Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Quote: On Shared Control

"Control is a basic human need. We can either proactively share control on our terms, or we can force the child to take control from us on their terms."

Jim Fay

We'll be talking a lot about this one. Shared control is one of four central principles of Love and Logic. I don't always agree with the Love and Logic folks on each particular intervention that they might recommend for a given situation, but I do have to say that their four central principles, after more than well over a decade using them with children, hold up better, and more broadly than any others I've come across. It also turns out that they can be implemented in lots of different ways, which means that I'm not stuck with offering "Off the Rack" parenting advice. Instead, using the four principles along with other parts of my training, I am able to help parents tailor an approach that fits their child's temperament, each parent's temperament and personality, and the family's unique values, strengths and challenges.

Shared control often takes the form of using enforceable statements or choices within limits, which we'll cover on another occasion. Kids who feel like they have a reasonable amount of control tend to spend a lot less time fighting adults for control. Remember we're talking here about choices that affect the kids, not the adults. We don't give a kid the option to throw a big fit right in the middle of a family gathering, but we might give him choices about "Would it be better for you to get calmed down so you can be here with us, or would it better for you to have a bit of time on your own in your room?" Master this principle and you'll experience a nice shift in your ability to positively influence your kids.
blog comments powered by Disqus