Manipulating kids a wrong road

Re: Talk so they listen, listen so they talk (Saanich Family, Sept. 14)

Re: Talk so they listen, listen so they talk (Saanich Family, Sept. 14)

Were we supposed to laugh as columnist Susan Lundy smugly wrote how “successfully” she manipulated her children? I just felt sad.

The book she probably took her title from (How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk, by Faber & Mazlish) is the opposite of manipulation, for it shows how to discuss issues with respect and caring.

Children need to learn how to express their opinions safely (discussing meaningful pros and cons of any chosen item or activity) and interact honestly (discussing the effects of bullying in all its subtle and not-so-subtle modes.)

As they practise expressing their feelings safely with their parents, they learn to recognize whom to trust and how to identify ethics in the larger world.

Whatever we model, our kids will earnestly imitate. When Ms. Lundy is an older woman, will she want her grown children using this same disrespectful technique on her?

As parents, we should be open to learning from our kids as well as having our kids learn from us.

If we run along that same two-way street, when a mother picks up a movie that interests her, there’s more than a 50-50 chance that her kids won’t give it (or her) “the up-turned nose.” And if they do, there’s an opportunity for learning to take place.

Robin Roberts



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