Why won’t my child do what I tell them?
Seems like the million-dollar question of all parents, but I want to share one reason why our kids can often be so resistant and also a strategy to deal with it.
Before we go to technical maybe just think for a minute. How do you feel when you deal with a relative or college that is overly bossy or controlling? You know the ones that are quick to give orders or tell you why you need to do things THEIR way. Do you feel resistant? Do you sometimes consider doing the exact opposite of what is being asked to get your own back or to prove a point?
This phenomenon of internal rebellion is called “psychological reactance” and it is a reaction in our brain in response to our ‘perceived threat’ of losing our freedom.
It is characterized by distress, anxiety, resistance and a desire to restore a sense of control and autonomy.
It can also surface when well-meaning friends/family try to ‘help us’ achieve our goals, such as losing weight or stopping a bad habit and their “encouragement” triggers us to lash out or even worse sabotage our efforts in a damaging sense of rebellion.
Now I am sure you are not being that overbearing relative to your child, but sometimes it can be perceived that way. The pure nature of the child/parent relationship always has a lot of directing and correcting. It is a necessary and fundamental role of a parent to guide and teach. We can’t just stop that because many times if we don’t tell our kids what to do it would be chaos for all.
So what can we do?
Enter the routine chart! A visual routine is so effective because it takes YOU out of the equation, and also lessens the chance of psychological reactance.
You are not telling your child what to do, you are guiding to a system. This allows you to be encouraging rather than a micro-manager.
“What is next on your chart?” is so much more empowering than “Go clean your teeth”!
Can you see and feel the difference?
Visual routines such a Mission Magnets not only encourage independence but also foster a sense of autonomy and control. It allows our kids to take charge of their routine and supports them to be successful even at a young age.
If you are looking to add a visual routine, I recommend starting with a deluxe starter pack as it has my most popular missions and is discounted.
But of course a visual routine is just one tool, but it is a powerful one. Offering a choice of 2 thing can also help towards a feeling of empowerment for your child also. If you are interested in learning a stack of tools to add to your parenting tool box be sure to check out my course information and jump on the waitlist for the new format course coming early 2022.