To me, I seem to find faulty thinking everywhere in our culture today. Just as children make errors in school, people also make errors in solving social problems or taking personal responsibility for their behavior, which leads to ineffective or unacceptable solutions.Lehman starts lesson 5 out by outlining faulty thinking patterns:
Assuming: Jumping to conclusions and making uninformed decisions.
All or nothing thinking: Black and white thinking leaves no room for discussion about people or situations. Avoid words like “never” or “always”
Personalizing: Blaming yourself for things you have no control over. Don’t take it personally.
Hypodermic focus: Don’t put too much emphasis on one facet of the story. For instance, forcing a child to look at you can take away from the larger message.
Embracing negativity: Rejecting positive feedback or suggestions. When a child hears you respond to their negativity, their faulty thinking is challenged.
Emotionalizing: Feelings are emotions, not factual and true. Feelings only have the value you place on them. Parents can allow feelings at override calm, rational thought.
Projections: Mind reading. Anticipating other people’s thoughts and feelings. You will always fall short.
The blame game: Turning the issue around and putting other people on the defensive. Placing fault, instead of responsibility.
Rule deflation: Keep the rules clear and consistent. Rules shouldn’t change based on your mood/energy level. The rules are the rules.
Uniqueness: “It won’t work for me because...” My problems are unique and nobody understands. This will not
Excuses: Accept no excuses. Excuses get in the way of making real change.
Minimization: Making the harm done to others less hurtful than it really was in order to excuse the behavior.
Awfulizing: Projecting negative consequences and awful outcomes for any effort or action.
False self-perceptions: I’m so powerful, I don’t have to take the effort to change. The same behavior will result in the same results.
Sincere self-delusion: We all believe what we think, even when our thinking is distorted. Not knowing any better.
The issue with faulty thinking is that it inhibits a person's ability to see the problem accurately and finding a solution that works. People also use faulty thinking to justify our behavior at times. The goal in learning about faulty thinking is that we as parents can first learn to identify it in ourselves so we then can identify it in our kids and deal with it as we need to.
The end of this lesson discusses divorce. While my family is not in this situation, we have had to deal with some issues relating to this in our extended family in the recent past. For families that are dealing with this though, Lehman offers a lot of really good advice. I can say that I can completely understand how difficult divorce can be, but I agree with Lehman in saying that even though this is the case, kids still need to be held accountable for their behavior.
In listening to this lesson I came to find that I have some faulty thinking patterns in myself. I know that I have devalued rules in the past after a long day at work or when I just want to have battles. I also have seen that I have accepted negativity in the past, especially with my eldest. Through listening to this CD I can see how this can send a mixed message to my kids and devalues the rules that I have set within my home. Overall, I know that I need to be more consistent, which is not easy, but it is something that will ultimately assist me become a better father and parent.
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