Parents are often left out when it comes to the professional discussion about how to deal with children. Yet the parents are the most capable and involved professionals on the team.
Adults may be concerned about being able to be assertive enough to provide appropriate leadership for their offspring. Living in Texas helped me come up with a rather simple experience which hits right to the heart of being able to say no or draw the line of structure in a child’s life.
My own life has been a lesson in assertiveness, and I was fairly slow to catch on. Therefore I see the value in developing skills in being assertive both as an individual and as a parent. Such responses don’t mean you have to be overly tough, angry, or combative. They just involve learning how to draw a line before too many emotions take you to those darker places.
Making presentations to parents always inspired me to come up with “homework” to make the concepts carry over past the day of the workshop. One assignment worked better with a practice session in the group before trying it at home.
I asked the parents to learn to spit! The idea is if you can spit you can probably be able to draw a line when needed in your own personal life as well as that of your parenting endeavors.
This usually requires a talking session afterwards. It’s amazing how realistic people become in that discussion time, compared to before the spitting exercise! Suddenly ways to apply this learning jump out of the woodwork, and parents begin to see clearly how they might need to hone their ability to lay down parameters for both their children and themselves.
Okay, you know you want to. Go ahead and try it.
Copyright 2015 by Hildra Tague. Obtain permission for publication in print or online.