We live in a day and age where Generation X kids are the parents of today. This also means that most people now see the act of ignoring a child as straight up neglect. But that’s not true. Even in the age of helicopter parenting, it’s still okay to ignore your kid. But only sometimes. The truth is that you can use it to your advantage when the situation calls for it. Here’s some advice on how to use silent treatment effectively.
Why it’s okay to use the silent treatment
According to a psychologist, Dr Robert Zeitlin, it’s okay to ignore your kids from time to time if it forms part of an intervention agenda. He also notes that silent treatment can be used most practically if and when a behaviour modification has to be done.
Before you can use the silent treatment though, you’ll need to observe your kid’s behaviour and have a clear idea of what it is you’d like to change.
How to use silent treatment effectively
Before you just go ahead and ignore your kid, you’ll need to align on what the communication silence should accomplish, and then convey that message to your kid. Once your kid is clear on what will happen if he keeps up his antics and he’s out of harm’s way it’s time to stop responding to his crappy behaviour.
It might seem like torture at first, but you’re an adult and can better cope with emotions. You need to stay as calm as possible to the silent treatment to really work.
According to Zeitlin, the silent treatment gives your kid some space to do what they need to do. “It eliminates a feedback loop where they’re getting what they need to get or avoiding what they’re trying to avoid.”
The fact of the matter is that silence is rarely a bad thing. As long as your kid is safely playing outside, it’s perfectly okay to ignore them for a little while. Not only will silent treatment help your kid understand that you can’t always be there, but it also gives you some time just to be YOU again. By ignoring your child from time to time, you can help create a necessary boundary between you and your kid.
Without that boundary, you’ll lose yourself to constant subjugation. And that’s counterproductive. If you want your kids to start changing their behaviour, it all starts with you. It’s much healthier to have some boundaries between being a parent and being your kids’ friend, between your own needs and that of your child.