Saturday, January 9, 2010

Asssumption of Compliance

I was watching Nanny 911 tonight while in my hotel room.  I am attending a Family Life Education Visioning Summit.  Nanny was coaching a family with real problems.  I watched as first Mom and then Dad exhibited the same bad behavior.  They would ask one of their sons to do something and then badger them , threaten them, and finally give an hour's time out  becasue their was not instant compliance.  They moved so quickly into more talking that he didn't have time to comply.(By the way, he was 8 so his timeout according to Nanny should have been 8 minutes) .  Neither gave the children any time to comply.  At one point the little boy just grabbed his head and said, "I can't think! You're hurtinng my brain!"

Some of Nanny's advice had a Love and Logic ring to it.
  1.  Remain calm.
  2. Ask for a specific behavior  ( ie. "Could you pick up your socks?")
  3. Assume compliance and walk away giving the child time and space to act. (This comminicateds that you expect and trust that what you have asked will get done.
  4. More talking does not make a situation better espcially if the talk is hostile and threatening.
  5. I would add that Love and Logic suggests giving a child even more conrol by letting them choose when to do the task within a given time frame.  You could use an enforceable statent such as "Feel free to have your socks picked up anytime before we sit down to dinner."
It must have been really hard on the parents because their behavior was videotaped.  So they had to watch themselves interacting so negatively with their sons.  I think they were very courageous and they took what they saw and worked at change.  Perhaps we would all benefit from an occasional videotape of ourselves in action.  Could be pretty painful and amazingly fruitful.

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