Unacceptable Behavior

Are you aware of how often you accept one's unacceptable behavior? Think about it for a minute. Look at your relationships with your friends, co-workers, teammates, spouse, family member, a co-worker, a friend, a spouse, and even children. There is unacceptable behavior around us, and we accept it unknowingly.

Beware of false acceptance. When a person is pretending that their behavior is OK with you when you know it really isn’t may be easy now, but you might feel resentful later. Have you ever been in a conversation with someone who is trying to get you to agree with them even though you don't? They aren't arguing with you, they are perhaps just nodding their head yes at you to get you to agree. I have found myself in situations where I have started nodding with the person trying to convince me that the behavior is ok...and when I snap back into my reality I have to vocalize "No, no, actually I don't agree with that."

The most effective way to handle unacceptable behavior it by staying calm. It is helpful to use phrases like, "That behavior is unacceptable to me." which may be difficult but it has far better outcomes than expressing anger. One way to help change the offenders behavior is explaining to that individual what YOU will do to follow through with them. I'm not talking about making a threat, just what YOUR action will be should the behavior continue.

If an argument does ensue, refrain from using "YOU" words. For instance when you say "You always_______" or "You said ____". Speaking in "you terms" is very accusatory and those messages are aggressive, not assertive. When portraying a message, assertive is always more effective.

Explain honest consequences and follow through. For instance: Your child loves a fuzzy blanket to sleep with at night but will NOT stay in bed. You can explain that children who stay in their bed get to keep their favorite blankets. (Meaning if the child leaves room, you MUST follow through and take the blanket.)

** {Special note for parents: do not make crazy threats and your words become meaningless. My Mom once said said "I'll put you in a bag and shake you." HA we knew she would NEVER follow through (and she didn't.) }

Instead explain consequences. Following through is essential in raising responsible children.

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