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Conflict and kids...Readers' Request

You experience the pride of your infinite efforts, probably at the very same moment your children shake off the clay you hoped you so carefully molded them of.  You meet your goals AND you are thwarted, often several times in the same day.

Parenting.  Right in you home lays the wiliest potential adversary ever...you beautiful children!  From the cradle onward, parents are challenged to love and lead.  Support and stabilize.  Give unconditionally and define boundaries.

Your parenting goals are paramount and on the mark.  They don't need to be suggested or defined by any other voice.

This is THE impossible job.  No news there.  But we maximize everything here.  I had the good fortune to attend a speaking engagement by Dr. Thomas Phelan, perhaps Chicagoland's best known child psychologist, whose book “Magic 1-2-3” and DVD series took his down-to-earth advice about family inter-relationships nation-wide.

With a rather stunning observation, he revealed the sometime chasm between our intentions and the results. He spotlighted research that revealed that many incidents of child abuse and more likely, just a disappointing dialogue, often occur when the parents themselves described a loving, enthusiastic intent only to find their best efforts deteriorating when the responses of the children did not follow the script parents had built up in their minds.

Specifically, this is a useful nugget to remind us that parents can pick the wrong time to engage with their children, especially in disciplinary moments, without assessing the timing of kids’ receptivity. Or the expectations they bring to it. A natural enough gaff.

Generally, it just reinforces that we can occasionally miss the mark between intent and results. But conflict resolution confidence invites the possibility of implementing many conflict resolution ideas like Body language decoding or the I-Message with children. It is not really different at all if we challenge our perspective a bit.

We’ve come full circle and will begin with Conflict in Conversation- Kid Style, using conflict resolution in parenting, where confidence is priceless. When every word we say is potentially constructive or undermining, the stakes are pretty high – I don’t need to tell anyone.

Sound like pressure? Well I won’t lie. It is. But every day is an opportunity to practice routines and dialogues (inserting behavior), that can eliminate patterns. Lather, rinse, repeat with Mr. Bubble.  Be part of the resolution with our precious cargo!  And askmarynow@sbcglobal.net.

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