I was at a friend's house listening to her 9-year-old daughter play the piano. Her mother piped in and announced that she was going to play the other part of the duet. Her daughter raised her hand and said "You are not included!" Mom reacted by reprimanding, "That's not nice. You shouldn't talk to me like that." As you can imagine, things didn't go well from here. This all came down in less than 2 minutes. How did this mom get here? Here are 4 common mistakes parents make:
4. She didn't ask permission to join in the duet. This is especially important for our strong willed children. Asking permission models respect and gives them an appropriate way for them to have control over their lives which makes it less likely they will need to get their power needs met inappropriately.
3. She took her daughter's exclusion personally instead of seeing that her daughter was wanting to share something special with me as her friend.
2. She reprimanded instead of empathizing. A simple, "Oh, I see, you would like to play the piece for my friend without me," would have dissolved the tension that was mounting.
1. She hadn't connected with her daughter in the several hours that I had been there. A lot of "misbehavior" is the result of not feeling connected. The more connected we feel to the people around us, the more cooperative we are.
When you find yourself personally encountering a similar interaction with your child, I recommend resolving the issue at a time when there is no conflict. Either calmly have a conversation or role play with your child a more acceptable way to politely tell you what they want.
Parenting Practice: This week ask permission, don't take things so personally, empathize, and connect with your kids.
Are you looking for ways to connect with your child in your busy work schedule? I was inspired by this Quaker Oats commercial on creative ways for connecting with your child. I promise I'm not using this as a plug for an advertisement, I am not even sponsored by them! Haha!
Parenting can be quite the challenge. It is always good to have new tools in your "parenting tool box." Wanting more personal coaching and problem solving solutions? Sign up for a FREE 15 Minute Strategy Session. We will pinpoint an irksome behavior and plan a strategy for resolving this issue.
For example, a 10 year-old boy kept repeating over and over in the car "I don't want to go to school!" every morning on the way to school. After asking a series of pertinent questions, we determined that he actually did like school, he just felt anxious before getting there. So mom and I created a calming strategy that worked like a charm for him.
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