You’re trying hard to be consistent.
You mean no when you say it.
You’re holding to strong limits.
You understand that parents are in charge, not children.
But you’re not having ANY fun!!
Time to add in some Guerrilla Lovefare. In Guerrilla Warfare, one of the main elements is that of surprise. But in Lovefare, instead of waging a secretive ambush, you use the element of surprise to show your child that good times are as much a part of family life as difficult lessons, following rules, or feeling as if the parents’ needs seem to come first.
When You Must Say No to a Desire
Here’s an example. On the way home from an outing, your child sees the ice cream shop and wants you to stop. You tell him no ice cream now, that you need to get home as you are about to receive an important phone call. The child begins to whine, then wail, hoping to change the outcome. As much as you might want to stop for ice cream, too, it’s not possible.
Later, after dinner, your child is drawing. He has forgotten about the ice cream. But you haven’t. “Son, remember that ice cream you wanted earlier?” He nods, eyes big, remembering. “Let’s you and me go get a special treat!” Guerrilla Lovefare in action!
What the Child Learns
The child gets the message that there wasn’t anything wrong with his desire for ice cream. The no was necessary but it wasn’t punitive. This also teaches that immediate gratification isn’t always possible, but the needs of each family member are taken into consideration and not forgotten. The child deepens their trust in the parent. They see that the parent is in charge and using that responsibility wisely, which helps create a feeling of safety for the child.
This can be used for big ticket items like Disneyland, or small situations, like your child wanting you to play dolls with them. It requires us, as the parents, to be aware of our children’s needs and incorporate them into family life. Since the parent is in charge, not kids, it makes sense that the parent will decide when these things happen.
If you get a chance to try some Guerrilla Lovefare in your home, please let me know how it goes!