Parents, educators, and others who work with children with developmental and behavioral challenges on a daily basis will find Robert Whipple’s latest blog one to think about.
When dealing with challenging children/teens, we tend to blame them and demand that they comply with certain standards. But frequently they will point out the inconsistencies of this in that the adults don’t feel like they need to follow the same expectations. I have parents and teachers tell me that they will show a child/student respect after they receive respect from the child/student. What they fail to take into consideration is that children learn about life from us. If they never experience respect, even when very small, they don’t have a template on which to build an expression of respect for others.
A great example of children doing as they experience is when my children were small, the two older ones came to me and said that I had to stop swearing because their 18 month old sister was copying me. Now I didn’t think I was swearing but they said that my “Oh my God” when overwhelmed was swearing. Now I hate to admit it but my 18 month old did sound “cute” saying “Oh my God” in her toddler voice, but I respected my other children for speaking up about something they felt was important. So over the next few months she and I went through a transition of “Oh my God, gosh” to eventually “Oh my gosh”. Now she is in her 20’s and I am back to “Oh my God” and she says much worse, but I did show my children it was important to trust me that I would do the right thing when it was brought to my attention.
Recently, however, it came back to haunt my oldest child. Her 3 year old daughter came into my office, went to “her chair” and immediately said “Grandma, you have to move that “s..t”. I politely asked her to repeat herself to make sure I heard correctly and she said “Grandma, you need to remove your “s..t” so I can sit down. I then asked her (politely) to say “Grandma can you move your stuff so I can sit down” which she did graciously and I complied. I then texted her mother that Karma sucks and she now would have to clean up her language.
As you read this blog, look at where you may be demonstrating faux trust and think about how you can turn that around. It will help both you and the children/teens you work and live with.
I get a lot of gift catalogs and always chuckle when they advertise the “faux plants.” Why they do not call them “fake plants” is pretty obvious. Nobody would want to buy something fake, so they give the items a fancy name as if that is really going to fool anyone. They keep doing it, so the method must be working for them.
I work in the arena of trust, and I think the notion of “faux trust” is one worth exploring. Stephen M.R. Covey dealt with the topic of faux trust behaviors very well in his first book, The Speed of Trust. Stephen identified 13 key trust behaviors and then identified the opposite behavior and also what he called the “counterfeit” behavior: one that looks real but is not genuine. Here is the list from Stephen’s book.
Trust Behavior – Opposite – Counterfeit
1. Talk straight – Lie or…
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