Mom…Dad…Is It Time To Drop A Losing Strategy?

One of many interesting aspects of being human lies in our tendency to repeat life strategies that clearly are not working. For example, casein your world of parenting, how often do you repeat the same frustrating strategy…day in and day out?

For some, this may not be the case. But for most of us, we tend to make this mistake: We simply increase our intensity. We do it MORE…not LESS!

If I tried to hit a baseball with a golf club, I would quickly see it doesn’t work very well. However, insanity would be practicing hours upon hours, using the ‘wrong tool’ to try to hit the baseball.

Yet, this type of ‘insanity’ occurs over and over in our daily lives. Let’s review a couple of simple examples, where we tend to get pulled into repeating a losing strategy over and over.

  1. We ask once, and the kids don’t listen. We ask again, a bit louder. Then, we get even louder. Ultimately, most days…we end up yelling just to get their attention. Losing strategy. This will produce misery and just more yelling.
  2. Or, our daughter complains every time she does her homework. Either the homework is too hard, she is too ‘stupid’ or the teacher is ‘dumb.’ Over and over, we argue with her. We tell her she is smart. We tell her that she has to do her homework, and ask her why she fights it every single day. We refuse to agree with her that the teacher is ‘dumb.’
  3. Or, our son is a drama king. For every small thing that happens, we get BIG drama. Every little thing that he doesn’t like, we hear the whining, the complaining, the crying…and the ultimate meltdown. After a while, it’s exhausting not to mention quite frustrating. Yet, our approach has not changed over the years. We keep calming, soothing, arguing with him. While it’s exhausting, we just keep repeating this losing strategy.

How To Know If You Have A Losing Strategy?

It is essential to see the error of our ways. To do so, we must recognize losing strategies. This is quite easy.
Losing strategies are not working to make life easy. Losing strategies keep making life hard.

It doesn’t have to be that way. Learning to manage behavior is a skill you can acquire. And, there is a predictable response by your children. They will learn to listen after you ask. They will stop complaining about homework, and the drama can disappear.

These require a winning strategy, in order to your life and their lives better.

But My Child Is Different!

Yes, children do vary in temperament. Some are more challenging. They vary in abilities, and some have true disabilities. This is not deniable. Yet, the opposite is also true. All share critically important similarities, and this is the basis for winning strategies.

And thus, if not careful, what happens here is that we start to mentally fight and argue for the losing strategies…the ones that are making our life harder. Before we ever try something new, we get entrenched in ‘fighting’ for the way we do things, despite the drama, the frustration, and the failed results.

It doesn’t have to be that way. Consider adopting a new approach. If it’s correct in a foundation of solid behavioral principles, you will quickly know that life can get easier for everyone.

Here at Terrific Parenting, our goal is to give you winning strategies. The solutions are built on proven principles, tested and refined with literally dozens and dozens of real families….with real-life challenges. Please keep exploring the solutions we offer. If you test them, you will find they work. Do not keep repeating the same strategies that bring you misery or struggle. There is a better way!

Dr. Randy Cale
Licensed Psychologist