What kinds of verbal responses do you use when your children come to you with feelings or problems? According to Dr. Thomas Gordon, Nobel Peace Prize Nominee and author of the best seller book "Parent Effectiveness Training: The Proven Program for Raising Responsible Children", most parents are sending to their children one single message: "I don't trust you to select your solution" ! Usually, when a parent is telling his/her child precisely what to do - thus offering his/her solution to a problem - the possible effects are:
Think of the last time you had a discussion with your child about an issue. Did your reaction belong to one of the following categories:
- telling the child to do something, giving him an order or a command,
- telling the child what consequences will occur if he does something,
- telling the child what he should or ought to do,
- telling the child how to solve a problem, giving him advice or suggestions, providing answers or solutions for him,
- trying to influence the child with facts, counterarguments, logic, information, or your own opinions,
- making a negative judgement or evaluation of the child,
- making the child feel foolish, putting the child into a category, shaming him,
- communicating that you have him figured out or have him diagnosed,
- trying to make the child feel better, talking him out of his feelings, denying the strength of his feelings,
- trying to find reasons, motives, causes,
- distracting the child, pushing the problem aside.
If your answer is yes you belong to the majority of parents who are trying in a wrong way to communicate with their children and understand their needs. You are struggling hard and lovingly, yet your house is full with anger, fighting, tantrums, punishment and lies. Whether you have a toddler striking out for independence or a teenager who has already started rebelling, Parent Effectiveness Training is your solution! A compassionate, effective way to instill responsibility and create a nurturing family environment in which your children will thrive.