Menachem Bluming Muses: Parenting: How Do I Get My Kids to Behave?!

We all know people who as kids misbehaved terribly, but turned out to be wonderful adults. It could be that they ended up that way not in spite of their childhood cheekiness, but because of it.

You see, rambunctious kids get reminded of what they should and should not be doing more often than quieter children. It may not have immediate results, but the oft-repeated messages eventually sink in.

As parents we sometimes forget what the goal is. It isn’t about having well behaved children (though that would be lovely), it’s about rearing well behaved adults. Childhood is the time to test boundaries and discover the do’s and don’ts of life. Every naughty little episode is one such test, giving the parents another opportunity to define those boundaries.

You are lucky. You get ten teaching moments every day. Your repeated chiding of your child, when done calmly and firmly, will help reinforce his sense of right and wrong. Even if he continues to break those boundaries, he knows where they are. That will help him later in life.

Your toddler is doing what toddlers are supposed to do – climb on the counter. You are doing what a parent is supposed to do – gently remind him, again and again, that he shouldn’t do that. And you’ll see, it will work. When was the last time you saw an adult climb on the counter?

Mendel (Menachem) Bluming and Rabbi Aron

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