What is the “best” thinking?
I thought the way to “get” my kids to behave was to use either a punishment or a reward. It’s how the world works right? We have to prepare our kids for the world? We need to teach them right from wrong by implementing consequences or relying on rewards. But what if all that thinking wasn’t the “best” thinking.
What if that thinking created children who resented their parents, who felt manipulated and wronged. What if that thinking made things worse in the long run and didn’t actually teach anything except how to manipulate someone else? What if most kids know right from wrong pretty early on from our modeling? What if getting connected promotes better choices and allows our children to rely on their own inner moral compass? What if we decided we just could abandon all those manipulations? Would our kids run amuck? No. I did. I got rid of it all and I have really well behaved kids. Do they chose to do the wrong thing sometimes?
But don’t we all. Do I shame them and blame them? No, doesn’t work and isn’t worth it. I state the rules, and we move on, they know when they’ve made the wrong choice. I don’t need to rub it in and deteriorate our relationship. I can tell you now with a 13 year old, they are going to do as they please regardless. So even though I still struggle not to come with a punishment or a reprimand, I know it’s better not to, because with connection I garner more from our relationship, more love, more@cooperation and more transparency.
Do you want to be in the know or in the dark? It’s really your choice.
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