Reverse Psychology: Does It Work on Children?

When you want to get something from someone, there are different ways: those who ask politely, those who explain long, those who are interested in the opposite person, those who flirt with blackmail … but When you talk to a baby, you can necessarily adapt a little. It does not prevent us from developing strategies for achieving our goals.

There are strategies that you can use without realizing it Reverse psychology. We stock this technique with Dr. Fanny Jack, a psychiatrist and mental health director at *.

In reverse psychology, manipulation is a strategy of boundaries

Reverse psychology “Persuading a person to do something that would do the opposite A, Dr. Jack explains. Specifically, it is a question of calculating the “reaction”, i.e. the consciousness of the individual’s conflict. “When people realize that we are trying to explain something to them, they tend to do the opposite in the sense of conflict,” the expert noted, adding that reverse psychology is “a communication technique that can be similar to a kind of mental manipulation.” The person feels that they are making decisions for themselves, when in fact you have influenced them.

Personality is more acceptable than others

Since children are known to do the opposite of what they are told to do, they may be tempted to use the opposite psychology with them at any cost, for example telling them not to go out in the garden and not to play, when, correctly, we want to see them play outside. . But you should know it The strategy does not work the same for everyone.

It is usually very effective in children who have a strong attitude of conflict and have difficulty with discipline and restraint, as well as adolescents at the stage of rebellion. Conversely, “on obedient personalities, who are respectful of orders, but also passionate, reserved, introverted, compelled, compromising, this strategy is usually not very effective and has more impact on discussion and conviction,” says Dr. Jack.

Use reverse psychology with your child, good idea?

Anyone who has never used the opposite psychology with their child should throw stones at us first… but is that a good thing? For Dr. Jack, it’s not serious, “he saidUse the opposite psychology in the case of children with small doses and intelligentAnd rather in small matters without too much importance, because it can be like manipulation in spite of everything. “

He cites the example of telling a child that he does not want to eat vegetables because green beans are a “grown” food and he is not allowed to eat them. “It’s not very serious and it will increase his or her chances of eating it,” the expert said. However, the use of this technique should not become systematicEspecially with teenagers who understand manipulation and may get angry or lose confidence.

Pushing your child to be disobedient is a strategy that has its limits

For Dr. Jack, “Reverse psychology opens up a violation of parental education because it ultimately Let the child do the opposite of what was said “The long-term risk is to undermine the parent’s authority, as the child is accustomed to disobeying and reversing what is said to him.

“It is always advisable to use communication techniques with a child or teenager, for example to explain to him why it is important to eat vegetables, to make the dish beautiful and attractive, to reward the child for his efforts … these are strategies that will bear more fruit in the long run”, The expert concluded.

* is a medical teleconsultation platform that is accessible daily from 6am to 11am, with a list of hundreds of psychiatrists and psychologists.

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