Amanda and I sat together and wrote 100 things she could say to her daughters in a positive way. The first step to saying good things to your kids is to start with yourself. Take a sheet of paper and write 100 good things about yourself. Yes, I know it is not easy, especially if you have not heard it from your parents, but remember, you need these thoughts in your tank if you want to easily say them to your kids.
Would You Say "No" to Violence Against Children?
In one of my parenting workshops, I had a discussion with one of the fathers about the use of negative words and we talked about the slogan “Australia says ‘no’ to violence against children”. I explained that the brain records “Australia says to violence against children”, omits the “no” and focuses on “Australia”, “violence” and “children”. Paul thought it was a great slogan (and he did not work for the copywriting company who came up with the slogan).
At that stage, all the other participants already understood that “no smoking” only promoted smoking by focusing on the smoking, so pretty quickly, there was a lively group interaction going on.
This week, I got a video made by a great organisation, which presented the answer we were looking for in our discussion at that parenting workshop. What would you want people to focus on? We want them to focus on creating a child-friendly environment for our kids. We want them to be happy, to feel safe and to have good relationships with others.
The answer to (the pink elephant) “Australia says no to violence against children” is now “Australia says yes to a child-friendly environment for our children” and I love this new focus.
What Are You Saying to Your Teens?
A couple of clients came to me for parent coaching because of a problem they had with their teen boy, and were very surprised when we went through Pink Elephants. They said, “We tell him every day NOT to hang around bad kids, but saying it only puts the focus on those kids we want him to stay away from”.
The day after our session, the mother sent me this email:
“Dear Ronit, You won’t believe what happened after we left our session last night. I was home for 3 minutes and so many Pink Elephants came out of my mouth… It’s so hard!”
It is hard. I agree.
How to Beat those Pink Elephants
There are two parts to making a change from using a negative language to a positive one. The first is to understand how we were programmed to use negative language in our life. We talk about what we are not happy about and we express disappointment and frustration instead of saying what we feel, need and want.
The second part of making the change is to do something different and practice doing it until it becomes the new habit.
To help you make the change, here are some rules you need to remember.
7 Easy Secrets of Behaviour Management
Behaviour management seems to be a big part of parenting. Parents struggle with their kids’ behaviour over their entire parenting “career”.
Many times, I have been asked if I had a “magic formula” to solve behavioural problems and I always say that behaviour management is not fixing behavioural problems but preventing them from happening.
The difference between fixing a problem and preventing it is the difference between a proactive mindset and a reactive one. When I need to fix a problem, I become “The Fire Brigade” and start putting out fires and that is no fun, because I am then controlled by the circumstances or the people around me (the kids).
The Story of Mike
I met Mike at a café. He was very tall and good looking. He had just left home after 11 years of marriage and said “I hate her” 30 times in one meeting. He wanted to know if I could help him. “I’ve been to counselling, but that didn’t work”, he said to me.
He wanted to divorce and did not know how to go about it. He talked about making this a smooth separation and about finding a new partner. “I’m a one woman man”, he said. I liked it. Working with so many couples seconds before they divorce, at least infidelity was not the reason in this case.
Mike had already arranged the paperwork with his lawyer. “I’m going to divorce her”, he said at the end of the first session.
In many cases, coaching is like being an investigator. At the end of the first session, I sat in the café, writing all the pieces of the puzzle I had gathered from Mike.
Read The Story of Mike »
Beware of Pink Elephants
Most of our coaching clients ask us, “How come I keep getting all the things I don’t want to have in my life?”
Oddly enough, the answer is hidden in the question. It’s all to do with … pink elephants.
Our brain is a very sophisticated machine, with its own way of interpreting the things around us. It turns out that one particular thing our brain can’t understand is negatives. Whenever we hear or use the words “no”, “not” or “don’t”, the brain simply ignores them and keeps the rest.
Read Beware of Pink Elephants »
Just A Little Bit More
Success depends on the ability to move forward and requires persistence. We succeed at work, at our social life, our parenting, relationships, love life, finance or health only if we can keep moving forward in spite any setbacks.
In the movie “Touching the Void”, the concept of moving forward no matter what, had a life and death flair and gave no option to fail. There is a beautiful Zen saying “Fall 7 times, get up 8”. Successful people do not fail less, they get up more.
Read Just A Little Bit More »