By learning to speak your child’s “language,” you begin to apply a powerful positive parenting technique that significantly improves both your relationship and influence with them.

Let’s explore two situations that can happen when you “speak” a different behavioral language than your child.

If you are fast paced and energetic and your child is not, they may seem to move and speak so slowly that it nearly drives you nuts.

Likewise, if you are more contemplative and slower paced and your child is fast and energetic, their energy, volume, and pace might exhaust and frustrate you.

If either of these situations describes your relationship with your child, the frustration and disconnect you feel may be because you and your child have completely different behavioral styles.

The examples above reference some common frustrations that happen when parents and children have different “motor” drives. A difference in motor drives between parent and child can create a pace, volume, and intensity mismatch between them that causes real stress and frustration in the relationship.

Another common difference can occur between “compass” drives. Some people are naturally very task-oriented. They tend to look at every situation as a task to accomplish. Other people are very people-oriented. They tend to evaluate every event based on how relationships are affected. Most people have a blend of these two perspectives, and will still tend to lean a bit more one way than the other.

Both perspectives are perfectly normal and natural. Neither one is better or worse than the other. However, when two people in a relationship have significantly different tendencies in this area, conflict can erupt.

For example, task oriented parents with people oriented children may come across as too harsh or rigid to their children. Similarly, people oriented parents with task oriented children may frustrate their children because they (the parents) act “too silly.”

The types of conflicts and misunderstandings that come from these differences are many and varied.

To minimize these conflicts and build a better relationship with your child, learn to understand and speak their behavioral “language.” The DISC model of human behavior is a powerful tool to help you develop this understanding and skill.

Study the model. Consider taking assessments so that you can objectively identify the differences and similarities you have with your child. If you will dig into understanding your child and speaking their language, you will be applying one of the most powerful positive parenting techniques at your disposal – the “technique” of love and understanding.

With his wife Sandra, Guy Harris co-created a positive parenting program called The Behavior Bucks System. Guy and Sandra Harris are both Human Behavioral Consultants and parents.

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