Children And Passive Aggressive Behavior

What do you do with children that obviously have passive aggressive behavior?

If you’ve been with me for any length of time, you know that my first advice if someone has children and they are married to a passive aggressive spouse, is to get out and save the children. All too often the children have a tendency to pick up the passive aggressive spouse’s behaviors.

Children also have the ability to take on these behaviors all by themselves when they start resenting the responsibilities put upon them by their parents.  In a way it’s no wonder children will behave passive aggressively, as they feel they have no other choice. In my house I was definitely not allowed to talk back or squack about what I was told to do. As a result, I had to take my little sister (6 yrs. younger) with me every where I went from the time she could walk.

As I was doing some research today, I came across an article by Signe Witson on Psychology Today who talks about a mother who asks her oldest daughter to take the 2 younger daughters to the bathroom while they are having a meal in a restaurant. While the oldest acts obediently, she travels at such a pace, she loses both her siblings on the way. When Mother is upset, the oldest daughter acts in complete surprise and blames her siblings for not keeping up.

This is such a familiar story to me. I can remember behaving in such a manner when I was a kid, and I can remember my oldest daughter on occasion behaving the same way regarding her siblings. Evidently now there is a book to help parents deal with these kind of situations called “The Reality Rub”.

The Reality Rub is recommended for use with kids who manipulate reality to test limits. The goal of the Reality Rub is to help kids re-organize their thinking and clarify reality by discussing their blurred, distorted, or self-serving perceptions of an incident.

This sounds like it may be a perfect place to start if you have kids that are always testing your limits, or who are developing their own passive aggressive behavior habits that would serve them better if they used that energy in more constructive ways.

 

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