Tuesday, April 18, 2017

EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATORS By Dr. Pradnya Ajinkya


Case 1

My 10 year old child hits other children. Other parents feel and call my child a “bad boy” or “naughty boy”. They have reinforced the negative image of my child both in my own mind and in my child’s. The first thing I feel is embarrassment and shame, followed closely by a fear that my child may have a “mean” streak. I wonder how to tell my child?
 
Therapist
Your son may be under one or many of the stress triggers that may have made him act out. Teaching instead of punishing becomes easier. For instance, instead of, “Why did you do that? I don’t understand how you can be so mean sometimes” you will be in a much better situation to say “That wasn’t the best behavior  --  we do not hit our friends”.

Case 2
 
No matter how strong I think I am, unforeseen change can leave me feeling quite vulnerable and lost. The past three days have been the most difficult. I am a part of reeling in confusion and pain. My family is experiencing the emotional roller-coaster of finding out I am pregnant at 19. I am expecting parents to restore this. I am expecting them to redeem this situation. 
 
Therapist
 
Asking these questions requires courage because, in the end, it is very likely they will not be answered. Ultimately, it isn’t about the questions.  Behind the question is a deep current of emotion threatening to overtake us. 
 
This experience can teach us about not wanting to be ignorant. You've lived this: You would have a hard time managing the powerful negative emotions that surfaced -- anger, disappointment, hurt -- while trying to keep parents and your routines on track effectively. Parents also need to handle this situation with the child that requires calm, consistent discipline. When we are already upset, we tend to discipline the kids in a way that is, uh, not calm or collected.

Case 3
 
Rupi attacks her husband: My mother-in-law asked me to do the dishes I forgot last night before I leave for work. 'I don't understand how a grown up lady can be so irresponsible and uncaring, MIL added.......... Your mother keeps criticizing me. She always uses all-or-nothing words like “always” or “never.” “What’s wrong with her?” She does not treat me as her own daughter.
 
Husband: You have a lot of pent-up-anger against my mother. You are behaving like a stranger who has a hard time adjusting herself to a family lifestyle. "What's wrong with you?'"
 
Rupi: It's usually your attempt to belittle or demean me which strongly conveys a sense of disrespect.
Husband: If there are ongoing conflicts in this marriage (eye rolling) I will prefer to quit .
 
Rupi: I have always been on the receiving end. You can't defend me. Please understand that it's not my fault, it's yours. I can never make you happy.  It’s never enough for you.
 
Husband: Looks down and refuses to discuss further and walks out the door, and says, I have a long day, I can't deal with this ANYMORE. Let us meet a therapist. We need help! Body chemistry is also not withstanding.
 
Therapist: No one is off the hook in the above scenario. Working on increasing positive interactions and enhancing the general atmosphere of our home by lowering our reliance on this form of negative communication is vital and important. The above conversations don’t necessarily mean that one's marriage is weak or doomed. The couple should be good at 'repair attempts.' The couple can send out a white flag of surrender because their marriage is important and they should want to be close to each other.

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