Came across an interesting quote while listening to the Dianetics Professional Course lectures, something I think has some applicability to the task of navigating the “terrible twos”.
In this 1950 lecture where L. Ron Hubbard is training Dianetics professional counselors, he’s discussing the difference between getting to the bottom of what’s causing the person travail, or bypassing it and trying to force the person to do your bidding. He says:
“What one does is face force with reason and refuse to partake of the force but continue to give out reason. If one does this, he is using far more horsepower than the force has got.” – LRH
Reading that, I had one of those flashback moments to every time I’d ever seen someone get mad at a crying baby. I know – when you’ve got a kid that’s crying and doesn’t stop crying it can drag one down to infuriation, but boy that is the wrong way to go.
Take a kid who’s starting to get tired, and starts to get whiney and on the edge of tantrum-land. If you were to just scream at them to shut the @#$# up and go play, you’re taking the force that’s already being brought to bear on them by their reactive minds. Blast them with your own force (which, when they’re young, is likely going to be greater than what they can muster) and you’re just giving them more bottled-up force to unleash on you (and themselves) later.
Deal instead with reason, so that you instead are working with the child and not against him and his hostility.
Personally, I’ve seen this best applied by reasoning with the child enough to find out what’s actually going on – and then after discovering that (i.e. discovering the child is tired, hungry, needs to poop, whatever), using REASON to affect a solution.
Works so much better!