The Parenting Doctors Talk Disagreeableness. “I didn’t do anything!”
Symptoms: How many of us get tired of argumentativeness which sometimes seems unnecessary? Or maybe always unnecessary! Here you are, taking a look out the window and the snowflakes are coming down as you notice the snow building up on the sidewalk. The beauty of the moment is not passing you by. While you check the time as you take in the few minutes you have holding the blanket around your shoulders, you notice the beauty all around you. Contrasting the whiteness of the snow, you notice all the other colors out there- the green of the pine tree, the red of your neighbor’s house . . . . All of a sudden, your appreciation of beauty is slammed shut as you hear your kids screaming from a nearby room. “He’s punching and kicking me!” You yell out “come here.” Your 10-year old son immediately takes a defensive stance, “I didn’t do anything.” You find yourself in a pickle. You are confronted with defensiveness and disagreeableness. It gets a bit worse. Your son goes on, “You never believe what I say, you always believe what she says.” All you want to do is gather some facts, but your son is just disagreeable. No matter what you say, he’s in a defensive posture and will argue to the hilt that he “didn’t do it” even if he’s not even clear of what he is accused to have done!
Your prescription for disagreeableness:
In the end, disagreeableness has to do with an attitude more than an actual position/belief about an event. We want all parents to remember, that it is developmentally appropriate for children to LEARN how to handle their emotions. It is very normal in childhood for children to be unreasonable and disagreeable. It is our job to teach them through this time so that they learn positive ways to handle their emotions. When they are adults we want them to be fully capable of disagreeing without being disagreeable. Now, if only our politicians had had these lessons in childhood . . .
To your joy and health in parenting-
The parenting doctors.