Wednesday, February 22, 2012

How to change others..

Consider how hard it is to change yourself and you'll understand what little chance you have of trying to change others. - Jacob M. Braude, author

This has been a favorite quote of mine for more than 10 years. It says it all. We're all creatures of habit and we fall into our own patterns of undesirable behaviors. We can try to change ourselves, but need to do it steadily. However, it's hard work. So, hey, let me try to change you instead and make you conform to my thinking.

With my daughter, we've had some homework struggles, which have been escalated this year. We're spending more time on homework and it's getting very stressful. We're getting anxious because we feel like she's not working hard enough, cooperating and is full of excuses. I was at the end of my rope with her recently. I was so frustrated and I was acting out emotionally at her. I was desperately seeking patience. So, I started reading a parenting book I had looking for answers.

The first section of the book is all about changing yourself, not the child. Change the way you perceive and react to the situation. Part of the issue is that she doesn't work well when we're hovering over her yelling to do her work. She gets anxious because we're anxious. And, really, how productive are you when you're anxious and upset? Not very, I'm sure. The book later gets into practical techniques and strategies for working with your child and helping her get organized, etc. 

However, it was quite amazing how my daughter's behavior changed when mine did! I realized to control her, I need to control myself first. This is really difficult and I don't think it's easy after reading a book for a week. I have to practice consistently, look for creative solutions and most of all, hone in on the real issues at hand (not the emotional ones). All I can do is keep plugging at it and taking deep breaths.

I'll end on another quote that says everything I've said, but succinctly.

You can't direct the wind, but you can adjust your sails. - German Proverb

1 comment:

taa's mom said...

what is the name of the book. would you recommend it ?