One of the things that really bothers me about wars between parents is this:
If you just change a person’s behavior when their thoughts stay the same? It’s a recipe for disaster.
If someone REALLY feels that a child is manipulating them when they cry, and they’re forced through shame to respond to those cries, what is going to happen between that parent who feels manipulated and that child?
If you are forced to cater to the whims of a petty tyrant do you feel happy and loving? Or do you feel angry and resentful and forced?
I prefer to try and provide other ways of viewing a child’s behavior. When you have other words to think of, you can start trying to see the truth in them rather than simply trying to act on what feels like another manipulation.
Shame isn’t a motivator. It’s a paralytic. It’s fight, flight or freeze.
Is that the mental space that struggling parents need to be in?
Or do they need to know that it’s okay to slow down, to give hugs, that there are other ways that they can try and see things? Do they need to understand that you can trust a child, and how to help that child earn your trust just as you earn theirs?