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Bullying Pt7 – What is ‘Support’ and ‘Challenge’

So when I say that there will always be a balance of ‘Support’ and ‘Challenge’ and people liking or not liking you in life, almost as though there are a set of scales being tipped both way, then what do I mean?

 

People Liking or Not Liking You

People will like you some days and not like you others.

Often, it’s mild, in the form of agreeing or not agreeing with you, which is purely down to wether they see you as agreeing with what they value or not.  For instance, there is a TV presenter of a UK program called ‘Loose Women’.  Normally, I’m really not keen.  But she just said something I agree with, so today she seems much more likeable!  Whereas, there is another of their presenters, who I normally love, who has just said something totally daft in the press (according to my limited opinion!), so I’m less keen on her today.

Like and not like is transitory.  It’s not even really real.  Remember, we tend to like people despite their downsides and dislike them despite their nice bits.  That’s just who we are!

Just because someone doesn’t like what we just said, or our dress sense, or our choice of job, doesn’t mean that they won’t want to spend time with us as a mate.  If they do decide that we mis-match their values enough for them to not like us and not want to spend time with us, it just means that we will match someone else’s, so we’ll be friends with someone else instead.

 

Support and Challenge

So feeling liked is supportive, i.e. we like it and feeling disliked is challenging, i.e. we don’t like it (unless you are a bit contrary!).

Supportive things are:  Getting your own way, doing what you want to do, being told you are fabulous, being bought want you want, eating & drinking when & what you want, going to bed when you want, seeing / doing what you want, feeling protected and taken care of.

Challenging things are: Having to wait for what you want, being told you can’t have it, being told what to do or where to go, being told off, responsibilities, duties, being independent, having to buy your own things.

I bet you can already see that there are downsides to the supportive stuff, if over done, because you’ll end up with a spoilt precocious immature brat.  Plus there are benefits to the challenges, because you get a confident, self-reliant child with understandings of boundaries.  However, too much challenge and too little child and the child is over-stressed, so what you are looking for is a nice mixture of the two.

Keep an eye on the scales of ‘support’ and ‘challenge’ in your child’s life.  The aim is for a balance at home and at school, with young and old, and girls and boys, rather than for one location to totally balance out the other.

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