by Anthony Kane
There is an old fable whose origins I forget which talks about a contest between the Sun and the Wind to see who is stronger.
In order to settle the debate they identify a man who is walking on the street and make a contest to see who can get him to take off
The Sun moves behind a cloud and lets the Wind goes first. Blowing with all his might the Wind tries to strip the man of his cloak.
However, the man resists by holding his cloak tighter and tighter. In the end the Wind gives up. He was unable to force the cloak off the man.
Next it is the Sun’s turn. The Sun comes from out behind the cloud and begins to shine with all his warmth. The man gets hot
and willingly takes off his cloak. The Sun is the obvious winner.
The Moral: Warmth is stronger than force.
This moral is something we all intuitively recognize. It is much easier to get someone else to do something willingly that it is to force him against his will.
What amazes me is that most child behavior programs and techniques seem to ignore this obvious truth.
Most child behavior programs don’t even address using warmth at all. They focus on ways of forcing your child and bending his will to obey yours. For obvious reasons this is setting you up to have to work much harder to get your child to obey you.
Isn’t it easier to get your child to do something that he wants to do than it is to force him to do something against his will?
Yet for some reason most child behavior programs work on ways to coerce your child to listen to you.
In reality forcing your child to obey you may do even more damage than doing nothing at all. What will happen is that you
use ‘behavioral tricks’ and coerce your child to comply.
As your child gets older and smarter he will eventually find a way to side step what you are doing, so you need new, more advanced tricks.
As your child grows you go back and forth always upping the ante. By the time your child becomes a teen you have spent years teaching him how to side step your requests and get around your authority. Is it any wonder parents have so much trouble
with their teenagers?
It is much easier to get your child to do something he wants to do than it is to force him to do something against his will.
ACTION STEP: Learn how to get your teen to want to obey you.
Warmly, Anthony Kane, MD
ADD ADHD Advances
From Sarah – I get these newsletters and am intrigued by Dr. Kane personally and by his particular expertise in working with troubled and difficult children – you can find out about him, follow up on the idea in this article and get his newsletters here: