From Dr. Jane's Notebook
A Parent Who's in Control
In our house, there are several prerequisites for being a
- Vertical Superiority. Roughly translated, this means that whoever's head is highest is
in control. When an adult in our household either lies down or sits on the floor, this
amounts to an open invitation to "sabotage by children". Conclusion: There's a
reason why they make children shorter than their parents.
- To be heard, you must make direct eye contact. If the eyes don't connect, the ears don't
work. This applies to most direct requests and is especially true if the television is on.
- To get things done by a child, it helps to make it a race. This is in the category of
child-persuasion or "cooperation incentives" and is accomplished by dangling the
proverbial carrot at the end of the task ("When you finish making your bed, we can go
outside") or by pitting children against each other in head-on competition ("I
wonder who will be dressed FIRST!").
In my experience, creative child-rearing and parental survival go hand-in-hand. As one
mother I know describes of her daughter, "Raising Susie is like riding a wild-trick
pony. When I fall off, I just have to get right back on and try again."
ęCopyright 1995, Jane Rosen-Grandon, All Rights Reserved
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Last Updated August 30, 1998 by Gary M. Grandon, Ph.D.