I'm usually soft and permissive to my preschooler when he makes a mistake out of good intention. For instance, he tried to help mom with cleaning but ended up spilling the trash can. He tried to show affection to his baby brother but the hug was too tight. Instead of criticizing him for making a mess, I assess the situation, ask him to explain how it happens, show appreciation for his good intention, and then discuss about what he has learned from the accident and how to avoid it next time.
I can't act strong when my son appears to be sleepy or tired, because it proved to be useless to try disciplining an exhausted child, who has lost control over his own behavior.
Young children are no less sensitive than teenagers. I will sooth and encourage my son softly when he gets frustrated over a new game or new skill that he is trying to master.
I am firm and strong however when it comes to discipline. I have zero tolerance for certain types of misbehavior, such as being wasteful, disrespectful or destructive. While I am always outspoken about my love for my kids, I also teach them about the importance of following rules and setting boundaries. It is OK to not take a nap, but it is unacceptable to make loud noises while others are sleeping. I repeatedly tell my son to treat others in ways that he likes to be treated.
I am also strong to keep my "no" promises. No candy before bedtime. No toy cleaned up, no meal will be served...
What is your parenting style? Are you so soft that you find it difficult to say no to your child? Feel free to share your story with us!
Disclosure: I was compensated for this blog post as part of the SocialMoms and Charmin blogging program. The opinions and ideas expressed here are my own. For more blog posts on this topic, click here.