Sunday, August 15, 2010

Positive Discipline Tool Card - Back Talk

Don’t back talk back. This creates a power struggle or a revenge cycle.

1) Validate feelings. “Sounds like you are really angry.”
2) Take responsibility for your part. “I realize I talked disrespectfully to you by sounding bossy or critical.”
3) Take some time apart until you both can communicate respectfully.

When I read this tool card at our family meeting today my daughter said "Hey Dad...that sounds like you and Gibson." Guilty as charged! I have to admit that I tend to get into some heated discussions with my son.

In my mind it seems like my son thrives on debating with me. It doesn't really matter what the topic is, he seems to enjoy taking the opposite point of view. But I am sure from his perspective I am just trying to create a power struggle and prove that I am in charge.

Just the other day we were out school shopping. I had to return something at Costco so I said "Hey Kids, let's see if they have any good back to school stuff at Costco." You would have thought that I just asked Gibson if he would like to restock the shelves in the entire store.

"Daaaaad...I hate it when you do this."

"Do what?"

"You always add extra errands when we leave the house."

"Gibson...if walking into Costco is the toughest thing you have to do today, then I would say you have a pretty easy life. Maybe we need to send you to a third world country where you actually have to do something for your survival." (Please note: this is not a Positive Discipline method of communication)


"Why do you have to be so negative all the time Gibson? It's not very much fun doing things with you because you are always so negative."

"I'm not negative."

"You are totally negative."

"No I'm not!" get the picture. I definitely need to use this "Back Talk" tool card with my son. I think the key for me is just validating my son's point of view. "I understand that you don't like running all of these errands. We still need to go into Costco to return something, so I need to you come with me." Then when he reiterates how much he hates these extra errands, I can just validate his feelings again.

I don't need to get caught up in the negativity. I probably would feel the same way if I was a teenager running errands with my family. Even if I didn't have anything better to do, I would probably still be annoyed by the situation.


JayLeigh said...

"(Please note: this is not a Positive Discipline method of communication)"

Oh, rats!!! It's not?! ;)

I can very much relate to what you've shared here. It can be awfully easy to get caught up in the negativity. Validating feelings is so important. Sometimes it gets very tiring to do that, but your post is a great reminder of how important it is, and that it really does work and is a great way to communicate with our children and to help them feel heard, respected, and loved. I needed to read this today! Thank you!!

Jane Nelsen said...

Laughing out loud again as you so honestly share a trap all parents fall into--and remembering how negative you were about camping when you were a kid. :-)

Rina said...

I think this is ove of the most important cards as it is also valid for all our relationships. I personally get most cought in this cycle with my husband. Ha ha ha.....