How to deal with a child who does something with poor consequences? Comparison: Jim BAGNOLA and Cătălin ZAHARIA’s solutions

Note: The current article has been written more than 10 years ago!

I’m preparing a blog post about Cătălin ZAHARIA; meanwhile, let’s make a comparison on a given fact – How to deal with a child who does something with poor consequences?

First of all, I like both of the situations described in here, due to a common trait – they’re external. Jim BAGNOLA told a story with a mother he personally saw, and Cătălin ZAHARIA goes even further and tells a story someone else (Sid JACOBSON) saw. What’s cool about this is that it’s more objective – if one lives a story, the story can be deformed, not accurate; if you tell it, it’s more accurate; also, you can pick it or not; if it happens to you, you somehow need to tell it; if it happens to someone else – well, in that case you don’t feel the obligation to tell it; it’s not yours, you can look at it from the outside; since they both picked external stories, it’s easier to make a comparison.

So, in both cases, a child does something with bad consequences; in both solutions, provided by Jim and Cătălin, the mother is empathic with the child, the solution sounds nice; and everybody lived happily ever after; let’s go deeper, shall we?

Let’s look at the first solution:
Cătălin ZAHARIA described a solution in which the child did do whatever-he-did because of a deeper reason; I don’t remember the exact example, but let’s say a child breaks something because he wants attention, because he needs love; the solution in this case would not be “stop breaking things”, but “you can get love without breaking things, but by …”; so, focus on the real need, and the effect will disappear;
Now, in simple words, I was amazed by the solution, by the method of going into things; in complicated words, it was super-great-extra nice;
This is the truth;

Now the question comes – you go to a training session with Cătălin ZAHARIA and you find out an ultimate solution, on which you put a label “the truth”; how can anything touch you now more? You’ve got the truth;

The second solution:
So, a few days after the training with Cătălin ZAHARIA, I go to a training with Jim BAGNOLA; he speaks about the child, and focus on the effect (so, the child shouldn’t do the thing with bad consequences, but the real cause – ignored); now I’m not saying that focusing on effects is, in all cases, bad; I’m no expert in child psychology; perhaps focusing on effects is actually better in that particular case; it’s not an exact science; but, to me, the method is not that good;

And then it happens – the reason for which the truth can be beaten; Jim BAGNOLA focuses on effects, and yet does a great thing – he moves me, and creates an emotional response in me; I got attached to his method; I liked what he did;

So, now we have two situations:
– Truth said in a logical way;
– (Half-)truth said in a way in which it moves me; OK, not the perfect solution, but the solution which makes me feel good about it; what’s better than the truth is a non-lie, half-truth, which moves you deeply; this is or may be better; it’s something else;

Look at the model above, and you get something like the intellectual debate between tabloids and quality newspapers – tabloids work on emotion, but are not that smart, while quality newspapers use fancy words, and tell more scientific-like facts; in the above situation, Jim didn’t tell any non-truth, it’s just that I liked other model better; but both solutions are fine; I can like also a half-truth; it’s not everything about science.

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