Mar 30, 2010

What Are Your Favorite Roadblocks?

I've learned many ways to "help" my friends, family, co-workers with their problems, but without realization that many of my "helping responses" are "Roadblocks". Yikes!

What are your favorite Roadblocks to use with your children?

I like to share with you a few of my favorite Roadblocks and what the affects are if/when I were to use them.

Roadblock #4: Advising, Giving Solutions - "What I would do is..." "Why don't you..." "Let me suggest..."
  • Can imply child is not able to solve own problems
  • Prevents child from thinking through a problem, considering alternative solutions, and trying them out for reality
  • Can cause dependency, or resistance
Roadblock #5: Persuading With Logic, Arguing - "Here is why you are wrong..." "The facts are..." "Yes, but..."
  • Provokes defensive position and counter arguments
  • Often causes child to "turn off" parent, to quit listening
  • Can cause child to feel inferior, inadequate
Roadblock #7: Praising, Agreeing - "Well, I think you're doing a great job!" "You're right!--that teacher sounds awful!"
  • Implies high parental expectations and possible future evaluation
  • Can be seen as patronizing or as a manipulative effort to encourage desired behavior
  • Can cause anxiety when child's perception of self doesn't match parent's praise
Roadblock #11: Probing and Questioning - "Why...?" "Who...?" "What did you...?" "How...?"
  • Since answering questions often results in getting subsequent criticisms or solutions, children often learn to reply with non-answers, avoidance, half-truths, or lies
  • Since questions often keep the child in the dark as to what the parent is driving at, the child may become anxious and fearful
  • Child can lose sight of his or her problem while answering questions spawned by the parent's concerns*
*Examples from Dr. Thomas Gordon's P.E.T. Participant Workbook

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