Talk to the chair

2 February 2017

Talk to the chair

  • Behaviour
by Michael Grose

I heard a great story recently that reflected some very smart parenting.

Communications guru Michael Grinder in a presentation told of a time when a teenager came home later than expected from a party.

His mother was worried sick.

She was also exhausted so she went to bed.

But not before she left a chair covered by a blanket by the front door.

On arrival home the teenage son received the shock of his life, as he thought his mother was asleep on the chair. He soon realised that his mum was NOT under the blanket but it was a visual reminder of how worried his mother was.

The next morning the chair with the blanket was still in front of the door, a stark reminder of the worry and consternation that the boy’s lack of punctuality caused his mum.

Mother and son revisited the chair and the situation after breakfast.

The talk was kept to a minimum. The chair demonstrated the worry and consternation that she felt.

The chair and blanket stayed by the door for 24 hours as a visual reminder of the worry that the teenage son’s behaviour caused.

The teenager felt so remorseful, that he asked his mother to remove the chair. The sight of it made him feel bad.

Smart parenting! This mum went visual to communicate an important message to her son. Very few words were wasted. There was no guilt.

Just a demonstration of the impact that the behaviour had on her.

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Michael Grose

Michael Grose, founder of Parenting Ideas, is one of Australia’s leading parenting educators. He’s the author of 12 books for parents including Spoonfed Generation and the best-selling Why First Borns Rule the World and Last Borns Want to Change It. His latest release Anxious Kids, was co-authored with Dr Jodi Richardson.