World renowned family psychologist John Rosemond often asks his audiences, "How many of you believe that you have argumentative children?" Inevitably, 98% of his audience will raise their hands (give or take). Then he says, "No, you don't!" Collective gasp! Really? We don't have argumentative kids? Are you kidding? You weren't in my house last night! You didn't hear the push back when I asked my ten year old to clear the table and load the dishwasher. You weren't there when my teenager dogged my heels, begging to go to the party on Saturday night at her friend's house when the parents weren't going to be there. You didn't see my six year old throw his body down on the den floor when I asked him to pick up his toys! You weren't shopping with me when my middle school daughter had a meltdown because I refused to buy her a new outfit.
Our children aren't argumentative? Then why do we spend what seems to be hours arguing with them about everything from fashion to chores to school work to social life to bad choices to responsibility? There is no end to the battles that can be fought in most homes on a regular basis and yet Rosemond claims our children are NOT argumentative! Then who is?
His answer: we, the parents, allow the arguments to occur. We stick around, justify our responses, explain our positions, cajole, coerce, plead, bargain, and beg! Is he right? How often do we make our point concise or our request clear and walk away? How often do we claim our authority as parents to make the best decision possible for our children (after all, we are the adults, are we not?) and end it with "...because I said so~ I am the parent!" Exclamation point!
Rosemond reminds us that we have been convinced that we need to be extra careful not to trounce on our children's self-esteem. We have been convinced that we need to explain ourselves with every decision we make or request for compliance. However, the affects of that type of parenting is the creation of children with serious entitlement, disobedience, attitude and self image problems~ (and I don't mean bad self-image...I mean they think the world revolves around them and no one should tell them what to do!) We need to do our kids a favor and let them know that as the adults, we know best. We need to calmly let them know what is expected and then walk away, expecting that they will comply. "And when I've told you what I want from you, the good news is: I'm never going to nag you again about this." End of discussion...no argument!