This month’s Ask Coach Kathy question is about parenting and how it can affect the relationship you have with your spouse.
Our teenage daughter is a master at knowing how to push my husband’s and my buttons. Before we know it, one or both of us are arguing with her about something because we let her get under our skin. Any suggestions?
Kids start very young at trying to get what they want – that’s part of their growing process. What helps them learn they can’t get everything they want is to have parents who can unemotionally set boundaries. As soon as parents become reactionary to their children’s attempts at getting their way, their children have now deflected any inappropriate behavior on their part to the out-of-control reaction of their parents. One thing that really works to minimize being reactionary when a child attempts to push a parent’s button is for the parent to say, in a neutral tone, “Nice try (fill in the child’s name).” And then stay on point with the boundary being set.