WON’T SOLVE THE PROBLEM!
By Pepa Wenrich -
When parents receive a report from school explaining that their child’s grade went down because he or she didn’t turn in a project on time, they often get upset, reprimand the child or when the child is older, they start a big argument which usually ends in a fight. But what do parents accomplish by doing that?
Many parents think that remaining quiet means doing nothing about the problem. But the reality is that by getting angry, sending guilt messages, nagging and withdrawing love from their children, parents don’t solve the problem either; furthermore, they create additional difficulties and resistance because they:
- direct the attention of the child OFF the real problem. The child responds:
“I need to recognize that not turning in my assignment cost me a bad grade”
- stir up emotions of anger and resentment in the child instead of the one feeling that will change the child, sadness.
- place the burden of resolving the problem on themselves
- show low expectations of the child’s ability
While on a short term basis parental responses like getting angry, sending guilt messages and nagging might force the child to do what they want, these psychological pressures don’t really motivate a child to make a TRUE and long term change. These behaviors also show the child that his or her parents are at a loss as to how to handle the situation. Parents must show their children that they can handle anything. When parents don’t know exactly how to handle a situation yet, the children don't need to know. Parents can look for helpful advice that could remedy the situation after the fact., However in the meantime, when they are on the spot, if they can’t think of anything constructive or kind to say, there is no need to say anything at all. Like the German proverb says: “Be silent or say something better than silence.”