There are some ways we treat our kids which we wouldn’t like ourselves, I’ve done it, and for some reason I’ve imagined that even though it wouldn’t work for me, it should work for them. It never has.
Here are some of those ways I don’t like to be treated, and my honest reactions to them:
- Insincere flattery:
I know you don’t mean it and I just think ‘what do you want?’
Love a bit of genuine praise, but loads of it and I start to feel uncomfortable and a bit weirded-out. Do you really feel I need that level of assurance? What’s wrong with me?
- Patient long-winded explanations about how you’d like me to behave:
Do you really think I’m that stupid? I get it. I got it the first time
- Asking me really nicely in a sugary-sweet tone of voice:
Just tell me! Do you think I’m so awful you have to be really really nice to me to get me to do anything?
- Giving me too many choices:
WHY DON’T YOU DECIDE?? Pleeeeaase! My head hurts
- Pleading with me to do something that any reasonable person would obviously just do:
I want to hit you. Feel a bit guilty about that
- Punishing me for something I get wrong:
Revenge. At the earliest opportunity
- Giving me lots of treats and rewards:
I love it but I hate it. Suspicious, bordering on slight contempt. Feel bad about that
- Letting me get my own way all the time:
I kind of like this, but I don’t really respect you
- Lecturing me:
Bored. Will you just stop now please
In my time I’ve used all these ways on my children, and when it hasn’t worked I’ve done it more. Or louder.
Here’s what I do like though: I like people being straight with me (but not cruel, obviously), I like to know what the rules are, I like people being authentic and real, I like to be appreciated and acknowledged, I like it when people are clear about what they want from me, I like being trusted and I respond really well to being treated like a reasonable human being.
Funny how my kids like all those things too.