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The Problem with "Because I Said So"

 
 
sozobe
 
Reply Mon 9 Jan, 2012 09:09 am
Interesting article:

http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2012/01/03/144495483/why-a-teen-who-talks-back-may-have-a-bright-future

Excerpt:

Quote:
Bottom line: Effective arguing acted as something of an inoculation against negative peer pressure. Kids who felt confident to express themselves to their parents also felt confident being honest with their friends.

So, ironically the best thing parents can do is help their teenager argue more effectively. For this, Allen offers one word: listen.

In the study, when parents listened to their kids, their kids listened back. They didn't necessarily always agree, he says. But if one or the other made a good point, they would acknowledge that point. "They weren't just trying to fight each other at every step and wear each other down. They were really trying to persuade the other person."

Acceptable argument might go something like this: 'How about if my curfew's a half hour later but I agree that I'll text you or I'll agree that I'll stay in certain places and you'll know where I'll be; or how about I prove to you I can handle it for three weeks before we make a final decision about it."

Again, parents won't necessarily agree. But "they'll get across the message that they take their kids point of view seriously and honestly consider what they have to say," Allen says.

Child psychologist Richard Weissbourd says the findings bolster earlier research that finds that "parents who really respect their kids' thinking and their kids' input are much more likely to have kids who end up being independent thinkers and who are able to resist peer groups."

Weissbourd points to one dramatic study that analyzed parental relationships of Dutch citizens who ended up protecting Jews during World War II. They were parents who encouraged independent thinking, even if it differed from their own.

So the next time your teenager huffs and puffs and starts to argue, you might just step back for a minute, take a breath yourself, and try to listen. It may be one of the best lessons you teach your child.
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Type: Question • Score: 7 • Views: 2,720 • Replies: 14

 
DrewDad
 
  2  
Reply Mon 9 Jan, 2012 09:18 am
@sozobe,
T forwarded that same or a similar article to me, with a comment to the effect that our kids are set for life.
boomerang
 
  3  
Reply Mon 9 Jan, 2012 09:19 am
@sozobe,
I sent this to Mr. B the other day in light of the earring situation.

He remains "unconvinced".
0 Replies
 
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Mon 9 Jan, 2012 09:24 am
@DrewDad,
Ha! Good for you.

I sent this to E.G. with the subject line "The importance of negotiating with terrorists."

A friend of ours is fond of saying that in reference to compelling his kids to just obey already ("I don't negotiate with terrorists"), and E.G. has found it amusing and has repeated it many times in negotiation-type situations.
CalamityJane
 
  2  
Reply Mon 9 Jan, 2012 10:08 am
@sozobe,
Interesting article. It truly is important to never cease the channels of communication, regardless if it's arguing, negotiating or just plain talking and he earlier parents start the better.

I actually had a true Mom moment the other day when Jane told me that I was right in prohibiting certain internet sites and checking up on her daily when she was on the internet around age 13/14. We have had many arguments and discussions about that then. Now she understands the pitfalls and she's disgusted how younger girls present themselves on their facebook pages. She actually goes and writes on their walls and tells them that their pictures are too revealing and that they should be more careful.
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Mon 9 Jan, 2012 10:10 am
@CalamityJane,
Yay, that's the fun part of all this arguing, when they turn around and say "you were right."

Well, plus the good stuff about being able to stand up for themselves etc.

The less-fun part is when they win an argument (sozlet did that recently, forget the topic but her logic was unassailable so I said OK).
CalamityJane
 
  2  
Reply Mon 9 Jan, 2012 10:15 am
@sozobe,
You know sozobe, this is such an important part in negotiating with your children: to be parent enough and admit that they (parents) were wrong, or acknowledge that the kids had a better argument. Lots of parents shrug it off as they won't allow themselves being defeated by their children.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Mon 9 Jan, 2012 10:46 am
So, you two are saying that you do, in fact, negotiate with terrorists. The nation is going to hell in a hand basket. Maw . . . fetch me my shootin' iron . . .
CalamityJane
 
  1  
Reply Mon 9 Jan, 2012 03:50 pm
@Setanta,
Definitely! You have to know your enemies in order to defeat them!
0 Replies
 
MonaLeeza
 
  1  
Reply Mon 9 Jan, 2012 04:38 pm
@sozobe,
Quote:
In the study, when parents listened to their kids, their kids listened back.

I always made it a policy through primary school to listen to my daughter's stories about friends or whatever and not be dismissive or judgmental because I wanted her to keep talking to me when the stories became more important. I think that worked pretty well - at 16 I have a pretty good idea of what her and her friends are up to and she has earned my trust and quite a lot of freedom. And I'd like to think as this study says that she has listened back as well.
I've probably said it here before - but the best parenting advice I've ever had was not to expect the teenage years would be a nightmare because it would become a self-fulfilling prophesy.
0 Replies
 
PUNKEY
 
  1  
Reply Mon 9 Jan, 2012 05:22 pm
After 4 kids and 5 grandkids, I suggest: lots of freedom WITHIN structure.

All this "bargaining" and "negotiations" should be done with the end all settled in the adult's mind.

Like we used to say to the kids: do you want to skip to bed or ride on Dad's back to your room? (but you ARE going to bed)

sozobe
 
  2  
Reply Mon 9 Jan, 2012 07:18 pm
@PUNKEY,
I think that depends on the age.

For five-year-olds, definitely.

For fifteen-year-olds, not so much.

That doesn't mean that you just give in to whatever they say, of course, but I think you can genuinely listen and genuinely be open to persuasion.

I think having the end settled before the discussion begins, with a teenager, can be counterproductive. That's not really listening, that's playacting at listening. (And if they have a compelling argument but your mind is already made up, it just comes down to "because I said so" after all.)
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Wed 11 Jan, 2012 04:09 am
@sozobe,
Heh heh....... Sozlet is outarguing you......heh heh.
0 Replies
 
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Fri 9 Mar, 2012 08:06 am
More:

http://news.discovery.com/human/take-that-tiger-mom-120307.html

(I don't like the title, as part of the point of the Tiger Mom book was really that she figured out that she had to ease up, anyway.)

But more info about the problems with an authoritarian parenting style:

Excerpt:

Quote:
Using data on nearly 600 kids from an ongoing study of middle school and high school students in New Hampshire, researchers from the University of New Hampshire were able to link "my way or the highway" parenting with more delinquency in kids -- measured in behaviors like shop-lifting, substance abuse and attacking someone else with the intention of hurting or killing.

Firm but loving parenting, on the other hand, led to fewer transgressions. Permissive parenting, surprisingly, didn't seem to make much of a difference either way.

To explain the link between parenting style and behavior in kids, the researchers suggest that what matters most is how "legitimate" kids think their parents' authority is. This sense of legitimacy comes when kids trust that their parents are making the best decisions for them and believe that they need to do what their parents say even if they don’t always like how their parents are treating them.

When kids respect the authority of their parents, the researchers reported in the Journal of Adolescence, their behavior is better. Previous research has also linked firm but caring parenting with kids who have more self-control and self-reliance.

"When children consider their parents to be legitimate authority figures, they trust the parent and feel they have an obligation to do what their parents tell them to do," said lead researcher Rick Trinkner.

"This is an important attribute for any authority figure to possess, as the parent does not have to rely on a system of rewards and punishments to control behavior, and the child is more likely to follow the rules when the parent is not physically present."
vikorr
 
  2  
Reply Fri 9 Mar, 2012 03:59 pm
@sozobe,
I've always been surprised at the amount of times I hear 'because I said so' said to very young children by their parent. The funny thing is - it doesn't work on a child of 5 (just watch the rebellious streak develop), and it's just as ineffective on a kid of 15. They may do as they are told - but they develop a combative attitude which is quite counterproductive for both parties in the long run.
0 Replies
 
 

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