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No. 28 – So, Your Child Won’t Eat Green Beans?

May 25, 2011

To understand why some of your workers resist your best efforts to implement radiation safety requirements, consider the following situation that likely occurs at some time in every household.

Picture yourself at the dinner table and notice that your four-year-old son is not eating his green beans. Do you try to tell him that green beans are healthful, nutritious, and good for him? What if he still refuses to eat them? Do both you and your wife summon all your resources as debaters to convince your son of the advantages of eating green beans? Have you tried telling him that green beans will make him stronger or smarter, or he will like them if he will only try them? What if he still resists your best efforts at persuasion?

Do you finally resort to ordering your son to eat his green beans, or else? Does he still ignore you? If so, eventually you may reach a point where you finally say in exasperation, “You will not get down from the table until you eat your green beans.” Two hours later, your son is still at the table and has won the debate and the contest of wills.

Images on Your Mind

In this situation, what images could be running through your mind that would lead you to threaten or punish your child? Some possibilities include:

  1. you see your control and authority being challenged.
  2. you see your child getting sick, resulting in unnecessary costs and trouble.
  3. you see your child looking unhealthy, and wonder what the grandparents (friends, school, etc.) will say.
  4. you had to eat green beans when you were a kid, or suffer the consequences.

So the behavior of your parents became a model for you to follow for your own children.

Anxiety -> Threat  -> Reaction

When your best efforts to nurture your son are not successful in reaching your goal, which is to mold the behavior of your child according to what you believe is in his best interests, anxiety begins to creep in. This anxiety is fueled by the images listed above. The outcome is that your efforts to nurture gradually (or quickly) transform into demands. In addition, your demands are reinforced by threats, or at least perceived threats. The “demon” has taken control and a cycle is now initiated leading to automatic resistance that we will explain next week.

One Comment
  1. Jean Staton permalink

    I try to “ask” someone or to “remind” someone about their Safety Equipment. A lot of times this works because I’ve included the employee(s) in the conversation but I must admit there are times that I’ve said “because”. The crews can be so frustrating but being consistent is very important. If you send a RT crew home for a Safety reason, make sure the discipline is the same for everyone that commits a certain infraction. Just because a crew is needed at a jobsite does not allow you to forego safety. Again it’s the old Production vs. Safety.

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