Business man with gas mask. Toxic behavior.

What is a “Toxic Employee”?

Last week we began a series on managing “toxic employees.”

One reader inquired, “What, exactly, is a toxic employee?”

It is such a great (and obvious) question, that we’re addressing it now before going on to additional constructive communication tools to develop collaboration with these colleagues.

What is a “Toxic Employee”?

“Toxic employee” is one of those phrases that gets thrown around without clarification.

People are not toxic.  Behaviors are.

People get labeled according to their behaviors.

“She’s a high potential.”

“He’s totally toxic.”

Read about labels that create a disconnect with listeners.

worldview-beliefs-values-behaviors icebergOur actions stem from our beliefs and attitudes.  You and I operate according to our conscious and unconscious convictions.

Just because a person bravely stands up to a bully does not make her a brave person in all circumstances.  She sure acted with courage in this instance. This strengthens her and others’ confidence that she could do so under even more challenging conditions too.

Similarly, someone who trips over his feet is not a klutz.  He acts clumsy.

Who we are is more than how we act.

Mindset Matters

The purpose of this series on toxic behavior at work is to present solutions which foster lasting, constructive behavior.

We do so by addressing the beliefs behind the behaviors.

Fixed and Growth Mindsets

Dr. Carol Dweck, professor at Columbia University, identified two underlying attitudes towards growth.  These attitudes either extend or constrain our view of ourselves and of others.

People with the Fixed Mindset believe that people have qualities and they reach a maximum capability level and cannot go further.  Like our height.  My brother, a longstanding adult, is 6’2”.  He won’t grow taller.

Folk with a Growth Mindset consider that we can change throughout life.  Like muscle.  My brother joined a gym. His biceps are more pronounced than a few months ago!

Moving Between Mindsets

Through our interactions with people we can encourage either of these mindsets.

Labels move people towards the fixed mindset. This is true whether it’s a positive or negative label.  Once identified as toxic, always problematic.  Once considered high-potential, always more is expected of them.

I seek to orient people towards the growth mindset and do so through constructive communication tools that provide choices within clear limits. This approach to communication renders people responsible for their actions and invites collaboration and mutual respect.

These tools are founded on the psychological principles of Dr. Alfred Adler and have been confirmed by neuroscience.  For example, Dweck describes that people with a fixed mindset focus on declarative statements.  “This is the way it is.  Period.”  Growth mindset folk entertain questions.  “What will it take to move from here to there?”

Dweck asserts that people can change mindsets.  The realization that these two worldviews exist has helped many recognize their fixed mindset tendencies and to intentionally focus on developing more of a growth perspective.

Toxic behavior is often a symptom of a fixed mindset.  The person believes his label is superior to another’s.  They therefore deserve special treatment.  (They can be a bigger victim too.)

The purpose of this series on toxic behavior at work is to present growth mindset solutions to

  • Avoid falling into a fixed mindset trap
  • Invite challenging employees to grow
    … thanks to relationship tools that are simultaneously firm and kind
  • Be in expectation that the colleague can and will progress

Toxic Behaviors at Work

When a person spreads rumors, it’s poisoning the atmosphere.

When a boss misuses power, he is killing trust.

I have noticed two categories of particularly venomous behaviors:  undermining colleagues and expecting favored treatment.  These share a worldview of needing to be “superior to others.”

Here is how they might be expressed at work:

Undermining colleagues

  • Stealing ideas and taking the credit for oneself
  • Spreading rumors
    “Too bad Stacey lacks confidence.”
  • Focusing on faults and publicizing them
    “Here comes Joe who makes spills coffee on his pants.”
  • Initiating power struggles, as in passive-aggression
    “Too bad you did not take into account this information before making the decision.” They then present data that would have been helpful earlier.

Expecting favored treatment

  • Abusing power, no matter the level of responsibility
  • Judging others for behaviors they consider acceptable for themselves
    “Sam is so irresponsible for being late. I, however, have a legitimate excuse.”
  • Requesting special favors
    “I should get two presents at the holiday party because …” (it happened)
  • Complaining

These behaviors leave a sour taste in the mouth.  The value of people has been sullied.

Creating an Environment where People Grow

People can change.  Colleagues with toxic behavior can become collaborative team members (and visa versa).  I have personally seen it happen on numerous occasions.  The name SoSooper stands for becoming super through bloopers.  By learning from our professional and personal mistakes, we prosper in making a living and in life.

Change first

THE EFFECTIVE WAY OF CHANGING OTHER PEOPLE IS TO FIRST CHANGE YOURSELF.

Imagine a tennis ball bouncing against a wall.  When you throw it repeatedly the same way, the ball will bounce back in a predictable fashion.  How to get the ball to bounce differently?

  • Change the ball
  • Change the way you throw
  • Change the wall

Changing other people is like trying to alter the shape of the ball.  It means constraining it into another shape, like force-wrapping it in tape.  It works AS LONG AS THE PRESSURE LASTS.  It’s uncomfortable for the person being compacted (and they resist), and it’s a pain to continuously apply pressure.

Create growth opportunities

The relationship tools in this series (and throughout my blog and in my trainings) present ways to change the way we toss a ball.  We act differently SO THAT the person with unacceptable behavior faces the responsibility and results of his acts.  These tools create learning situations which invite a constructive response from the offending party.

In the previous post, we looked at addressing toxic behavior by acknowledging a rift in the relationship, admitting we could have a role in it, and having them recognize that they share a responsibility in it too.  Those tools were not about telling them about their faults.  “Something is wrong with our interactions (not with you).  Tell me how you understand the situation.”

This approach demands, in a firm and kind manner, that the other person account for his behavior.

Read: Alternatives to Firing Toxic Employees – Acknowledge the challenge…and your role in it

When we change our behavior, it impacts multiple relationships. When we stop complaining to other colleagues about someone else’s toxic behavior, we open up to creativity and become more productive with all our team members.  The environment flourishes.

Toxic Example

Consider this actual situation.  One boss, in the guise of being helpful, would touch women inappropriately.  When they were in private, he would say with concern, “You have a thingee on your sweater,” and reach over and pluck a crumb (real or imagined?) from her chest.

He’s the boss.  It’s her bosom. That’s an abuse of power.  It’s also difficult to react to.

How to respond to unacceptable behavior in a way that respects yourself (setting clear limits) and respects the other person (not stooping to shame and blame behavior)?

Fixed Mindset Responses

She wanted to exclaim, “You jerk!”

That labels him and more firmly instills him in a fixed mindset.

She could respond with a clear command, “Please keep your hands off my chest.”

He is surely prepared for such a reaction and, with assumed hurt, would assure that he only wanted to help.  HE is the victim for having been misunderstood.

Toxin diffusers worm their way out of responsibility.

Take Responsibility & Render Responsible

Consider this way of addressing the delicate dilemma with an “I” Message, one of the constructive communication tools that effectively establishes limits and invites the offender to a more respectful behavior.  (“I” Messages are the topic of the next post.)  Here is how it could play out:

A few days later, when the woman has had time to gather her thoughts, she is ready to set limits and point to positive collaboration. “When you plucked that crumb off my sweater, I felt uncomfortable and perplexed because I consider my chest to be a private space and yet our relationship is professional.”

Pause.

“I feel more comfortable when there is a clear distinction between the two.”

The disruptive behavior has been contained without judging the person as toxic.

 

She cannot control his response, and we will address this further next week.  In the meantime, please leave questions or comments below.

Read: Alternatives to Firing Toxic Employees – Acknowledge the challenge…and your role in it

Hands helping each other

Faites la Paix avec Quelqu’un

Le Cadeau du Jour sur le calendrier de l’avent Joy. Peace. Love. @ Home

1 heure de coaching pour réparer une relation + des SMS quotidiens de suivis pendant 1 semaine avec Denise Dampierre 

Comment recevoir ce cadeau ? Faites le quizz amusant du Calendrier de l’Avent pour Parents aujourd’hui, et vous avez l’opportunité de gagner le cadeau grâce à notre tirage au sort. N’hésitez plus, la chance est avec vous !

Le cadeau du jour vous aide à vivre une vie sans regrets et à réparer vos relations. Vous recevrez une heure de coaching pour créer un plan de réconciliation et vous bénéficieriez d’un suivi SMS quotidien pendant 1 semaine pour vous encourager et modifier votre plan selon vos besoins.

Réconcilier ?  C’est la Question

Obtenons l’avis sur ce sujet de personnalités connues :

Steve Jobs, fondateur de Apple entre autre

Quel que soit l’étape de la vie dans laquelle nous sommes en ce moment, au final, nous allons devoir affronter le jour ou le rideau tombera.

Faites un trésor de l’amour pour votre famille, de l’amour pour votre mari ou femme, de l’amour pour vos amis…

Que chacun agisse avec amour et occupez-vous de votre prochain.

Clayton Christensen, professeur à Harvard Business School.  En parlant des relations parents-enfants :

Le temps de planter un arbre est avant que vous ayez besoin de son ombre.

Charmantes Dames

Que feriez-vous aujourd’hui pour que votre relation reste aussi forte et vive demain ?

L’histoire d’une maman

Voici un aperçu d’une conversation de coaching avec une mère de quatre enfants :

Maman: “Je ne veux pas faire face aux erreurs du passé que j’ai pu commettre avec mes enfants. Je suis humaine.”

S’excuser ? Non !

“Voici comment je traite mes erreurs du passé. C’est comme si je les balayais sous le tapis et les plaçais derrière moi pour que je ne les vois pas.”

Nous avons tous les deux beaucoup ri en imaginant la scène et ce que les enfants verraient : une mère souriante avec un tapis TRES CAHOTEUX derrière elle! LOL

Pendant que nous parlions, elle a admis que les débris se trouvaient vraiment entre elle et ces enfants, comme un obstacle à escalader pour gagner de l’intimité.

Maman: “Un petit obstacle n’est pas un problème.”

Coach: “Quel est votre objectif avec vos enfants? Avoir une grande intimité ou de petits problèmes?

Hand building lego wall
Les barrières se construisent ou se détruisent ?

Désolé Semble Etre le plus Difficile des mots

“Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word” – le titre d’une chanson de Elton John

“Mais j’ai raison!”

Les parents peuvent se demander: “Pourquoi s’excuser quand j’ai raison?!”

Il faut deux personnes pour avoir un conflit. Très rarement une partie a 100% raison et l’autre a complétement faux.

En ce qui concerne le problème sous-jacent entre vous et votre enfant, vous avez probablement raison. La chambre a besoin d’être nettoyée. Il faut rentrer à l’heure après la fête. La façon dont vos enfants parlent aux aînés compte également.

Et le processus compte aussi. Peut-être avez-vous eu une réaction excessive ? Êtes-vous fermé aux commentaires de votre enfant qui voulait partager son point de vue ? Des distractions ont-elles limitées votre capacité à vous concentrer sur votre bien-aimé  ?

Durant le coaching, j’aide les parents à savoir quand ils ont mis de l’huile sur le feu et que cela a entraîné des tensions dans la famille.

Ne soyez pas désolé de demander à votre enfant de ranger sa chambre. C’est votre devoir de parent.

Vous pouvez vous sentir attristé de lui crier dessus quand il ne vous a pas répondu après que vous lui ayez demandé de faire quelques choses plusieurs fois. “Et, chérie, est-ce que nous pouvons travailler ensemble de telle sorte que je ne sois pas tenté d’élever la voix parce que tu ne me réponds pas plus rapidement ?

“Est-ce que les excuses vous rendre plus faibles?”

Au contraire. Des excuses sincères de votre part vous rende authentique, une des qualités que les adolescents apprécient chez les adultes.

Marilyn Price-Mitchell, rappelle aux parents que le respect est assimilé à un exemple de comportement et de langage respectueux, et non à un acte “ d’’enseignement ” traditionnel (un discours). Même les jeunes enfants comprennent quand les adultes ne vont pas dans leur sens. À l’adolescence, ces messages contradictoires peuvent entraîner des divisions de plus en plus profondes entre les adolescents et les adultes.

(Marilyn Price-Mitchell est l’auteur du livre “Tomorrow’s Change Makers: Reconquérir le pouvoir de la citoyenneté pour une nouvelle génération”. Psychologue du développement et chercheuse, elle travaille à l’intersection du développement positif de la jeunesse et l’éducation.)

Chat et chien réconciliés
Comme c’est BEAU la réconciliation !

Se réconcilier, c’est choisir d’aimer

Nelson Mandela disait :

“La rancœur est le poison que l’on boit en pensant tuer son ennemi.”

Se réconcilier ne signifie pas qu’un comportement incorrect devient tout à coup acceptable. Une mauvaise action reste mauvaise.

Réparer une relation, c’est choisir d’aimer même quand on a été blessé et d’oublier sa rancune pour avancer.

Se reconnecter met la priorité dans la relation plutôt que de se concentrer sur le manque de respect, le retard perpétuel, ou le comportement difficile de nos enfants.

Il se peu…

Il arrive souvent (mais pas toujours) que lorsqu’une personne reconnaisse ses torts dans un conflit, l’autre le fasse aussi.

 

Note: Ce coaching sera réalisé avec Denise Dampierre, une éducatrice spécialisée et certifiée en Discipline Positive. Si votre situation nécessite une expertise médicale ou psychologique, Denise peut vous recommander à un spécialiste.

Photo de Brooke Cagle sur Unsplash et de PetsWorld

Hands helping each other

Make Peace with Someone

Today’s Gift on the Joy. Peace. Love. @ Home advent calendar for parents

1 hour Relationship Repair Coaching + daily SMS follow through for 1 week
with Denise Dampierre

How to receive this gift?  Take the fun quiz on the Parent Advent Calendar today and you could be the lucky one to win the draw.

Today’s gift helps you live a life without regrets and to repair a relationship.  You receive 1 hour of coaching to create a reconciliation action plan and daily SMS follow through for a week to provide encouragement and tweak your plan as needed.

Let’s gain insights from wizened folk.

Steve Jobs, founder of Apple and much more

No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don’t want to die to get there. And yet death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be, because Death is very likely the single best invention of Life. It is Life’s change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new.

Clayton Christensen, professor at Harvard Business School.  In speaking about parent-child relationships

The time to plant a tree is before you need the shade.

Lovely Ladies

What will you do TODAY so that TOMORROW your relationships remain vibrant and strong?

A Mom’s Story

Here is a glimpse of a coaching conversation with a mother of four children:

Mom: “I don’t want to deal with past mistakes I may have made with my kids.  I’m human.

Apologize?  No!

Here is how I treat my past blunders.  It’s like I sweep them under the rug and place them behind me so that I don’t see them.”

We both laughed as we imagined the scene and what the kids’ saw: a smiling mother with a VERY BUMPY rug behind her!  L.O.L.

As we shared, she admitted that the debris really lay between herself and the children, like a hurdle to climb to gain intimacy.

Mom: “A small hurdle is not a problem.”

Coach: “What’s your goal with the children? Big intimacy or small problems?”

Hand building lego wall
Building or taking down the relationship barrier?

Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word

“But I am Right!”

Parents may wonder, “Why apologize when I am right?!”

It takes two people to have a conflict.  Very rarely is one party 100% in the right and the other completely at fault.

Regarding the underlying issue between you and your child, you are probably right.  The room does need to get cleaned.  Curfew is to be respected.  The way one speaks to elders matters.

AND process matters too.  Might there have been an over-reaction?  Were you closed to feedback and your child wanted to share his point of view? Did viable distractions limit your ability to focus on your loved one?

In the coaching I help parents realize where they may have added fuel to a slight tension flicker…which resulted in a full-blown flame.

Don’t be sorry for asking your child to clean his room.  That is your parenting prerogative.

You can be sorry for screaming at him when he did not respond after you asked him numerous times.  “And, darling, can we work out together a way that I won’t be tempted to raise my voice because you would respond more quickly?”

“Will apologizing make we look weak?”

On the contrary.  A sincere apology for YOUR part of the conflict makes you authentic, one of the qualities teenagers appreciate in adults.

Marilyn Price-Mitchell, PhD reminds parents that respect is assimilated through language and modeling, not through the act of traditional “teaching.” Even young children understand when adults are not walking their talk. By adolescence, those mixed messages can cause deeper and deeper divides between teens and adults.

(Marilyn Price-Mitchell, PhD, is the author of Tomorrow’s Change Makers: Reclaiming the Power of Citizenship for a New Generation. A developmental psychologist and researcher, she works at the intersection of positive youth development and education.)

Reconciled cat and dog
Isn’t reconciliation PRECIOUS !

We reconcile to choose to love.  To reconnect.

Nelson Mandela is reputed to say,

“Resentment is like drinking poison and then hoping it will kill your enemies.”

Reconciling does not mean pretending that the incorrect behavior suddenly becomes acceptable.  The mis-action remains wrong.

Repairing the relationship means choosing to love even when you have been hurt and to let go of the resentment so that you can keep thriving.

Reconnecting places the priority on the relationship rather than on the back-talk, perpetual tardiness, or any other of our children’s challenging behaviors.

Wonder!

It often happens (but not always) that when one person recognizes their part in a conflict, the other party admits their misdead too.  Phew !

 

Note: This coaching will be with Denise Dampierre, a trained Positive Discipline educator and certified in Appreciative Inquiry.  If your situation requires medical or psychological expertise, Denise can you recommend you to a specialist.

 

Photo by Brooke Cagle on Unsplash and PetsWorld

Woman gently holding vulnerable child

Give a Gentle Answer

Today’s Gift on the Joy. Peace. Love. @ Home advent calendar for parents

Family Tickets to the “Calm Anger” Parent + Child Workshop
from SoSooper 

How to receive this gift?  Take the fun quiz on the Parent Advent Calendar today and you could be the lucky one to win the draw.

Today’s gift invites BOTH disagreeing parties to join in fun activities and guided discussions to

  • Clarify the issue of dispute
  • Identify triggers to outbursts
  • TOGETHER find solutions to gain agreement
  • Make a routine chart to stay on track

Parents and children leave with a practical action plan to BOTH avoid outbursts AND resolve them quickly when they happen.

And it’s fun!

  

WHO is the REAL opponent?

The parent, the spouse, the child, or the issue?

Isn’t is amazing how a simple issue can suddenly escalate into a battle between parent and kid?  In our coaching we hear worried parents ask, “What is wrong with my child?… What is wrong with ME?!”

Take heart.

“Children who argue have good character qualities like persistence, perseverance, determination, creativity, and an ability to communicate ideas. The problem with arguing is that your child views you as an obstacle.”

Dr. Scott Turansky and Joanne Miller, in Good and Angry: Exchanging Frustration for Character in You and Your Kids!

How to get out of arguing with children?

 

Boxing girl by Frank deKleine

MAKE THE ISSUE THE OPPONENT.

Let parent and child partner together in finding a solution.

It takes two people to have an argument.

And BOTH arguers contribute to the disagreement and BOTH can orient the exchange towards peace.

Miller and Turansky remind us that the subjects we argue about are often not THAT important.

IT IS THE RELATIONSHIPS THAT MATTER.

Images by Madi Robson from Unsplash, SoSoooper, and LetMeColor.com

Woman gently holding vulnerable child

Répondez avec Douceur

Le Cadeau du Jour sur le calendrier de l’avent Joy. Peace. Love. @ Home

Billets Gratuits pour l’atelier “Calmer les colères” pour parents + enfants ensemble.
de SoSooper

Comment recevoir ce cadeau ? Faites le quizz amusant du Calendrier de l’Avent pour Parents aujourd’hui, et vous avez l’opportunité de gagner le cadeau grâce à notre tirage au sort. N’hésitez plus, la chance est avec vous !

Voici un aperçu de l’atelier. A travers des jeux et des activités en famille, vous aborderez des discussions enrichissantes :

  • Clarifier les differends
  • Identifier les déclencheurs de crises
  • ENSEMBLE trouver des solutions pour obtenir un commun accord
  • Faire un tableau de routine pour rester sur la bonne voie

Les parents et les enfants repartiront avec un plan d’action pratique pour éviter les crises à la maison ET les résoudre rapidement quand cela se produit.

Et c’est amusant !

  

QUI est le RÉEL adversaire?

Le parent, le conjoint, l’enfant ou le problème?

N’est ce pas incroyable de voir comment un problème simple peut soudainement dégénérer en une véritable bataille entre parent et enfant ? Dans notre coaching, nous entendons des parents inquiets demander : “Qu’est-ce qui ne va pas avec mon enfant? … Qu’est-ce qui ne va pas chez moi” ?!

Gardez l’espoir !

“Les enfants qui se disputent ont certaines qualités de caractère comme la persévérance, la détermination, la créativité et la capacité de communiquer leurs idées. Le problème de la dispute avec votre enfant, c’est qu’il vous voit comme un obstacle.”

Dr. Scott Turansky et Joanne Miller, dans Good and Angry: Exchanging Frustration for Character in You and Your Kids!

Comment sortir des disputes avec vos enfants?

Boxing girl by Frank deKleine

FAIRE DU PROBLEME L’ENNEMI NUMÉRO 1

Laisser le parent et l’enfant s’entraider pour trouver une solution.

Il faut deux personnes pour avoir un argument.

Et les deux arguments contribuent au désaccord. Néanmoins les deux peuvent orienter l’échange vers la paix.

Miller et Turansky nous rappellent que les sujets sur lesquels nous nous disputons ne sont souvent pas si importants.

CE SONT LES RELATIONS QUI COMPTENT.

Images de Madi Robson sur Unsplash, SoSoooper, et LetMeColor.com

Respect

Give and Get Respect

Today’s Gift on the Joy. Peace. Love. @ Home advent calendar for parents

The Gift of Respect Downloadable
from SoSooper 

How to receive this gift?  Download them here.

Respect is one of those words that, since we all know what it means, we rarely define it…or describe what it sounds like in our home.

It’s relevance reaches from marching for rights for your daughter to speaking to her with honor.  Everyday.  Especially when you are (justifiably) MAD.

Today’s gift provides a more effective way of resolving the conflict than through a one-sided “discussion” that leaves both parent and child frustrated.

Gift of respect of kidsR.E.S.P.E.C.T. The Parents

Every parent has had a conversation like this at some time:

Parent making a request to a child: “Darling, could you set the table please?” (or clean up your room, or put the video games away, or….)

Child: No response.

Parent: “Sweetheart?!”

Child chooses one of the following responses:

  • Rolls eyes. Heaves a HEAVY SIGH.
    or
  • “You ALWAYS pick on me. Why don’t you ask my brother? 
    He played too…”
    or
  • “N.O.”

The parent, justifiably miffed and taking the child’s response personally, launches into a Thou-shalt-not-treat-thy-parent-with-disrespect Discourse. 

“Hello?!  This is your M.O.T.H.E.R. (or F.A.T.H.E.R.) you are talking to.  You DO NOT speak to me that way.  I do _____ for you and…blah blah blahAND also…more blah blah. Do you hear me?

You, the parent, feel like you did your job of correcting your child.  It was a necessary, one-sided “discussion.”

The kid might mumble an apology or look down. Until the next time.

In the Child’s Mind

Yet what is this child thinking about his parent?

Is this the person he wants to turn to when he feels insecure? 

When he knows he has made a mistake and is not quite sure what to do next?

How does he understand the meaning of respect? Does R.E.S.P.E.C.T. mean that children should speak politely to parents but mothers and fathers may rant and rave?

Does R.E.S.P.E.C.T. mean that children should speak politely to parents but not visa versa?! Click to Tweet

Ouch!

Today’s gift provides a more effective way of resolving the conflict than through a one-sided “discussion” that leaves both parent and child frustrated.

It’s a gift where parents accept to stop the Grand Discourse upon the child’s request. 

When will the child learn his lesson?!

In our Positive Discipline workshops, we role play these situations.  A parent takes on the role of the child and is placed in front of parents who go on and on with instructions.

“I stopped listening,” is the most common response.

Chances are your child turned his ears off too as soon as you rampaged into your speech.

There is a time to broach the issue.  When both parent and child are calm.  That’s when you can connect and ask questions that uncover your kid’s motivations, beliefs, and expectations.

Today’s gift keeps a positive connection with your child SO THAT you can effectively address the bothersome issue fully and effectively.

How The Gift of Respect works

 

Gift of Respect of parentsGift of respect of kids

The Gift of Respect includes

  • 3 “tickets” your children can use to ask you to stop lecturing.  You can bring up the subject at another time, just not now and without a “talking-at.”
    You’ll see on the Gift Certificates three phrases

    • Cool your jets
    • Chill Out
    • Gimme a Break
  • 2 “tickets” you can use with your kids for the to S.T.O.P.

Every month, the child may “play” each of the “tickets.”  Three times a month she can ask mother or father to please stop lecturing her.

Every month, the parent has two “stops” to play.  No more last nab in the ribs of the sibling, no more eye roll or SIGH!  An immediate halt to a stated misbehavior.

The Gift of Respect in Real Life

A mother was driving her son to a sports event and he was late…again.  Mom, legitimately annoyed, started telling her son how FRUSTRATING it was to have to go through the same process. Every. Week. Again. & Again.

From the back seat she hears a quiet, “Cool your jets.

Mom: “Honey, did you just say, ‘Cool your jets’ like ‘Mom, you are lecturing me.  Please stop.’”?

Child: “Yup.”

Mom: “Oh.”

Mother notices then that she is seething interiorly…and realizes she is more in the mind frame of blaming her child for his misbehavior than she is in finding a solution to avoid it in the future.

DIFFICULT AS IT IS, she refrains herself and remains silent.

Of course, this issue still weighs on her mind.  While her child is at sports practice, Mom realizes there must be an underlying reason to her son’s repeated tardiness.

That night, when tucking her son into bed, she sits by him and asks some questions

  • “Honey, I have noticed that you are often the last one to be ready to leave. Have you noticed that too?”
  • “What makes it difficult to be ready on time?”
  • “What could help you be ready earlier?”
  • “Which of these new ideas can you do on your own?”
  • “How could I help you?”

Tough & Powerful

This mother concluded, “I have a love-hate relationship with this Gift of Respect.

I hate it when my lack of self-control is exposed.  I hate it when I cannot have my way and just say what is on my mind.

And yet, I love it that my relationship with my children is transformed.  We engage in rich discussions about character qualities; we did not have those before.  I love it how the children seek me out to talk about sensitive issues like sex, drugs, and rock n’ roll, and friends, and parties…. I love not seeing those eye rolls anymore.  I love how the children share their love for me when I act pretty unpleasant.  Now they are the ones to tell me, ‘Can we talk about this later when we are both calm?’

We used the Gift of Respect for about two years.  After that, our way of managing misbehavior had changed so we did not need it anymore.”

Respect

Le Respect Donnant Donnant

Le Cadeau du Jour sur le calendrier de l’avent Joy. Peace. Love. @ Home

Les Tickets Super-Dose de Respect
de SoSooper

Comment recevoir un cadeau ? Faites le quizz amusant du Calendrier de l’Avent pour Parents aujourd’hui, et vous pourriez être le chanceux qui gagnera le tirage !

Le respect est un de ces mots dont tout le monde connaît la signification mais que l’on définit rarement ou l’assimile à quelque chose dans notre maison.

Le cadeau d’aujourd’hui offre un moyen plus efficace de résoudre le conflit que par un Grand Discours sur le respect qui laisse le parent et l’enfant frustrés.

Cadeau de respect de l'enfantR.E.S.P.E.C.T.ez les parents

Tous les parents ont déjà eu une conversation comme celle-ci :

Un parent demande à son enfant :”Chérie, est-ce que tu peux mettre la table s’il te plaît ?” (ou ranger ta chambre, ou arrêtez de jouer aux jeux vidéos…)

L’enfant : Pas de réponse

Le parent : “Mon coeur?!”

L’enfant choisi une des réponses suivantes :

  • Il fait les gros yeux. Il est avachi.
    ou
  • “ Tu me choisi toujours. Pourquoi tu ne demandes pas à mon frère ? Il a aussi joué…”
    ou
  • “N.O.N.”

Le parent, à juste titre fâché et prenant personnellement la réponse de l’enfant, se lance dans un discours où il lui dit : Tu ne dois pas manquer de respect à tes parents.

“Pardon?! C’est à ta M.A.M.A.N. (ou ton P.A.P.A.) à qui tu t’adresses. Tu ne peux pas me parler de cette façon. Je fais tout ça pour toi et … blabla … blabla… Est-ce que tu m’entends?”

Vous, le parent avez l’impression d’avoir fait votre travail en reprenant votre enfant. C’était une discussion nécessaire.

Votre enfant va peut-être marmonner des excuses ou alors baisser les yeux. Jusqu’à la prochaine fois.

Dans la tête de l’enfant

Que pense cet enfant de son parent ?

Est-ce que c’est vers cette personne qu’il se tournera quand il ne se sent pas en sécurité ?

Quand il sait qu’il a fait une erreur et qu’il ne sait pas quoi faire après ?

Comment comprend t-il le sens du mot respect ? Est-ce que le R.E.S.P.E.C.T. signifie que les enfants devrait parler poliment à leurs parents mais les mamans et les papas peuvent-ils toujours s’énerver contre eux ?

Aïe !

Le cadeau du jour offre un moyen plus efficace de résoudre les conflits que par une discussion qui laisse le parent et l’enfant frustrés.

C’est un cadeau où les parents acceptent d’arrêter le “grand discours” à la demande d’un enfant.

Quand est-ce que l’enfant va apprendre la leçon ?

Dans nos ateliers de Discipline Positive, nous jouons des jeux de rôle de ce genre de situations. Un parent prend le rôle de l’enfant et reçoit une tirade d’instructions.

“J’ai arrêté d’écouter” est la réponse la plus commune.

Il y a de fortes chances que votre enfant se bouche les oreilles avant même que vous ayez commencer votre discours.

Il est temps d’aborder le problème. Quand le parent et l’enfant sont calmes. C’est à ce moment que vous pouvez poser des questions qui révèlent des motivations, des croyances et des attentes de votre enfant.

Le cadeau du jour permet de maintenir un lien positif avec votre enfant afin que vous puissiez résoudre pleinement et efficacement le comportement désagréable.

 

Comment fonctionne les “Tickets de Respect” ?

Gift of Respect of parentsGift of respect of kids

Les “Tickets de Respect” incluent :

  • 3 “tickets” que vos enfants peuvent utiliser afin de vous demander d’arrêter vos “grand discours”. Vous pourriez aborder le sujet plus tard, mais pas maintenant et sans discoures.
    Sur ce document, vous trouverez trois phrases :

    • “C’est pas la fin du monde”
    • “J’ai besoin d’air “
    • “T’inquiète “
  • 2 “tickets” que vous pouvez utiliser avec vos enfants pour leur dire STOP N.E.T.

Chaque mois, l’enfant peut jouer avec chaque de ses “tickets”. Trois fois par mois, l’enfant peut demander à sa maman ou son papa d’arrêter de lui faire la leçon.

Chaque mois, le parent a deux “Stops” qu’il peut utiliser. Fini les chamailleries entre frères.  Plus de derniers mots. Stop !

Le Cadeau du Respect dans la Vrai Vie

Une maman conduisait son fils à un événement sportif et il était en retard… encore. La maman, légèrement agacée a commencé à dire à son fils comment c’était frustrant car c’était la même chose chaque semaine.  Encore et encore.

De l’arrière de la voiture, elle entend, “J’ai besoin d’air”.

Maman : “Chérie, est-ce que tu viens de dire ‘j’ai besoin d’air’ pour me demander de me calmer ?”

L’enfant : “Ouais”

Maman : “Oh”.

La maman remarque qu’elle boue de l’intérieur. Après tout, elle a raison; son fils est toujours en retard.

Et elle se rend compte de sa colère et qu’elle n’avait pas l’esprit d’aider son enfant à trouver une solution pour son retard.  Elle voulait lui donner une leçon!

Cela lui demande un GRAND effort, néanmoins elle se retient et n’aborde plus le sujet pour le reste du trajet.

Bien sûr, cette question pèse toujours sur sa conscience. Pendant que son enfant pratique son sport, elle y réfléchi et se rend compte qu’il doit y avoir une raison sous-jacente au retard répété de son fils.

Cette nuit, quand elle a mit son enfant au lit, elle s’assit à côté de lui et lui posa quelques questions.

  • Chérie, j’ai remarqué que tu es souvent en retard en ce moment. Est-ce que tu l’as remarqué aussi
  • Qu’est-ce qui te mets en retard ?
  • Qu’est-ce qu’il pourrait t’aider à être à l’heure ?
  • Laquelle de ces nouvelles idées peux-tu appliquer par toi-même ?
  • Comment est-ce que je pourrais t’aider ?

Difficile & Puissant

Cette maman a conclu par : “J’ai une relation amour – haine avec ce cadeau du respect.

Je déteste quand mon manque d’autorité est mis au grand jour. Je déteste quand je ne peux pas le faire à ma façon et juste dire ce que j’ai en tête.

Et pourtant, j’adore que ma relation avec mes enfants évolue. Nous partageons énormément, nous ne faisions pas ça avant. J’adore quand mes enfants essaye de me parler de sujets sensibles comme le sexe, la drogue, le rock n ‘roll, les amis et les fêtes…. J’adore la façon dont les enfants expriment leur amour pour moi même quand j’agis plutôt désagréablement. Maintenant, ce sont eux qui me disent : “Est-ce qu’on peut parler de ça plus tard quand nous serons tous les deux calmés ?”

Nous avons utilisé le cadeau du respect pendant environ deux ans. Après cela, notre façon de gérer les crises et les mauvaises conduites a totalement changé et aujourd’hui nous n’en n’avons plus besoin. ”

Photo de Renato Mora sur Unsplash

Mary at Villa Manon

Exercise Together

Today’s Gift on the Joy. Peace. Love. @ Home advent calendar for parents

1 hour Private Yoga Class for the Entire Family
by Mary Holmes Smith of the Villa Manon studio 

How to receive this gift?  Take the fun quiz on the Parent Advent Calendar today and you could be the lucky one to win the draw.

6 Reasons to Love Mary’s Family Yoga Class

1. Family Exercise makes great memories

Family sport takes us out of our normal interaction (which can often be individually focused) and puts us in a team environment.

Instead of having Daughter playing in her room, Son hiding his head in earphones, and Mom & Dad catching up on social media, EVERYONE is focused on the SAME activity.

And that creates shared memories.

As each family member grows, they also gain in independence.  Family fun can possibly “just happens”;  more often there is some intentional planning behind the scenes.  Like scheduling a workout for the entire family!

Mary at Villa Manon
Mary Holmes Smith (left) with her contagious joy

2. Parents get a break

Parents get to follow while Mary leads the group with charm and proficiency

I asked a professional skier how he got his children engaged in the sport: “I had someone else teach them.”

When someone else leads, parents enjoy co-participation.  Bye-bye power struggles, harsh words, or whatever’s of family life are irrelevant at Villa Manon, Mary’s peace-filled and cozy studio.  It’s a fresh start for all.

In the years when our 4 boys born within 7 years were little, I cherished moments when we could be together under someone else’s care.  It made it easier to enjoy the kids…instead of trying to control them ☹!

Allow yourself to be led.  Allow Mary to lead the children her way.  After all, she’s offereing a stretching exercise!

3. Children (of all ages) calm their emotions through physical exercise.

In their book, The Whole -Brain Child, neurologists Daniel Siegel, M.D. and Tina Payne Bryson, PhD. remind us that bodily movement directly affects brain chemistry.

Exercise enables the “downstairs brain” (responsible for our emotional reactions) to reconnect with our “upstairs brain” (the thinking part of the brain).  In other words, movement helps us calm down and think more clearly.

(For more about the brain, see this child-friendly video).

With Mary, you and the children will learn and practice simple techniques to oxegenate the body, nourish those cells with water and air, and stretch tense muscles.

Simply put, you will feel better…and you will discover muscles you did not know you had!

4. Children love it

In my Parent + Child workshops, I begin each session with a short movement exercise.  (Mary has often provided wise counsel for the right activity for various ages.)

During one class we began with stretching.  Everyone reached up high standing on their toes.  When I proceeded with, “Bend down and touch the floor,” several three year old’s got down on their knees and dropped their bodies and hands on the floor.  Sprawl. (We adults merely bent at the waist.) Up they stretched again.  Sprawl back down.  I tried not to smile tooooo hard as these tots valiantly stretched with concentrated effort.  Precious.

For our “Stop Repeating Yourself” workshop, I embarked with a very repetitive, repetitive, repetitive exercise.  The second time, most parents caught on.  By the third time, they were rolling their eyes.  The children, on the other hand, were having a blast!  They wanted more and more and more!

5. Get Yoga and More

Mary is also a certified Pilates instructor and an experienced in Fit-box and Powerstrike.  This sport consists of performing boxing movements individually and set to music.  Check her out on this video.

If your family tends to the dynamic, bouncy side, you might try yoga to learn about focus…and in the middle switch to some Kick-boxing moves to expend that overflowing energy.

Villa Manon6. Enjoy the haven of Villa Manon

Villa Manon, Mary’s studio, looks out onto a verdant garden. Going there is like stepping off the fast track of life into a harmonious haven.  It is located at 3 Parc de Jardies in Sèvres, just 3 minutes by foot from the railway station direct to St. Lazare.  You can also contact her for a private class “chez vous.”

 

Follow Mary & Villa Manon

Villa Manon
3 Parce des Jardies
92310 Sèvres
(by Sèvres-Ville d’Avray train station)
email Mary Holmes Smith

    

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Cool Anger & Reconnect “Automagically”

Today’s Gift on the Joy. Peace. Love. @ Home advent calendar for parents

Free “Quick Fix” Coaching Call with Denise Dampierre, Positive Discipline parent educator and founder of SoSooper

Among the most frequent questions I get from parents is, “How can I get my child to calm down?”

It’s uncanny how an adult can feel disarmed by a child lost in a tantrum.

Take heart!

With a few solutions in your pocket, you can feel confident to connect with your child…even when they “lost it.”

(And these tools can help YOU coooooool down when you feel on the verge of explosion )

Coaching Call for “Quick Fix” Anger-Calming Tools

You just experienced a harried situation?  You DEFINITELY don’t want to relive it the same way next time?!  Give a “Quick Fix” call.

It’s 30 minutes over the phone to share your situation and get tips to move from “HELP!!!!”  to “Hope ????

How it works

  1. When you have a “Help” moment, you call.  If I’m free, we’ll talk or we’ll set up a meeting.
  2. You’ll share the delicate situation;
    I’ll share several amazing Anger-Calming tools;
    you’ll choose one to try, and
    we’ll do a role play to help make the tool work for you.

The goal is to reconnect FAST and to transform this challenge into a gifted opportunity for growth…albeit a present in wrapping that’s well disguised!  

SoSooper is about become the most super we can be by learning from our mistakes.  We’ll drop the perfection-pretense and get right down to some practical solutions to speedily (re)connect positively with your child.

And, did you know that blown fuses can be AVOIDED?  Learn more about Positive Discipline and this approach to build cooperative and respect-filled relationships.  

Anger & the Brain

Check out this child-friendly video by Jeanette Yoffe to learn about you and your child’s brain and how it changes with anger.

Ask for a Hug

Try this.  It works incredibly to calm kids’ anger.  This is a tool from Dr. Jane Nelsen, the founder of Positive Discipline.

  1. Take a DEEP breath.
  2. Get at eye level with your child.
  3. Say, “I need a hug.”
    Avoid saying the child needs a hug. By requesting one yourself, you share warmth with your upset child AND you give him control.
  4. If your child refuses to budge, ask again, “I need a hug.”
  5. If your child still resists, leave him alone saying, “When you are ready, come and find me. I still need a hug.”
    Usually your child needs a hug just as much as you do.  He craves to belong!
  6. You just averted a power struggle ???? and enabled you to calm down (a bit).  You also enabled your child to calm down.
  7. If the child’s tantrum is in a public place, your request for a hug will have probably calmed your child enough to join you to go to a discreet spot.

How and why does the above tool work?  That’s what we explore in parenting training.  In the meantime, enjoy that it does result in speedy reconnection.

 

More to Come

Psst…more parenting gifts to come on the Parent Advent Calendar. Stay tuned!

Find out about the other generous donors on the Joy. Peace. Love. @ Home Advent Calendar

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Calmer les colères & Reconnecter “Automagiquement”

Le Cadeau du Jour du calendrier de l’avent pour parent
Joy. Peace. Love. @ Home

Coaching téléphonique de 30 minutes pour une“Réponse Rapide”
Avec Denise Dampierre, éducatrice parentale en Discipline Positive

Parmi les questions les plus fréquentes que me posent les parents, il y a: «Comment puis-je calmer mon enfant?

Il est déconcertant de voir comment un adulte (moi, par exemple) peut se sentir désarmé par un enfant en pleine crise de colère.

Quelques solutions permettent de se sentir en confiance pour communiquer avec ses enfants.

(Et ces outils peuvent vous aider à relâcher la pression lorsque vous vous sentez au bord de l’explosion ☹)

Coaching téléphonique de 30 minutes pour une”Réponse Rapide”

Vous venez de vivre une situation difficile et vous souhaitez évitez de la revivre? Passez un appel “Quick Fix” (“Réponse Rapide”) : 30 minutes pour partager votre situation et obtenir des conseils pour transformer une situation de détresse en une situation d’espoir et d’évolution.

Comment ça marche

  1. Nous fixons un rendez-vous téléphonique  pour le jour même ou le lendemain
  2. Vous décrivez la situation
  3. Je partages plusieurs outils pour calmer les colères; vous choisissez un à essayer prochainement; et nous faisons un jeu de rôle pour vous entraîner

Le but est de reconnecter RAPIDEMENT avec votre enfant et de transformer une crise momentanée en opportunité d’apprentissage.  C’est un cadeau (bien déguisé) ! 

Ma philosophie et celle de SoSooper est d’abandonner la perfection-prétention.  Ensemble nous trouverons quelques solutions pratiques pour vous (re) connecter positivement avec votre enfant.

Et saviez-vous que les crises de colère peuvent être évités? Apprenez-en davantage sur la discipline positive pour bâtir des relations coopératives et respectueuses.

Apprentissage Bonus

Voici une video pour comprendre le fonctionnement du cerveau lorsqu’on est calme…et EN COLERE!  A partager en famille.

 

Demander un Câlin

Les enfants réagissent mal au fait de sentir contrôlés, comme quand ils entendent «Fais ceci…» ou «ne fais pas cela…»

Quand les adultes disent «j’ai besoin d’un câlin», ce dernier se place lui-même dans une position de vulnérabilité et laisse le contrôle à l’enfant. Cela diminue les tensions et permet au flux d’amour de circuler à nouveau.

La plupart du temps l’enfant réagira extrêmement bien, et donnera le câlin. Cela dit, il se peut qu’il ne le fasse pas. Essayez encore en disant «J’ai besoin d’un câlin.» S’il n’y a pas de réponse,  partez en invitez l’enfant à vous rejoindre quand il sera prêt à vous donner ce câlin dont vous avez besoin.

Ce n’est que le début…

Psst … plus de cadeaux de parentalité arrivent sur ce calendrier. Restez à l’écoute!

Découvrez la générosité des sponsors du  Joy. Peace. Love. @ Home Calendrier de l’Avent pour Parents.