Parents have a tendency to rant when they are in parenting mode. Just ask my kids and they will tell you that I’ve been on a few rants over the years.
And one of the traps we fall into when we get on rants is using amplifier words. Amplifiers are used in music and on stage to enlarge or magnify someone’s voice; they are known as microphones. In conversation, we use amplifier words to enlarge or magnify what we are trying to say.
Two of the most common amplifiers we use are ALWAYS and NEVER.
“You always leave a mess!”
“You never listen to me when I’m talking!”
Perhaps we feel that we need a verbal microphone (amplifier) to get our message across because we think our child or spouse is not listening to us. But the problem is, that as soon as always and never enter the conversation, the credibility of the point you are trying to make takes a deep nosedive.
In his book, The 4:8 Principle, author Tommy John says this about using amplifiers in our arguments:
Virtually nothing in life falls in that excessive category. Aside from being distortions, these statements cause everyone involved to plummet below the joy zone.
Always and Never Parenting Doesn’t Work
Always and never conversations don’t work because they always create defensiveness and never solve the problem. You use those two words in an attempt to get your point across, but always and never conversations are always negative. You cannot resolve issues with that kind of negativity.
So next time you’re upset and feel compelled to use always and never when dealing with your child or spouse, stop and think about what you are really trying to say. And encourage the person you are conflicting with to do the same.
Always and never conversations only escalate the problem and cut off the ability for the other person to understand what is being communicated. It is also in its own way a form of abuse because the other person has no way out of feeling bad. If we suggest to our partner what they can do next time or state what it is that that we need and want, or talk about how hurt we feel, then a dialogue can be formed. Always remember to never say always and never…and you’ll avoid the wrong turn down a one-way street to relationship hell. (Psychologist Dr. Bill Cloke)
Are You Frustrated with the Politics of Youth Sports?
The issue of politics in youth sports can take all the fun out of the game – if you let it!
I know – my years of sports parenting experience have given me ample opportunity to get sucked into all the games and drama that go on behind the scenes.
I have hope to offer: You CAN navigate these treacherous waters successfully – I can show you how.