Saturday, November 27, 2010

Our need for affirmation

We all have a need for affirmation. If we tell a person we want something done, we expect that person to affirm they heard it and will do it.
When mom tells her teenage son to do something she expects an affirmation...doesn't always happen though does it?
This creates frustration - however we learned from BAMtime that he is passive aggressively being rebellious to make the point that "mommy" isn't his boss anymore; he's his own man and wants to prove it.
Ever notice that he eventually will get up and do what you asked?

Now we have to look at the big picture.
  1.  He is trying to become his own man = and that is something we want or he'll never be able to stand on his own feet and create his own life.
  2. But we still need him to do what we asked.
Can both be accomplished?

Tell him what needs to be done. But don't expect an affirmation from him that he's going to do it. If you know he heard you then give him time to do it.
If he doesn't; then you work boundaries and consequences, but patients here can accomplish both.
Try it and give some comments.


  1. Along these lines, I believe it is very important for our kids to do what we ask, and in my experience with our 14 year old son, my wife gets the most frustrated out of "not hearing a response" if he's going to do the expected task or not. I remind her to wait and see, however it is extremely important, in our case at least, that we make certain that we have eye contact when giving him instructions. Young boys seem to rely on the "I didn't hear you" excuse in response to why they didn't do it. And of course, if the task isn't done there definitely needs to be a consequence so the child understands accountability.

  2. So today, we received about 6 inches of snow. School has been cancelled. My son has been playing outside and left the snow shovel at the neighbors. As he came in the house I asked him if he had used the shovel and then we begin the round and round about whether he is still using it or not. I asked him to go ad bring it home so it doesn't get lost at someone else's house. His reluctance to retrieve the snow shovel is an indication that we need to work on accountability and what that means. Although he is only 6 years old, to me the lesson of one being as good as their word is just as important ans bringing my snow shovel back.