“Don’t tell me what to do!”

29th July 2015

Following on from Criticising Criticism:

A further problem I encounter with offering observations or suggesting other ways of doing things (including about how to offer observations and make suggestions to others) is that depending on their own special combination of genes and experiences people choose sometimes vastly different responses when criticism is perceived. Some are open to hearing and may or may not take it on, some ignore it, others go on the attack. So this tricky issue is not just about supporting children to see that there can be another way of interacting with people than criticising them, it can also be very difficult to apply to other adults. I find the only time I feel a need to criticise my husband’s parenting of our girls is when he is (I believe unfairly, and unhelpfully – of course I attempt to justify my actions here) criticising them. So then I criticise his criticism. And, to his own admission, he has a strong, early-years-created, knee-jerk response of “don’t tell me what to do!” (yet, he’s very happy to be telling the girls what to do… We are often full of contradictions in our parenting). Oh woe is me! Still asking the universe for support in unravelling this puzzle…

The quest continues as I consider whether the criticism is helpful…

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