Parents who find themselves participating in negative interactions, whether they started it or not, can reverse this trend by “doing a 180.” Another way of saying this is “do the opposite” of what parents are currently doing and not finding very effective. If, for instance, the parent discovers that they raise their voice with a particular child over a specific issue during a peculiar time of the day, then that parent can try “doing a 180.” Instead they can strive to lower their voice, change the issue, or discuss it at a different time of day. Or, if a parent finds that they tend to be more tired and grumpy at the end of the day or their child more moody in the morning, try reducing the overall interaction with that person during that time. Use humor by putting up a storm warning sign on the refrigerator or a grumpy person crossing sign in the hallway. Parents can try doing the opposite of what they would normally do in a given situation and break the stronghold that the negative scripts have on the family. “Doing a 180,” introduces a novel stimulus to a negative situation and thereby reverses its negative course. While these three techniques won’t change every family story, they will redefine the roles parents are playing on the stage of their own life and allow them to find more enjoyable parts to play. Taking the lead role in the family is crucial if parents are to rewrite their family scripts. A bit part or standing on the sidelines is not the place for parents who want more than a small part in a comedic tragedy called “My Family.” Take direct action and change your roles and your family story.

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