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Parenting Tips: Outsmarting Kids’ Tricks

Empower yourself with valuable parenting tips to handle disobedient children and stay one step ahead of the tricks kids may play.

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Author: Author portrait Marko Juhant
Posted: 31/07/23

Talking to kids sometimes feels like running a never-ending marathon. They can be relentless, especially when they’re dead set on debating with you. It can be tough, especially when they keep arguing with you nonstop.

You know that saying, “All’s fair in war and love?” Well, kids take it to heart. They believe they can do or say anything and get away with it because they’re swept up in their strong feelings.

But let me share some parenting tips with you… Always remember, kids are experts at using their most powerful weapon to corner you without even thinking twice. Stay patient and be one step ahead.

Now, here’s the thing: some parents find it difficult to shake off the weight of responsibility that comes with raising human beings.

They often blame themselves, thinking, “I am not good enough,” or “My child’s actions led me to behave and say things I later regret,” or “Once again, I allowed myself to get drawn into an argument with my child.”

These are common examples of the self-blame and doubt that many parents experience. But what if I told you that embracing mistakes in parenting is the path to growth and resilience?

It’s not about you not being good enough.

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It’s not about your child being mean or playing dirty. Nope. It’s simply about them using what works. They’re smart cookies, after all—they’re yours. They’ll grab onto whatever “hooks” you, whatever gets a reaction.

If it doesn’t work, trust me, they’d toss it aside faster than a stale sandwich. They’re no fools; they won’t waste their time on strategies that don’t bring results. They’re all about the outcome.

And here’s one of the most important parenting tips: when you give in to something they want, it doesn’t matter why you gave in. It doesn’t matter if they persuaded you, drained your energy, or left you heartbroken. They don’t care about the reason.

They only care about the fact that it worked. And you know what? They’ll keep using that reason, that method that worked today, tomorrow, and the day after. They’ll milk it for all it’s worth.

But here’s the kicker: it’s not just about them using tactics. It’s about us falling into their traps.

Picture this: your kid throws themselves on the floor, wailing and flailing, until they get what they want. And guess what? They only do it with those who respond to it. If Mom falls for it but Grandma remains unfazed, you can bet your bottom dollar they won’t be throwing any tantrums in front of Grandma.

Kids aren’t fools either, you know. Why waste energy on something that doesn’t work?

Now, let’s delve into the burdens that parents carry. Parenting is like a rollercoaster ride, with its ups and downs that can take a toll on your emotional well-being. However, amidst the chaos, it’s crucial to find a way to take care of yourself.

Do you know what you need?

Love. It’s a fundamental need we all have. Parents, in particular, require love beyond the affection they have for their children (let’s be honest, kids can drive us crazy sometimes). I’m referring to other forms of love, like the passion for music, for example.

Give yourself a well-deserved break.

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Take a moment to put on your favourite tunes and let them sweep you away. And if you get the chance, escape to nature for some much-needed rejuvenation. It’s like a natural balm for the soul.

Or maybe you find solace in activities like painting, knitting, or crafting. The point is to do something that brings you joy and peace. If you’re a whiz in the kitchen, find comfort in kneading dough and imagine the satisfaction of biting into a warm, homemade loaf of bread that you made yourself. Delicious, right?

Go ahead and indulge in those activities that bring you mental tranquillity whenever you can–it’s one of the most effective parenting tips.

But here’s what you really need to grasp: when kids use their tactics, it’s not because they’re inherently bad or mean. It’s not because they’re “just like their grandmother” or because they were taught wrong in school or any of those nonsensical reasons.

They simply use what they’ve discovered works in your case. It’s as simple as that.

They don’t have some hidden agenda or ill intentions behind it. So, there’s absolutely no need for you to beat yourself up or dwell on thoughts like, “Am I being aggressive to my child?”

No, you just made a mistake. That’s all. But does that mean you should buy them a scooter as a way to make up for it? Absolutely not. That would be a bigger mistake.

Don’t try to compensate or make amends that way. Instead, choose the right way. The parenting tips parents often ignore is–focus on finding a resolution within yourself.

You see, there will come a time when your child will talk about what happened, how they felt, and experienced things. And you know what? You’ll get the chance to share your side of the story too. You can say, “You know, I had no idea what to do at that moment. It happened so fast, and I felt completely powerless.”

As your “disobedient” children grow older and wiser, they’ll understand. The key is not to keep silent about the issues, especially when you know your child was affected. Talk to them, even if it seems difficult to start.

What could be worse than making a mistake?

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Punishing your child with silence. Trust me, that’s one of the cruellest things you can do. It’s far worse than letting your hand slip in a moment of frustration. Sure, society and neighbours might judge you for that one moment, but what truly matters is how you see yourself, and how you reconcile with yourself.

So, don’t fret too much. The biggest problem in the world isn’t that you’re not a parenting superstar every single moment. Let me tell you a little secret: nobody, and I mean nobody, has it all figured out when it comes to parenting. Nobody.

Not even the most well-behaved, well-trained, or experienced child can change that fact. They are masters at testing their skills on their own parents. They train, while we sometimes stop.

And guess what?

They’ll win sooner or later, leaving us feeling like they grew up too fast. But here’s the catch—it’s all part of the plan. The ultimate goal is for them to become independent decision-makers when we can no longer be in control.

So, take a deep breath. Effective parenting is a wild ride, filled with ups and downs.

And as long as you keep learning, growing, and loving your children, you’re on the right track.

Don’t be too hard on yourself.

Embrace positive parenting tips that support you on your journey and accept all the challenges, and the victories as part of the way.

You’ve got this!

Warm regards,

Marko Juhant

About the Author

Marko Juhant

I’m a special education teacher, specialised in the area of behavioural, emotional and personality disorders, a former principal, a father, and a best-selling author of books on parenting, for which I advocate a hands-on and practical approach. I have been educating children for more than 40 years and I give more than 500 lectures every year in kindergartens, schools and other institutions.

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