They run because you chase them

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An overwhelmed mom leaned against the side wall of the train. She was out of breath, sweat beaded on her forehead. She had been chasing her son through the the train. I picked that time to stand up in front of him, and he came to a screeching halt. Tears filled her eyes and she was embarrassed as she caught her breath.

“I don’t understand why he runs away everywhere we go.”

“He runs because you chase him,” I replied.

She was puzzled. They sat next to me and I explained:

Parents react to their children’s behavior out of fear, anger or frustration. Of course you have to keep your children safe, of course you cannot let them run free, and nobody wants to be the mom with her kid on a leash, but seriously, who is parenting whom here?

If your children are doing things because they like the reaction, then I would suggest that you are giving them the wrong reaction. You are reinforcing their running by giving them the adrenaline rush of a chase, it is a game and you have become an unwilling participant.

At the store I used to take my son to the dollar toy isle and have him pick out a toy, if he misbehaved in the store, he had to go and put the toy back on the shelf. We only had to put it back once- he was heartbroken! When my son ran from me, he spent the rest of the day having to hold my hand. When he would pull away, “No, you have to hold my hand, I have to keep you safe.”

Find a way to reach your child in a way that doesn’t involve blood, sweat, and tears. Good parenting takes hard work and consistency. Bonding is important, but relationship is not the opposite of accountability. Your kids will still like you if you make them obey, in fact, we will all like you if you make them obey.

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About Andi

This chapter in my life is called, "Managing Millennials". People always say that I have a way with words, and that I am great at managing Millennials. The secret truth to my success? I worked at a public high school. I was an educator that specialized in behavior and building relationships. So what happens when the sweet little kids that inspired me to sponsor clubs, put in extra hours and spend my own money all enter the workforce???? They drive you crazy! I can help! I understand why these participation trophy earning young adults are driving you crazy in the work place. I understand that the fact that we are inheriting a technology talented pool of workers that sit at their desk with ear buds in their ears and celebrate medicocricy in the name if effort. I understand that you are not used to emojis and GIFs in business communication, and that you don't want to stand around on a break discussing memes, vines, YouTube epic fail videos and what you binge watched on Netflix. I once told my students that they would learn to follow my rules because I refused to be miserable for the next 1488 hours of my life. Ninety percent of the time... They did. Now, I tell my millennials that same thing, "Welcome to the workforce. There are policies and procedures in place that will help us get along for the next 2080 hours of our lives." Welcome to my blog, "Let The Managers Say Amen."

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