Influencing the Child to Change
How the Parent Influences the Child to Change
In my previous article, “Parent-Child Harmony & Harmony in Music,” I described the dynamics of harmony in music as an example of why the parent must be the first to change when parent and child are in conflict, or discord.
This is a radical departure from normal parenting behavior (yelling, demanding, arguing) because it constitutes a “backing off” by the parent from the discord and conflict of the moment. Rather than giving a misbehaving or angry child a “time out” or a tongue lashing, the parent gets “in harmony” with the child’s upset feelings and desires at the moment not by getting angry or yelling, but by empathically moving into harmony with child by being aware that “there’s disharmony here.” Thus the parent elevates the interaction to a higher level by backing off from the war of wills through empathic attention. Then the parent takes the time-out to think things over and plan the next steps, and what s/he is going to do and say.
Now I want to describe the next steps a parent can take to influence the child to make a change.