I'm sure you could agree that we have all spent countless hours with close friends and family in our COVID bubbles. All this time together is bound to bring conflict. With this, I'm reminded of a theme that parents frequently want to address during Parent Strategy Sessions. It's sticky and uncomfortable, and often enrages parents.
Only the bold can even begin to think about this, it's about Speaking Up and Taking Action, in other words, getting comfortable with the uncomfortable.
"What do I do when a loved one's words or actions negatively impact my child?"
In some cases, we can avoid future interactions, but in other cases, it's just not that easy! Especially when the relationship has history, or you're celebrating a holiday, expected to spend extended periods of fun time together. Negativity, be it in words or actions, can have a lasting effect on your child.
Family and Friends are NOT Perfect. They Need Help Too!
Often, these troublesome exchanges of communication are not recognized as a problem
by the person doing the action. Perhaps the offender is so far removed from the depth of their problems (could be from a multitude of issues, including their own parenting style or perhaps deeper routed marital issues, or other life stressors). Regardless of what it is, this is
YOUR CHILD and YOU KNOW BETTER than to expose or subject them to such destructive behavior.
Children are magnets for knowledge. They observe, mimic and internalize the behavior of loved ones. In instances when others exhibit inappropriate behavior, your children will trust that your response will ensure a positive outcome. Through developing those acquired skills, your child will be more prepared to practice this responsive behavior independently. This will
ultimately strengthen their core and build self esteem.
How Do You Do It?
This must be done "very gingerly," as my dad, an old insurance guy used to
say. Let's use the Team Esteem Approach with our core values as a
1. Customization: remember who you are talking to (know your audience).
You might approach your mother in law differently than you would a friend.
2. Community: is this conversation appropriate for this community setting?
Perhaps it should be done privately.
3. Humor: always deliver your message with humor if the opportunity presents
itself. Keep it firm but light!
4. Integration: encourage your child to independently speak up for
5. Team Work: remember, we can all learn and support each other if the
relationship is valued by both parties.
Don't feel ashamed or be afraid to stand up for your child. It is well within your rights. Follow these tips to ensure you are doing this in a way that is respectful but effective.
If you need more tips, check out our other blog posts or schedule a personalized Parent Strategy Session.
Thanks for reading!