An article written by
Amna Nawaz:

Gone are the days when the kids were mostly scared of their parents. In today’s world, parents are the ones that seem to be scared of their own kids. They find it difficult to set boundaries, to establish their rightful position of authority, and to say no to their children for fear of hurting their feelings. Today’s kids are more demanding and impatient, and parents are always ready to rush in to fix their child’s every stormy emotion. Consequently, it gives children an ample room to throw tantrums and engage in emotional bullying towards their parents to get their every single demand to be fulfilled.

amna nawaz1 Ms. Amna Nawaz currently works as a clinical psychologist at Willing Ways, Lahore. She has done MS in clinical psychology and B.Sc (Hons.) from GC University, Lahore. Heath counseling, addiction counseling, subjective well-being and intellectual disability are her areas of interest as well as her educational expertise.Earlier, she has also supervised trainee child psychologists working in a special education institute being run by the Government of Punjab.

Editor: Sehrish sarfraz

Usually, such demanding moments lead the parents to react in ways that eventually backfire and, as parents, damage their writ against the children even more than before. These reactions typically include surrendering, punishing and negotiating. Every battle in life is not necessarily worth fighting and this thought usually encourages the parents to surrender to their children’s demands considering it a good deal to give a child what he demands and get few moments of peace back. Surrendering to children’s demands serves as a quick fix which eventually let the parents pay a heavy price later on. Parents usually give in to children’s unreasonable demands and it acts as a reward to child’s abusive behavior.  If you look deeper into the situation, when a child demands immediate fulfillment of his desires from his parents, it can be considered as both a teaching and learning moment.

In every single incident of surrendering to child’s emotional bullying, parents teach their children that emotional bullying works and, consequently, children learn that the only way to get something from their parents is to misbehave, pressurize and test their limits. It becomes such a vicious circle of emotional bullying and surrendering between parents and their children that it gets difficult to figure out who started it first. But one thing is for sure that we teach people how to treat us. The people who must take responsibility to change first are the parents. For they have taught by surrendering to their children that if they push hard enough, they will get what they want.

Another mistake parents commit to deal with a child’s emotional bullying is to punish him. Since it is quite natural for parents to be reactive and aggressive to a child who is throwing tantrums, parents usually find it difficult to keep their cool and respond proactively to a disruptive child.Parents, too, lose their temper, shout, threat, and hit or even impose some harsh punishments upon the children in response to their outbursts.