Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Resistance IS a communication

When a child resist going to school, washing the dishes, feeding the dog, etc. they are offering an important and valuable communication. Does that mean that we, as parents, simply accept the resistance at face value? Or do we simply ignore the resistance and "push on"?

Personally, I don't think there is a pat answer. But if we accept the presumption that driving every behavior is a positive intention and we separate the behavior from the intention, we open the door to a new level of communication and new possibilities that go beyond merely reacting to the behavior.

One intention I often see driving resistance is the desire to succeed. Many children can smell failure a mile a way and will resist activities that they believe will or may lead to failure. Again, no pat answer, but if we look beyond the behavior, we may see new possibilities.

One important component is understanding the child's communication style. Is he visual-kinesthetic, visual-logical, auditory-kinesthetic or auditory-Logical?

Children with different communication styles can respond very differently to similar situations. While children who tend to process information logically or auditorally may be able to articulate their concerns, children who tend to process information visually or kinesthetically may operate on a more intuitive level of thought and may have trouble articulating the intention driving their behavior. They may also react to situations faster and with a greater intensity.


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