Kids are always looking to test the limits of what they can get away with that chink in the armor if you will.
It’s not that all kids are bad; they just like to know what they are allowed to get away with.
This puts the responsibility of setting those limits—you guessed it, on the parents. Most of us have heard the whining, “I want that.” The problem here is that somewhere along the way clear limits were not set by the parents for the child. However, it’s totally natural and should be expected that children will test and attempt to bargain the limits in their favor—it’s just a part of the natural progression towards adulthood.
When given a path children gravitate toward structure. It makes them feel safe and secure and allows for healthy development. Setting limits for children is a part of that process. Once limits have been established, consequences for not adhering to the boundaries need to be addressed also. Children view a lack of consequence for rule breaking as an invitation to test the boundaries elsewhere. Parents that don’t engage themselves in their children’s actions and activities are, by their inattentiveness, welcoming the undesired behavior.
Especially as children get older, it is advisable to adjust their limits and boundaries and to allow for their input on things like curfew, clothing (to an extent), television programming, and activities. However, it is not necessarily a good idea to give them leeway with when homework should be done or when they will do their chores. These types of regimented activities are good at teaching children time management and discipline, so when they neglect them the punishment should be make them think twice about neglecting these important tasks.
As far as discipline goes, that is a choice that will need to be made by the parents and what they feel the situation logically dictates. It’s unrealistic to believe that there is a magical one-size-fits-all type of discipline for children. One method may be very effective for most children, but it may not work at all for others. The best advice here is to try different methods until you find one that works for your child.