Valley Breeze

The Valley Breeze Woonsocket North Smithfield 04-01-2021

The Valley Breeze Newspapers serving the Northern Rhode Island towns of Cumberland, Lincoln, Woonsocket, Smithfield, North Smithfield, Pawtucket, North Providence, Scituate, Foster, and Glocester

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VALLEY BREEZE LIVING EDITION | APRIL 1-7, 2021 AT HOME 17 Micromanagement is counterproductive To most folks, microman- agement has to do with tasks or performance. The micromanaging parent, for example, is generally thought of as one who hov- ers over a child's homework or academics in general. Indeed, that is the most common form, but parental micromanagement can also extend to organizing and directing a child's social life and recreation. Whatever the context, micromanagement is driven by anxiety. The microman- aging parent is anxious that the child might do some- thing that reflects badly on the parent, which means that parental micromanage- ment is a variation on the theme of codependency. It is almost always the case that the attempt to micromanage a child engenders relation- ship problems of one sort or another, including rebellion. The least obvious form of parental micromanagement involves the attempt to per- fect a child's behavior. The parent in question is affected by a type of obsessive-com- pulsive disorder, symptoms of which include over- attending to misbehavior, persistent nagging, frequent lecturing, and the over-use of punitive consequences. There is no doubt concern- ing the parent's love for his or her child, but it is demon- strated in the most paradoxi- cal of ways. How, pray tell, is a child to understand that someone who is often angry at him genuinely loves him? It goes without saying, parents who micromanage misbehavior are overly vigi- lant. They can't bring them- selves to let even the small- est infraction – the child makes a sour face at some instruction, for example – go by the boards. Every little thing is a big deal, worthy of agitation, a lecture, and even punishment. Their kids eventually become immune to lecturing and being pun- ished, which is a rather understandable defense mechanism. Unfortunately, the parent interprets the child's immunity as evidence of disrespect and the need for more "discipline." And around and around they go. Micromanagers are their own worst enemies. By being on the constant look- out for a problem, they activate a self-fulfilling prophecy and problems are what they get. So, for example, the parent who is constantly on the lookout for disrespect gets precisely what she's looking for. The smallest nuance of body lan- guage becomes confirmation that her child doesn't respect her and needs more correc- tion. Eventually, a child who was just being a child – kids wear their emotions on their sleeves – becomes truly dis- respectful. By what magic does a person come to respect a person who is con- stantly on their back about something or other? A functional relationship between a superior and a subordinate requires more of the former than the lat- ter. For one thing, it requires that the superior overlook what is nothing but "back- ground noise" – quirks of personality, for instance. Not sweating every little pec- cadillo is an important part of what being authentically superior is all about. I hate to bust a bubble or two out there in reader land, but parents do not deserve respect. If you want your child to "invest" in your authority, you must act like you know what you are doing. Micromanagers think they know what they're doing, but thinking is as far as it goes because what they're doing is counterpro- ductive, always. And their children know that. Family psychologist John Rosemond: johnrosemond.com, parentguru.com. Traditional Parenting JOHN ROSEMOND ACROSS 1. Now and __ 5. Israeli city __ Aviv 8. Indicates near 11. Minneapolis suburb 13. Large Australian flightless bird 14. Fine-grained earth 15. Plant genus that includes water caltrop 16. Peacock network 17. TV writer Dun- ham 18. Excessive fluid accumulation in tissues 20. They __ 21. Muslim ruler title 22. Position given in respect of 25. Explaining further 30. Measuring instrument 31. Romanian mone- tary unit 32. Council of __, l545-1563 33. Savory jelly made with meat stock 38. Journalist Tarbell 41. Most suspenseful 43. Festivity 45. Animal embryos 48. Fertility god 49. Medical patients' choice (abbr.) 50. Type of sword 55. Competition 56. Bird of the cuck- oo family 57. Afflicted in mind or body 59. Engineering organization 60. Beverage recep- tacle 61. Spiritual leader 62. Doctor of Edu- cation 63. Where golfers begin 64. Impudence DOWN 1. Vietnamese offen- sive 2. Fast mammal 3. Oh goodness! 4. The back of one's neck 5. One who lives in another's property 6. Involve deeply 7. Alfalfa 8. Tropical tree resin 9. Sudden fear 10. Jewish religious month 12. Veterans battle- ground 14. Musical symbol 19. German river 23. Paddle 24. Lizard 25. Shock treatment 26. The common gibbon 27. Brew 28. Usually has a lid 29. Lenses in optical instruments 34. Time zone in Samoa (abbr.) 35. Wrinkled dog: Shar __ 36. Denotes equal 37. TV network for children 39. Take the value away from 40. Female graduates 41. Don't know when yet 42. "__ tú": Spanish song 44. "Seinfeld" char- acter 45. Bleated 46. Entwined 47. Away from wind 48. Soft creamy white cheese 51. Swiss river 52. Prejudice 53. Actor Idris 54. They resist au- thority (slang) 58. Speak ill of Answers to this week's crossword puzzle can be found on page 18.

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