Kids do crazy things, and sometimes it's easy to get frustrated at those things. However, if you want to redirect your child's behaviour, you might try working with instead of against them, and Harvard Business Review's Peter Bregman offers a three-step plan for doing just that.
Photo by mariamichelle.
When someone does something that frustrates us, we usually respond by blaming them and telling them it needs to change. This is a pretty common parenting scenario, but it might not be the best solution for lasting discipline.
Bregman uses a personal example, in which his daughter gets sand everywhere and he loses his cool.
I need a better way to respond to my daughter. For this, I went to my wife, Eleanor, who is truly a master. I asked her how I should have handled it.
"Sweetie," she said, role playing me in the conversation with my daughter, "There's a lot of sand here and we need to clean it up before it destroys the floors, how can I help?"
Simple and effective:
- Identify the problem
- State what needs to happen
- Offer to help
With this method, instead of blaming and nagging, you're explaining and offering a solution, which Bregman points out is a lot more effective. He discusses how this works in relationships with other people, but he uses parenting as a prime example, and I actually think it's the most useful in that context.
For more detail on why this works, and how it works in other relationships, check out Bregman's full post at the link below.
A Simple Formula for Changing Our Behaviour [Harvard Business Review]