As a parent, you must have found yourself facing a stubborn child who will just not do what you ask of them. No matter what you want – clean your room, do your homework, stop nagging me to go home – kids sometimes seem to insist on doing the exact opposite.
If that is not enough, your partner may suddenly have strange notions of what should be done and how it should be done with money, around the house, in the yard or on vacation. You find yourself wondering if they have “lost the plot” and if you are the only person who can see things clearly.
These sorts of clashes can be very unpleasant and distressing. They also have the nasty habit of escalating to scary proportions very quickly. Whatever you do to make the other side “get it already”, they grow more persistent, until both sides start throwing hurtful comments, calling each other names and absolutely fuming.
Well, I am here to offer another way of looking at things, which is likely to help. But first, a couple of stories.
Last week, Ronit and I watched a movie called The Experiment. It is loosely based on Stanford University’s prison experiment, but instead of students, a group of adults who really need money are promised $1,000 a day for a “perfectly safe” 14-day experiment. They are taken to an isolated warehouse (the real experiment was in a campus basement), where they are divided into Guards and Prisoners. The guards are given simple rules and told to respond “commensurately”, which means “in proportion to the offense”, and never to use violence. In the “guard” room, there is a red light that will come on if the experiment has to be terminated.
Read more about how to never fight with your kids…