16 March, 2012

And In This Corner... Part V

Family on Friday!!!

For the last several weeks we've discussed handling confrontations more constructively and generally about setting a good example for expressing anger without losing control.  Now let's finish this series with a big why.

Children who learn effective arguing techniques from their parents are less likely to respond to peer pressure.

One of the trickiest of life's lessons (I see many older adults that still haven't learned) is to say no to someone you care about.  Forget pushers and bullies.  Your child's greatest threat to doing something they don't want to comes from their friends, teachers, and older siblings.

If you only teach unquestioning obedience, you risk them agreeing to bad ideas, even if that means they're disobeying a previous instruction.  You're not there at that moment.  This robot you've raised is receiving a new set of instructions that will override yours.

Relish in your kids' expressions of their own will.  Help them learn that they will be listened to and taken seriously without resorting to violence, insults, screaming, and/or whining.  Even more importantly, they need to know that disagreeing with someone they care about will not end a friendship/relationship.

How spectacular would it be if your child's resolve and poise in an argument with their friend steers the friend away from making a potentially fatal decision?  I'm sure that friend's parents would appreciate it.

You'll have to pick your battles to lose.  If the youngun' asks politely to stay up an hour past his/her bedtime to finish a movie, relent before whining and throwing ensues (and don't negotiate with terrorists).  Chances are the kid won't last another hour.  Sometimes, edifying strong negotiation skills outweigh a strict adherence to house rules.

Letting your child win an argument/confrontation after both of you have been (mostly) calm and have had a chance to state your cases, boosts their confidence as well as helps them remain calm the next time.

I hope these discussions have helped lessen the anger you feel (and show) during familial bouts, showed you that having them is a functional and natural process, and explained that these times can wind up playing a pivotal role in your child's preparedness for the rest of the world.

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