I squirm in discomfort when I see unruly kids and parents trying desperately to keep their kids in check. I wonder what the kids must think of their parents, and what kind of parents they will end up being themselves. Many are the families that end up on the Dr. Phil Show because parents have lost control of their kids.
My mother, bless her heart, must have gotten a degree in child psychology that she told no one about, but she has it down to a science. As a grade school teacher and eventually owning and running a creche and nursery, she knows a thing or two about children. And she had three of her own. I have no kids myself, but I love children and I learned a lot about kids from my mother. Kids gravitate toward me and I love to indulge them.
I have found that there are some fundamental ways to improve your chances of raising obedient and well-mannered children who will grow up to be well-adjusted adults:
Start early. Keep in mind that, in a way, kids think in a way that is different from adults. Before they learn to speak, they learn to recognize patterns, relationships and trust, among others. In fact, they learn at an astonishing rate in the first two years of their life and so this is where the foundation is built. Kids also learn early what they can get away with, and so once they figure out that pattern, they begin to expect certain behaviors from their parents. If tantrums get them their way, they expect their parents to give in to tantrums. It isn't rocket science.