Contradictions. They are all around us. They infiltrated all areas in life. But what are they exactly? A contradiction is simply a difference between a behaviour and a statement. An example may be telling someone how much you respect their opinion, but then actively questioning it at every single turn. Think about it. We face these situations all the time. It is when you are talking with someone who outwardly tells you that he feels good around you, but then you get a distinct feeling that he is avoiding you; or against you even.
I have been reading some rather interesting material about Parent Effectiveness training, which looks at the contradictions in parenting. Modern parenting strategies are beset by them. It is commonplace for parents today to be told that they should use ideas like, attacking the behaviour not the person. Another idea may be showing acceptance of the child’s behaviours and creativity, when in reality you wish to be quiet and along drinking a cup of coffee in peace.
It is not wrong to try and protect your children. However, contradictions are based in deception. They attack the authenticity of parental action and it may lead children one day to question the genuineness of the parent. I think that a very important lesson, and skill, that parents need to transcend to their children is truth. Being truthful nowadays seems to be a long lost skill. The truth has a way of providing certainty and assurance.


Steve Libreri is a social worker and parent coach within Willingness. He offers parent coaching and social work sessions. He can be contacted on
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