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On the last track, we discussed Building Assertive Parent-Child Communication. This has included reacting to a child’s behavior, why the child’s behavior affects you this way and what you want to change.
Do you have a client whose child doesn’t respect set rules? Does the client respect the rules set?
Have you found... as I have, that behavior communicates as powerfully and as subtly as words do?
Bruce, age 40, came to me about his 13-year-old son, Chad. Bruce stated, "Chad is always complaining about how nothing is fair. I think he’s started rebelling because of it, too. If Chad is going over to a friend’s house, I ask him to call me when he gets there, so I know he got there safely. What does he do? He ignores me and doesn’t do it. Then, I swear he ties up the phone on purpose so no one else can make calls or use the internet! I’ve got to check my e-mail for business! What do you do about a kid who’s purposely disobeying just to be a smart aleck?"
I asked, "Do you ever call home to tell your family that you’ve arrived safely, for example, if you go on a business trip?" Bruce stated, "No, not really…if I did that for every business trip, my family would be sick of it!" I asked, "About how long in one setting do you spend on the internet, when you use it?" Bruce responded, "Time goes so fast when you’re on a computer! I swear…fifteen minutes can turn into 3 hours so fast!"
Topic #1 - "Do as I Say, Not as I Do" Mentality
Topic #2 - Exceptions
Topic #3 - Rationalization
However, I felt that if Bruce used rationalizations to break rules and violate boundaries, he might be just as likely to use rationalizations to create rules and boundaries for the convenience of the moment. It would, of course, take a lot of effort and concentration to maintain the kind of consistency that helps to build the foundation of values and character that Bruce wanted for Chad.
Bruce stated, "So…you’re saying that if I turn my behavior around, my kid will turn his behavior around too?" I stated, "First, he might respect you more. He might see that you really mean what you say when you ask certain things of him, like calling when he gets to his friend’s house. Then he might start to adopt those behaviors himself."
Do you have a Bruce... whose child doesn’t respect the rules he or she has set? Does your Bruce respect his or her own rules? Might he or she benefit from hearing this track?
On this track, we have discussed Respect for Rules. This has included "Do as I Say, Not as I Do" Mentality, Exceptions and Rationalization.
Peer-Reviewed Journal Article References:
Brown, D. A., Lewis, C. N., Lamb, M. E., Gwynne, J., Kitto, O., & Stairmand, M. (2019). Developmental differences in children’s learning and use of forensic ground rules during an interview about an experienced event. Developmental Psychology, 55(8), 1626–1639.
Dickinson, J. J., Brubacher, S. P., & Poole, D. A. (2015). Children’s performance on ground rules questions: Implications for forensic interviewing. Law and Human Behavior, 39(1), 87–97.
Mammen, M., Köymen, B., & Tomasello, M. (2018). The reasons young children give to peers when explaining their judgments of moral and conventional rules. Developmental Psychology, 54(2), 254–262.
Van Heel, M., Van Den Noortgate, W., Bijttebier, P., Colpin, H., Goossens, L., Verschueren, K., & Van Leeuwen, K. (2019). Parenting and externalizing problem behavior in adolescence: Combining the strengths of variable-centered and person-centered approaches. Developmental Psychology, 55(3), 653–673.
Online Continuing Education QUESTION 13
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