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.