>When kids feel the heat of angry adults, they have many choices in how to react. Some return the anger with physically aggressive behavior. Others remain passive and walk on eggshells to placate the adult. This example, submitted by Robert on 9/27/09, shows a child with his own style of responding to an playmate’s hostile mother:
As a child I was occasionally forced to endure the overbearingly strict rules enforced by my friends’ parents. At this point it is important to note that I believe rules are essential for any child. In the case of my friend Dave Thompson however, his parents didn’t just set the ordinary rules as expected from any parent.
Upon arrival at Dave’s house, I would be given the ‘orientation’ by his mother, in which she would warn me of the repercussions for touching or moving anything besides what she had given Dave to play with for the day. Even these toys had to be returned before beginning any new activity, the punishment being ‘automatic suspension’ from Dave’s house for the foreseeable future. Every time I moved away from the toys we had been given for even a second, Dave’s mother would appear, hovering over us, watching over my every move.
Eventually I grew tired with these overbearing rules, along with Dave’s constant insecurity at upsetting his mother. I realized my own inability as a young child to face up to this fearsome woman, so devised the perfect plan to take revenge in my own subtle way. I noticed that his mother was constantly obsessing that every item in the house be situated exactly where she wished it to be. I convinced Dave to join me in my evil retaliation scheme. We moved every item in the playroom ever so slightly out of position, just enough that it wouldn’t be noticeable to any regular human being, besides to our very own Mrs. Thompson of course.
Think he was ever invited back? How long do you think it took Mrs. Thompson to rearrange her world?
What did you do when you were a kid to deal with the mean parent on the block?
>My cousin just passed on a very 21st century example of passive aggressive behavior: un-friending people on Facebook, without telling them.
Have you done it? Please share…
>Check out the October 2009 issue of Going Bonkers Magazine for how-to tips on handling a child’s passive aggressive behaviors. The article describes typical passive aggressive dynamics between parents and children and provides five simple steps parents can follow to keep their cool in a passive aggressive storm.
I invite you to share your thoughts on the article as well as your own examples of passive aggressive behavior!