November, 2015
Do Your Children Really 'Make' You Mad?

Written By: Larissa Dann

"You make me so happy!"  At first glance, this looks like a positive thing to say to your child.  But what about, "You make me so sad."  Or, "Hearing you whine makes me so frustrated."  What do these phrases have in common?  They all use "makes me".  This blog explores reasons to avoid "makes me", and looks at alternative phrasing.

"Makes me"

We use the phrase "makes me" in situations where we are impacted by things our children do - by their actions, or their behaviour.  Often, we'll say, "makes me" with the best of intentions - we just want our children to know how we feel.

My question is: does my child's action make me feel something? Or do I feel an emotion in response to my child's behaviour?  Am I a passive victim of their behaviour, or will I actively own my feelings about their behaviour?

I think there can be hidden consequences when we use "makes me" with our children...

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Sent by Lance Johnson,

Program Manager, Gordon Training International


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