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On the last track, we discussed 3 Misdirected Goals. These included attention, power, revenge and the Reinforcement Technique.
On this track, we will discuss one method for Building Assertive Parent-Child Communication. As you listen, think of your client. How do you respond to him or her?
I felt that Marie, from the last track, might benefit from an awareness of specifically how to build assertive communication with her 3-year-old, Brock. I stated to Marie, “As you know, Brock probably won’t do what you want all the time. However, if Brock doesn’t know what you want, then the chances that he’ll do what you want are less likely. I have found that children often want their parents to be happy, and knowing clearly what a parent wants can increase a child’s motivation for complying. One way you can help Brock know what you want is through assertive messages. There are three parts to an assertive message, including reacting to Brock’s behavior, why Brock’s behavior affects you this way and what you want to change.”
Part 1 - Reacting to Brock’s Behavior
Part 2 - Why Brock’s Behavior Affects You This Way
Part 3 - What You Want to Change
I stated, “When you put together these three components, your feelings, why you have those feelings, and what you want, you can provide Brock with all the information he needs to make a choice about how to behave. As you know, Brock won’t always necessarily behave the way you want, but at least he’ll have the information to make such a choice.”
Marie asked, “If Brock’s behavior is repetitive, do I need to go through the motions every single time?” I stated, “Not at all. If you’ve given all the information the first time, then a shortened version might suffice on later occasions.”
In general, once Marie had clarified to Brock what she wanted and expected, Brock had an implicit choice…to either meet that expectation or not. On occasions when Brock chose not to obey Marie, it was probably appropriate that Marie gave him some consequences for those choices. When Brock did obey Marie’s requests, however, he experienced positive consequences, including Marie’s pleasure and appreciation. As Brock learned that he had the power to make decisions, he also learned to be responsible for the consequences that followed.
Do you have a Marie... who struggles with communicating assertively with his or her child? Might he or she benefit from hearing this track?
On the next track, we will discuss Respect for Rules. This will include “Do as I Say, Not as I Do” Mentality, Exceptions and Rationalization.
Online Continuing Education QUESTION 12
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