Social Savvy: Help Your Child Fit in with Others by Lindy Petersen

By Lindy Petersen

Teaches mom and dad and kids to control events and steer clear of knee-jerk reactions while teenagers behave in a manner that upsets mom and dad and different little ones, through puzzling over the behaviour and what could be performed to alter or hinder it.

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Extra resources for Social Savvy: Help Your Child Fit in with Others

Sample text

These parents acted out their feelings on their children by yelling, putting down, begging, smacking, ordering or giving in. It did not solve the immediate problem and worse, it dirtied the fuelline to good relationships with their children in the longer term. Indeed, the most harm was probably done by what came out of the parent’s mouth! Impulsive ‘You’ messages When parents react quickly and impulsively to their children’s behaviour, they generally throw ‘You’ messages at their children. These are emotional statements that stem from their feelings, but, instead of expressing them clearly and honestly, just blame the child.

Notice that it has not been suggested at any time to ask children why they feel like they do or why they behaved like they did. Children usually respond to why questions with ‘I don’t know’ or become upset because they feel they are being interrogated and they don’t have the answers. ‘Whys’ tend to close the door on communication. Expressing how they feel does not interrogate or confuse them; it opens doors for children to talk more if they wish. And they will do so when they realise that this is what you are doing as well.

Basically, she was worried about her son, fearful for his safety and eventually relieved when he returned home. Her statements missed these feelings. The result was probably a confused, angry and upset child, and very little chance of working out a solution for next time he went out. An honest ‘I’ message would express these primary feelings: ‘I feel very worried when you are out late. I’m afraid something has happened to you. ’ In response, the child is less likely to feel angry or confused, and more likely to understand his mother’s feelings and want to relieve Social Savvy text 11/10/04 2:41 PM Page 32 SOCIAL SAVVY 32 her stress next time he goes out.

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