Did you know there’s a game children and parents play all the time and yet, neither of them knows about it? This article discusses this unconscious, no-win game children play with their unknowing parents; how points get scored; why the game isn’t a good thing to play, and how parents can stop the game.
I wish I could tell you the name of the game. It’s a secret and has no name. Parents and children don’t even know they’re playing the game. The purpose of the game is simple; children play it to get their way. The game itself is based on a point system. Whoever has the most points has the most power and control in the parent-child relationship. The minute a child asks the parent for something and is met with the answer, “no,” the game begins!
Children score points when they argue with their parents so much, their parents become upset, raise their voice and lose their ‘cool.’ Or when they are asked to do something and then don’t do it correctly and they’re not caught, they win a point. When children say they did their chores or completed their homework and didn’t and their parents don’t check up on them to see if they’re being honest, another point gets scored.
Another ay to score a point happens when parents tell their children tothey will do something for them and then don’t follow through. If you tell your child you’ll take him to the store on Wednesday and then weasel out of it, you just gave your child a point. Why? Because you’re teaching your child it’s okay not to be a person of your word.
Parents score points when they do not argue with their children. Imagine you have a bonfire on the beach. If you stop putting fire on, what happens? You guessed it! It eventually goes out. When they remain calm, regardless of a child’s reactions,they get the point. Yes, I realize this is not always an easy thing to do.
Any time a parent follows through with a promise, another point is scored. If you say you’ll drive your child to the store, do it. Don’t make any promises unless you feel certain you can carry them through for the child. When you tell or ask your child to stop doing something and he doesn’t, follow through until he does. This might mean you have to quietly and
calmly walk over and physically help him. You could say something like, “Thanks for letting me know you need help doing this. I love you so much I want to make sure you can do this.” If you say it sarcastically, the child gets the point because you won’t sound sincere.
The downside of this game is that no one ever wins. When parents play, they give away their parental power and control to their children. Each time parents react with anger and frustration, they non-verbally let their children know the children are stronger than the parent. If a child gets the unconscious message he or she is stronger, that child won’t feel safe. “Who’s going to take care of me and keep me safe if I’m emotionally stronger than my parent?” What you may see is a child acting out even more, testing the parent to set limits and stop the child’s behavior.
When children play the game over time, they do not learn to accept the word “no.” This is crucial if they are to grow up as respectful, responsible adults.
Now that you know about this no-win game, how can you, as a parent, stop it? Stay calm, no matter what’s happening. If you want some ideas on how to do this, you can find some ideas on my blog called, “How to Act Like a Super nanny at Home.” The address is http://www.parentsurvival.org. By staying calm, not arguing, walking away; the game loses its strength because the parent is in control. You haven’t put any logs on the fire.
If you tell your child to do something, make sure you check to see that it’s done according to your desires. If your child starts to argue, simply say, “I love you too much to argue” and walk away. If you answer your child’s comments, you will lose the point. The trick here involves being quiet, the less said, the better.
Children may not get what they think they want when their parents no longer play with game with them. However, they get what they need, which are strong successful parents who love them enough to stop playing the game. Only then will everyone win.
Source by MaryLynne White