COMPLAINING OR USEFUL FEEDBACK? Point of view can make a difference…

Has someone been complaining about your child? Maybe it’s the neighbor who thinks there’s way too much noise in your home. Or the teacher who has let you know there are challenges at school and that your child needs to do the homework, be less talkative, comply with school rules, etc. Or perhaps it’s a complete stranger in the market, telling you to discipline your child!

Have some family members let you know that they have complaints about how you are raising your child? Complaints they feel the need to communicate to you loudly and frequently? With the implication that you can’t possibly be a good parent, since you obviously don’t know the “right” way to raise your child?

It can be tough being a parent. You do the very best you can, and you certainly don’t expect that others may think that your best efforts just aren’t enough. 

After all, you know your child much better than all those other folks. You know you’ve got a pretty good kid – one who may sometimes just “act like kids do,” but who isn’t anywhere near as bad as those others make him or her out to be. You also know that your standards and teachings as a parent are conveying just the right message to your child.

Even if you are experiencing some challenges with your child at home, you really don’t want to hear the complaints from others who just don’t understand what’s really happening in your life, in your family!

It may also be clear to you that sometimes these complainers are just wrong! They’re too fussy, not very fair, intolerant, and just don’t understand your child. If only they would stop to think before they complained….. And you might be right!

Having said all that, I do wonder if you’d be willing to consider a different way of hearing what these complainers are saying? Could you, just as an experiment, resist the temptation to defend and explain – and to let them know how angry you are feeling at hearing these criticisms? Even if you’re right?

Could you possible consider that, from the other person’s point of view, you are getting useful feedback?

Try this: Take a deep breath, consider that there might be a very small part of what the complainer is saying that could be true – from that person’s perspective. And ask if there’s some way you could work together on the problem to make both of you feel a bit better. And then really listen to that other person’s point of view!

For some specific suggestions, take a look at this article: Help! Someone is Complaining About My Child!  (Communication Tips for Parents).

Sometimes, just reminding yourself to breathe and use a different strategy can help. But it can be hard to pull together on your own. If you could use some extra support, some tips to help you communicate more effectively, on behalf of your child, I invite you to give me a call at 310 475-1759 to learn a bit more about my services. I offer both in-person therapy and short-term phone consultation, if all you need is some help figuring out a different approach.