Being a ‘yes mom’ is a Permissive Style of parenting, Markovitz explains. This is when parents respond to what they perceive their children’s needs to be, without placing any demands or limits on them.
“Moms who possess this parenting style are afraid or avoids setting boundaries for fear of upsetting or disappointing their kids, and therefore avoid saying no.”
When it seems like kids run the show, don’t know when to stop, manage themselves or respect limits, parents should start evaluating themselves, she adds. Parents should aim to parent in an Authoritative Style, she says.
“This style of parenting provides a loving, nurturing and empathetic base for children while still setting appropriate, fair and reasonable boundaries for them, so they know where they stand and can get on with being kids and knowing healthy boundaries,” Markovitz continues.
She says it’s vital to point out behaviour that’s not ideal. But, it’s also important that parents don’t find themselves on the other end of the spectrum of permissive parenting, which is parenting in an Authoritarian Style.
“This parenting style is very strict, it places harsh and fear-based limits on children without responding to what’s happening to them and what has led to the challenging behaviour,” she adds.
In order to reprimand your child, a good starting point is self-compassion and empathy. The self-compassion is for you, as the parent, because it can be hard having an uncooperative child.
“Empathy is so important to help kids know that we see and understand them. Using empathy, in combination with limit-setting is far more containing for kids than to just place limits on them or just using empathy and then giving into them,” she says.
Markovitz further points out that children who don’t know healthy boundaries are set up for an unrealistic take on the world.
“They struggle to deal with restrictions in real life and don’t learn how to tolerate difficult feelings and move through them,” she adds.
According to Markovitz, kids need to know their parents have their backs and that they are the adults and can make decisions in a loving and supportive way.
“If kids aren’t taught how to deal with limits, it becomes difficult for them to set limits for themselves. As they get older, they need these skills to manage life, which includes challenges like deadlines, peer pressure and setting and achieving goals,” Markovitz explains.
“Kids need to know that we can tolerate and support them in their frustration, sadness and disappointment and not be crushed in the face of these very understandable feelings.
“We have to remember that saying ‘no’ doesn’t mean we love our children any less, and our children need to know that saying ‘no’ does not impact our love for them”, she concludes.