Reverse Psychology?

I got this email from Mark Wiland and thought I would throw it up on my teen tuesday as he is a young 18 year-old writer and blogger at Fly on the Wall.  I don’t know, if my parents told me not to mow the lawn, I probably wouldn’t, it might take a few years of reverse psychology for this to work = )


Parents, let’s face it, kids are going to do things behind your back. I’m 18 and I never did anything super bad behind my parents back, but here’s my proposition. I’ll make you a deal, parents. I’ll give you a few tips on how to keep kids intact, and sell out on my own kind. Not like they were ever nice to me anyway.

So parents, why do kids do things? Well, people say celebrities endores products or are just immitatible, and kids will do whatever they see them doing. No, that’s dumb. A kid isn’t going to play Basketball because he watched a Knicks game. He’s going to do it because he WANTS to. He’s going to think it’s fun and he enjoys it. There’s another theory that they see parents acting wrong, and they emminate that. That’s dumb too. They do it for the learning experience.

Here’s a short example.

I got dumped recently by the girl of my dreams, and I’m not dating anymore, that much intimacy just frightens me. But she was my world, and as scarred as I am from it, I realize it was a very good experience, because it taught me a lot about myself, and the opposite sex. So here’s my theory.

Kids are told not to smoke because they are told it’s wrong, and that’s called reverse physchology, and it works on EVERYONE, no matter what YOU think. You ever see those youtube bulletins that say “DON’T READ THIS!” What do you do? YOU OPEN IT! Because you’re INTERESTED, AND they told you you shouldn’t! Kids do things they aren’t supposed to because they’re told NOT TO.

So my proposal.

Let’s use this reverse physchology to our advantage, and tell kids to do things that are good, but say it like it’s BAD. Let me explain. Don’t say “Billy, don’t ever smoke, it’s bad for you.” Because they’ll want to. Say, “Billy, don’t go mowing the lawn, you could hurt yourself on those blades.” What’s Billy going to do? He’s going to mow the lawn, because he was told he SHOULDN’T! Being told we can’t do something drives teens and kids CRAZY!

We feel, well, I’m an adult now, but THEY feel they should have the right to do whatever they want. So more examples. Tell a kid, “You shouldn’t wash your own clothes, let me do it!” They’ll wash their clothes. Or tell them, “You shouldn’t speak kindly around me and use words like ‘sir’, ‘madam’ or ‘please & thank you’, you should curse at me!” They’re going to start being kinder.

It’s only a theory. But hey, who knows? Now, DON’T read my blog.

Mark Wiland is a young 18 year-old writer and blogger at Fly on the Wall.

No Responses to “Reverse Psychology?”

  1. Bob Collier
    July 8, 2008 at 5:14 pm #

    I’m told the reason why we often do exactly what we’ve been asked not to do is that our brain can’t process an abstract negative like “don’t”. We have to imagine ourselves doing what it is we’ve been asked not to do before we can understand what it is we’re not to do. Which, of course, can get us interested in doing it.

    A parent who knows this would probably get Billy to mow the lawn by describing to him all the benefits of the experience so that he imagines himself doing it and enjoying the benefits. Which are … Hmm …. Maybe telling him not to mow the lawn just might work better in this particular case.

    I’m going to visit Mark’s blog now – but only because I want to not because he told me not to. :-)

Leave a Reply