Avoidance = compliance…no, really, it does. Well, it’s worked for me. Although this was neither deliberate nor known at the time.
You see, I find this whole parenting rather difficult sometimes, and I’m human, and PDA, so yeah…I avoid parenting. I try my best, honestly I do, but it seems that sometimes doing tasks for others is a lot harder than doing tasks for myself.
For example, it’s a lot harder to brush my kid’s teeth than it is to brush my own. It’s a lot harder to bathe my kids than it is to bathe (or shower for me) myself. Although it’s a lot easier to feed the kids than it is to feed myself. Ironic huh?
So how does avoidance equal compliance?
You know how when you tell a PDA child to do something and they refuse, and when you tell them not to do something then that’s all they’ll do. Like the typical 2 year old amplified by a million. Well, some people use reverse psychology, telling their kids not to brush their teeth in the hope they will brush them and not see through the ruse. It does work too, for some and for a while.
When my kids want me to do something and avoidance starts, I huff and puff and moan and seem totally disinterested and unmotivated, just like a child (I know, I know, it’s not deliberate though). Well it seems like this makes my kids more willing to do whatever it is I wish they wouldn’t decide they want to do. Basically, I wish they wouldn’t (or didn’t have to) brush their teeth, have a bath, eat all the fruit (so there’s none left for me and because then I have to prepare it for them), play outside etc etc. I know they have to do these things, and I do do them, albeit begrudgingly. It seems though, the more I don’t want them to do something then the more they want to do it. Latest in point being using the toilet. Monkey wasn’t very interested until it started to clash with me resting for five mins on the sofa after dealing with a very grumpy teething Ton. Now Monkey really wants to toilet train. I, however, am not so keen. Admittedly it would be better if he was, and I know I’d only have to help him for a short while till he gets the hang of it, but demand avoidance isn’t there to make sense (it should though). I can’t help wanting to avoid things. I know I shouldn’t moan and groan, but after a long week of little sleep…
The thing is though, I have noticed that the more I avoid, the more they comply. PDA kids comply more with what the PDA adult is avoiding. Of course the same works with tidying up and eating dinner. No one wants to tidy up Monkey’s bedroom (now known as the tip). The more I tell Monkey to help tidy it the less he complies. As for keeping clean, sometimes I wish he’d rather stay dirty. Ironically, if he were to refuse I’d probably be more willing to bath him and brush his teeth, it works both ways.
So avoidance can create compliance, in a PDA parent-child environment. Maybe we should all stop telling our kids what to do, make everything sound like a hassle. It seems to work for us.