply the necessary measures should the situation warrant it. But temper this with reason - think of mistakes as efforts they are making to learn.

 A show of independence is a sign that what you are teaching them is working. It may come off a little too strongly, but is left to you to shape this newly learned trait. Some tact would be the way to go here.

Being in control does not always have to mean a clear win in the moment.  

No one likes being wielded over, not even children. Find ways to be in control without being controlling.

Have discussions with your child. They may be children but even they can be made to see reason – sometimes!


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