One of the greatest challenges of parenting is teaching children how to accept consequences, accept feedback, or anything else you are saying, without arguing back. Many parents count it a victory if they are able to slip in some feedback to their child and the child doesn’t yell back at them or get very upset. However I have some news that might take the wind out of some sails. If you are giving your child feedback, criticism, consequences or whatever and they are rolling their eyes, folding their arms, slouching, looking away from you etc..then they are not accepting what you said.
Many times a child will not scream and yell at their parent, but their way of rejecting you is more passive and can be identified by simple gestures such as the ones mentioned above. Imagine if your supervisor gave you some feedback and you started rolling your eyes, cracking your gum, and maybe folding your arms as you look over their shoulder while they talk to you. How would they likely respond to you? I am guessing you may be in for more feedback!
No different is the child who does the same thing to us parents when we give correction. Why does this matter? It matters because by demonstrating these behaviors, they are clearly not accepting what you say and by not accepting what you say without consequence, you are teaching them that it is not necessary to accept feedback from adults if they choose not to. By teaching this, you would be setting them up to fail in the real world because we all know that the real world, work and school, and social situations is not going recognize this as acceptable.
It is our job as parents to teach our kids what the real expectations will be when they start entering into things like jobs, higher education, etc.. we teach our children not only by the recognition and praise of the correct behavior, but also by pointing out the absence of certain behaviors as well. The absence of eye contact during a conversation for instance, is significant and should be addressed at once. The absence of good posture as well should be pointed out too just as the absence of a calm voice tone needs to be discussed. So the absence of a behavior is just as important to notice as the presence of a behavior.
When you are having an interaction with your child then, you should be ready to do some teaching on the spot in the event he or she needs redirection. For example as you are giving some feedback to your child and you notice they are rolling their eyes, you will want to stop the interaction and let them know that they need to demonstrate appropriate eye contact. At this point the interaction should start all over until the child is doing what is asked. It may take a few rounds of starting over to get them to comply, but as soon as they figure out that they are going to be stuck role playing all night, usually they will comply simply to avoid that!
In keeping with the subject for today, the skill I will introduce for addition to the skill bank you have will be just that- Body language/ Facial Expressions.
Here are the guidelines to teach your child about this skill-
Body Langauge/ Facial Expressions-
1- No eye rolling
2-No folding arms
5-Make eye contact
Kids will always look for some way to avoid accepting what they don’t like so don’t be surprised if they do all these 5 things, but come up with new ways of rejecting you! Use your own judgement and if you feel they are bucking , start the interaction over and identify whatever behavior they are showing that is inappropriate.
As always, happy parenting, and this comes with a money back guarantee so why not give it a shot?