It’s true, a lot of the time our kids do not listen to us, but that doesn’t mean they will not listen to us. Its all about what we are asking them to do or what we are forgetting to ask them to do.
Words have Power
Anybody who has practiced NLP or Hypnosis know’s the impact of language on the way we think, in fact everyone reading this is aware of the impact of language on our emotions and behaviour, consider this quote from Shakespeare:
O Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou Romeo?
Deny thy father and refuse thy name;
Or if thou wilt not, be but sworn my love
And I’ll no longer be a Capulet.
Would it be as often remembered and repeated if it was said like this:
Oh Rom’s, why does your name have to be that? Pretend he’s not your old man and Change your surname; or if you wont do it, promise you’ll love me and ill change mine.
It doesnt quite have the same impact, does it. And in the same way the language we use everyday has more or less impact depending not only on the words we use but the order in which we use those words.
Road Blocks or Diversions.
Sometimes children do things which we dont want them to do and many times I hear people (and myself from time to time) saying to their children, “stop it” or “dont do that” or “thats enough” and the child goes on doing whatever they were doing and it seems as though they “wont listen”.
“Stop jumping all over my furniture”, “dont fight with your brother”, “enough of that banging”,
One day your driving along on a journey you have a map marked out and you know exactly the route to take to get you to your destination, but then you come to a one way street and theres a road block, all routes are blocked off you have nowhere to turn, so you look around for a sign, showing you where to go but there isn’t any, what do you do now? Your basically stuck, you either go back from where you came and not get to your destination or you have to go on through the road block.
Now think about taking the exact same journey coming to the road block but this time theres all those yellow diversion signs set up leading you on a different route to your destination, a bit of a pain initially, but know you realise you have a choice, you have at least two different ways of getting where you want to go, not only that, you’ve also enjoyed the new scenary you have taken in along the way.
So when we are asking children to stop doing something (a road block) its really important to set up a diversion and tell them where you want them to go, the destination is whatever they are getting from the unwanted behaviour, (which in most cases will be something they need to do to develop and learn) and they can still get it but in new ways which now gives you and your child more choices.
“I know you want to have fun jumping around, and thats good. My furniture is for sitting on and eating on, do you think it would be a better idea to use your trampoline”. 🙂
This maybe a really simple Idea but also a very powerful one too.
P.S If you have trouble controlling your own emotions so that you can make better decisions and remember to set up the diversions then look out for my furure blogs where theres more to come on controlling your state!
I know Steve, I hear these things so often, your right, “STOP!” would have been much more useful and then a simple “now walk please”.
Here’s a few other simple suggestions:
Dont fall – Be careful/keep your balance.
Don’t SHOUT! (shouted loudly) – Talk quietly please (decreasing your volume as you say it)
Don’t cry (in an anxious panicking kind of way normally heard when a child has hurt themselves) – It will be ok, breathe slowly and calm down (whilst staying calm and giving them a big hug)
Don’t take drugs! – A simple phrase either way for this one may not be enough. But as we know our words affect our behaviour and it seems to me that, a lot of people who work in that area are more focused on saying drugs are bad and you should not TAKE DRUGS!. Education here is key and steering them to healthier useful actions that fulfil the positive intentions behind the drug taking which could be escapism or experimentation.
For anybody who is curious about how this works, don’t think about a pink and yellow elephant skate boarding through your living room. Dont Forget NOT to think about that elephant. 🙂
I was at the supermarket the other day and I could hear this mans voice shouting ‘RUN; RUN, RUN!’ As I turned into the next aisle I saw that he was yelling at his two small sons, both of whom were hurtling about the place in a delighted frenzy.
And as I was now closer to this beleaguered father, I could hear what he was actually saying, which was …….
‘dont RUN, dont RUN, dont RUN…….’
and the more he shouted, the more they accelerated….
The word ‘STOP’ may have been a little more useful to them….