Sticking to your guns!


 

What I cover in this post will seem obvious but I think it's always good to reflect a little because we tend to be so caught up in the day to day business of raising children, we often take the route of least resistance for short term gain without thinking of its impact.

We all do it...

....... we want a child to do something but cannot face the backlash - so we do it ourselves

....... our child does a job so badly, we can't face it again, so we do it ourselves, the next time

....... our child nags and nags us for something we don't want them to have, so we eventually give in.....

....that's because we are human, often tired and always busy. However, what have we taught our child every time we back down? We have taught them that we don't mean what we say, taught them that doing a job badly get you out of doing it again and we have taught them that a persistent amount of nagging or whining eventually pays off - so well worth doing again. The rewards justify the means.

It's really hard sticking to our guns but it does ultimately pay off. In the case of asking our child to do something we know they won't want to do, it sometimes means facing the huge force of resistance some children are masters at creating. But if we persist, your child is far less likely to kick up such a fuss the next time you ask them to do the same task because they have learnt, the fuss simply didn't work. If our child does a job badly, it's better if we take the time to patiently show them how to do it better. If we don't want a child to plead and nag for ages, we need to demonstrate that the nagging really does not work. In short, we have to persist and keep our resolve for the long term gain!

With the children I have taught over the years (in a PRU), I have seen them employ a variety of ways of attempting to get what they want or get out of what they don't want. Many of these strategies are quite tricky to deal with. They will be controlling, run away, shout, get physical, swear and abuse, whine, blame you for not understanding and/or shut down and refuse any interaction. I can only assume that somewhere along the line these methods have worked for them and therefore been rewarded. My job ends up being about helping them to find better strategies of asking for what they need or want and well as helping them understand why they may or may not do or have something or need to do or not do something!