By Jim Fay
Question: What is one of the primary ways that kids learn?
Answer: Modeling (subconscious imitation of adult behaviors, beliefs, and attitudes).
Question: Who becomes a model for kids?
Answer: A person they see as both strong and loving at the same time.
Question: Once a child accepts a person as a model, how does the child see his/her own position or role?
Answer: As a child, student, and a follower who should listen to the adult.
Question: What happens to the adult’s role if the child can hook him/her into debates or arguments about limits and boundaries?
Answer: Their roles change to that of equals. It is no longer an adult/child relationship. It is now an adult/adult relationship.
Question: If that happens, what happens to the adult’s role as a model?
Answer: It loses effectiveness.
Question: Does the child now feel a strong need to listen to that adult?
Question: If this is true, then why is it so important that we not engage in arguments with kids about the limits we set?
Answer: If we do, we lose our status as models. Then we find ourselves demanding that sports heroes become the role models for our kids.
Question: Who should be the real role models for kids?
Answer: Parents and teachers.
This is the reason that Love and Logic places such a strong emphasis upon the use of the Neutralizing Arguments technique for those times when kids try to hook you into arguments. Master the art of responding to arguments with, “Could be”, and “What did I say?” Then smile and walk away.
You can pick up some great ideas about putting a stop to arguing and backtalk on my audio CD, Love and Logic Magic When Kids Drain Your Energy. Don’t listen if you hate to giggle.