If you think getting fired from your job is bad enough, you might want consider the following before your children do the same...
As children grow into adolesence and begin to realize that their needs can be fulfilled outside of the home, they will often sever the relationship with their parents. No matter social class, religious background or ethnicity, this epidemic is a vitrual certainty across the globe.
"Parents get fired by their kids when they hassle and harangue them to change cherished beliefs and values. Adolescents dismiss their parents when they feel they are being denied their basic civil rights." - Dr. Thomas Gordon, The P.E.T. Book.
No different than adults, teens especially will vehemently defend their belief system and their rights - especially if they feel that their values and behaviors have no real effect on anybody else other than themselves. When parents try to force ideas or make decisions on behalf of their children because "it's what's best for them," these parents fail to realize that their efforts are folly. Often is the case that teenagers do things behind their parents backs, knowing that they disagree or won't approve.
Therein lies the trajedy. When children make the decision to withhold things from their parents, parents lose the ability to be able to influence their children.
The question is: How do parents AVOID getting fired?
Here are some tips:
#1 - Problem Ownership: Realize the difference between when you own the problem, when both own the problem and when they own the problem (it's not YOUR problem)
#2 - Use Method III: Not to be mistaken with compromise, Method III allows every party to get their needs met.
#3 - Avoid Roadblocks: Know when to Active Listen instead of giving advice, judging, using logic, etc.
#4 - Don't Force Your Values: Recall the High Risk to Low Risk options for handling Collision of Values situations. Using Coercive power is a one-way ticket to getting fired!
What do you think? Let us know.
By: Selena Cruz George, Program Manager