Piaget and Young People

We dislike when someone orders or mandates us to do something—or uses some other form of coercion on us. Such actions prompt negative feelings in us. Unfortunately, however, too often we tend to use such approaches with young people.

The essence of the famed psychologist Jean Piaget’s hierarchy of cognitive development is that children’s brains develop at different ages but they—even infants—have similar feelings as adults. Young people smile. They also experience negative feelings of pain, anger, and fear—all of which prompt resentment toward the person who prompted such feelings.

Sharing information and asking reflective questions do not carry the baggage of prompting negative emotions and resentments that coercion and other such approaches carry. These noncoercive approaches not only improve relationships but they are also more effective in accomplishing your objectives because they do not arouse negative feelings.