LOVE AND LOGIC
I used to be a parenting expert. That is, until I had kids.
The other day I caught myself giving a lengthy speech about the importance of kids doing their chores, getting their homework done, and respecting their parents. Unfortunately, the speech was not to a group of parents or teachers. It was to my fourteen-year-old son in response to his eye-rolling and huffing about having to do his physics homework.
Because we are spending more time at home with our kids than ever before, we might think it to be a great opportunity to start a lecture series on chores, good behavior, respect, responsibility, homework, etc. In reality, this might be exactly what we should not do.
Parenting is tough because we love our children. Highly effective teachers also love their students, and they struggle with the same temptations. We want the best for them. We worry that they’ll become irresponsible. We sometimes feel panicked because they don’t seem to be turning out the way we hoped. As educators we mourn when we aren’t reaching a child in the way we hoped.
Lots of intense feelings can muddy our minds and leave us forgetting that we can’t talk tykes, or our teenagers, into being respectful, responsible, and self-controlled. In fact, the more extensive our vocabularies become, the less effective we become.
The more words we use when things are going poorly,
the less effective we become.
Many excellent and loving parents and educators are faltering. Not because they lack skills. No, it’s because they talk too much while they’re using their good skills.
Run an experiment: when things are going poorly, see what happens if you simply use fewer words. The odds are high that you’ll be glad you did.
For more helpful tips, be sure to watch our free virtual seminar, Parenting During Uncertain Times.
Thanks for reading! Our goal is to help as many families as possible.
Dr. Charles Fay