Monthly Archives: May 2012

Managing kids by Provocation

“Do you want to want to eat this Pizza slice or should I give it to your sister???…” “You pestered me so much to get this chess board do you want to play with this or should I give it to your cousin???…” “Are you coming in or should I close the door??? ”

These are common questions that I have seen many parents or grandparents ask their children to make them do something…  Most often than not, these questions result in our children doing what we wanted them to do… (Unless you chose the wrong provocative questionJ)

In other words, parents and grandparents manage their children by provocation to make them do something that we want them to do.

I think this method of managing kids is good and bad… One possible good thing about this method is that, it is a very good tactical solution that can be handy for us to make them do something immediately. The other benefit could be that the children will have a sense of fear that if they don’t follow the instructions, they might lose something they like…

But in the long run I think this may have a psychological impact on kids and also have a severe impact in shaping up their character.

In my view there are a few major problems with this provocation theory:

a)      These negative statements or questions from us, instigate a sense of constant competition in their minds. For the kids, the only source of motivation of doing something seems to be imaginary completion and not the actual benefits.

b)      Over a period kids learn that we don’t really mean what we say… That’s a very dangerous thing to happen I guess. The trust factor will slowly be lost between parents and kids…

c)       The more parents get things done this way, the more they start pushing what they want the kids to do irrespective of whether that action is really needed or not.

I want to particularly focus on the last point above. Out of all the things that parents get done by provoking the kids, how many of those are really needed to be done immediately? May be all of them are or may be only some of them are… I am not being judgmental here because I have to admit that I myself use some of those provocative questions.

Am just saying that we just have to give it a thought. Let us not use this technique on kids when it does not really warrant. Let us as much as possible tell them the benefit of them doing something rather than getting it done by provocation.