You’re so sure that if your more stubborn child would just calm down, things would be SO much easier, and you wouldn’t be shouting like a crazy person just to be heard.
But did you know that the way we THINK about our children makes all the difference to how we react and in turn the kind of results we get.
I’ve noticed we often judge our children—stubborn, threenager, bully, defiant, drama queen—as if this is who our children are.
Ever heard of confirmation bias? Basically, we like proving ourselves right, so we go out proving our thoughts by gathering evidence…We start to see behaviour through this lens.
You see… She’s so stubborn! As she refuses to take a shower.
You see… He’s so rude! After he answers back at your simple request.
You see… He’s so ungrateful! After having a meltdown over not getting ice cream for dessert even though you’d just baked his favourite cookies, cleaned up the painting activities that last like one minute, and peeled off the Frube yogurt wrappers your daughter hides under the sofa.
As REAL as these thoughts might seem, it leads us to believe this is WHO our child is. She’s inherently stubborn. difficult. rude,
When in fact, these are just our judgements about behaviour we DON’T like.
These judgments leave a lot of people feeling stuck in a not so great place thinking that their kids are the problem.We’re triggered, by their behaviour and the meaning we give it, into spending copious amount of time trying to train it out of our kids. Not to say we don’t urge our children toward better behaviour, but when you can stay out of judgment more options open up to you.
First of all, take a step back to gain some perspective because when you’re having these judgments about your child, there’s no question that you’re seeing the situation as you versus them, as a problem to fix.
SAY WHAT YOU SEE®️ really is the missing step in parenting. It’s how you can get into a neutral place where you can actually ‘see’ what IS happening separatefrom what you ‘think’ is happening.
It’s from here, when your child feels understood and connected, that they will open up to your guidance, and you can move to the next two steps of our coaching model: STRENGTHs and CAN DOs. You can find hundreds of examples of SAY WHAT YOU SEE, STRENGTHs and CAN DOs in our new phrase booklets.
Why is it super important to become aware of how we speak to our children?
One of the premises, of Language of Listening®, the 3-part framework I use and teach, says, “Children act according to who they believe they are.”
That’s why judging your child’s behaviour is such a problem. Judging their behaviour, whether through your words or in your reactions, makes it about who your child IS… and they believe you.
It’s how their beliefs are formed. It becomes their inner voice: “This is who I am.” To help your child see themselves through their STRENGTHs, try this today:
Notice how you speak to or think about your child.
Instead of judgments, ask yourself…“Why would my brilliant child behave like that? What makes sense about their behaviour?”
Then, tell me: How does ditching the judgments transform the way you talk to or think about your child and the results you get?