Getting Together and Staying Together by William Glasser is a book meant for couples in relationships. It is a most excellent book and I suggest you obtain a copy of it to help improve your partnership/couple-ship/marriage/etc.
Now that I’ve said the above, I want to state that I have co-opted Glasser’s SEVEN DEADLY HABITS when working with both children and teenagers. It is a most useful tool to have in my toolkit. I will share these SEVEN DEADLY with you, hoping that you will continue to read about the way to use this list to a successful conclusion:
SEVEN DEADLY HABITS:
- Bribing or Rewarding to control
First: chose your top THREE Deadly Habits of how you attempt to control others, in this case your children.
[Most of us at some point or other have employed all SEVEN DEADLY HABITS. However, we usually settle on two or three that spring to our defense/offense when we are struggling with control and power with another person, no matter what their age. For example, my family of origin is quite adept in using CRITICAL judgment to try to force the poor soul to change mind, or behavior, or belief. Of course, it is offered with parental/sibling love–BUT the overall effect is to CONTROL with “I know what’s good for you–and what you think, do or believe is NOT in accordance to what I think, do or believe.” Ouch.]
Second: choose your top THREE Deadly Habits that you respond to from others.
[All of us, well except for the most perfect among us, “fall for” and become defensive around one or more of these SEVEN DEADLY HABITS. It is our “button to push” for others to engage in changing our opinion or action. Children learn at an early age what buttons to push in each parent/caretaker. By the time they are teenagers, they are downright experts at what parents/caretakers respond to in the SEVEN DEADLY HABIT list. (Hey, bosses also learn about this, as do co-workers and . . .well, the list goes on and on.) So take a moment and consider which of the SEVEN pushes your buttons.]
NOW: Decide on ONE DEADLY HABIT you would like to remove from your arsenal in achieving control over your child or teenager. Just ONE. Then, when there is a time of calmness between you (Hint—-NOT when you are arguing or in a silent power struggle!) tell your child/teenager that you have done some soul-searching and decided to NOT be or use your ONE DEADLY HABIT for the next 30 days. You believe that this DEADLY HABIT is not helpful to your being a “good Mommie” or with older child or teen: “doesn’t help to give us a way to talk about things that are important to each of us.” However you want to express and feel comfortable with a SHORT explanation of your ONE DEADLY HABIT.
That’s it. Don’t continually refer to your NEW and IMPROVED parenting/caretaking style. Let it be. Take each day as it comes and refrain from using your ONE DEADLY HABIT.
Be aware, when you stop using ONE DEADLY HABIT, it often occurs that one of the other DEADLY HABITS begins to appear. Try to keep this from happening. Listen more, express your truth and see what happens.
Let me know how this works for you.
Remember, be gentle with your child and yourself.