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May 1, 2015

Here’s a great idea…

In his book, Raising an Emotionally Intelligent Child, John Gottman says, “When conflicts arise over your teen’s behavior, don’t use trait labels (lazy, greedy, sloppy, selfish) to talk about it. Talk instead in terms of specific actions, telling your child how what she has done affects you”   (pp. 211-212).

In other words…

When we’re frustrated, we quite naturally hang labels on our children. Those labels don’t motivate them. In fact, they tend to discourage them and make them angry. For example, if our children leave clothes lying around, rather than call them lazy or sloppy, we can make a simple statement: “When I see clothes lying around the living room, I feel frustrated. I feel like throwing them away.”

Here’s how you can use this idea to have a better life…

The next time a conflict arises with your teen, take a moment to conquer your urge to strike out at your child. Take a deep breath. Express your frustration in a way that invites action rather than generates resentment and discouragement.

To find out more…

about parenting, check out Getting Our Hearts Right: Three Keys to Better Relationships, The Parenting Journey or See the World Through My Eyes programs at uaex.edu/parent, follow us at facebook.com/navigatinglife or contact your local county Extension agent. You can also read Raising an Emotionally Intelligent Child.

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