Have you ever said this or heard it from another parent?
- The kids don’t listen to me!
- Why are they always arguing?
- I’m so tired of yelling at the kids!
- Children aren’t respectful these days!
Can I ask…Where are you placing your energy around your children’s behaviour?
Do you give your children more energy and relationship when:
- They are breaking rules, misbehaving or being uncooperative?
- They are following rues, behaving and being cooperative?
DID YOU KNOW…Children learn at a young age how to get your ‘attention’, ‘energy’ and ‘relationship’ best and that WE teach them that by deciding WHEN and HOW we give them that energy.
As parents, we are our children’s favourite toys. They soon learn what all of our buttons, switches and controls are and WHAT HAPPENS when they push them.
By giving energy and relationship to children when they are ‘breaking the rules’ or being ‘uncooperative’ what we are really doing is saying “This is how you get my relationship, my time and my energy” and they prove that over and over again by getting the same reaction each time they misbehave.
Our children are SO CLEVER and they quickly pick up that they get less or next to NO relationship when they are being cooperative, playing quietly or following instructions.
On a subconscious level children soon work out that they get the juiciest and most intense relationship from their ‘favourite toys’ when they break the rules, and little or no relationship when they follow them! So inadvertently parents we are actually encouraging whatever behaviour we are getting!
So how do we switch this ‘upside down’ parenting around?
- Give as little energy and relationship to your children when rules are being broken or inappropriate behaviour exhibited.
- Relentlessly give HEAPS of energy, attention and relationship when children move towards behaviour that is more positive.
- Be VERY aware of where your attention is going energetically. Children are in tune with you and readily pick up on your energy.
- When children are behaving inappropriately, show them that they will NOT get your energy at this time.
- Be like a hawk, be ready to embrace their greatness the very second they move towards that more positive behaviour.
- Use very descriptive recognition when giving energy towards more positive behaviour. A “good job”, “well done”, “thank you” is not enough.
Here is an example: A big sister is being bossy or unpleasant to her younger brother whilst playing and her younger brother is upset.
Rather than giving lots of energy right then (unless someone is being hurt) wait for the very moment that there is a pause in the inappropriate behaviour from big sister.
There are actually 2 opportunities here to embrace greatness!
- To sister- “I see that you were annoyed with your brother but you have now calmed down. That shows that you have excellent self-control and you are now being cooperative and a loving big sister and ready to play nicely with your brother. Thank you for being such an amazing big sister” In this instance you did not energise her whilst she was annoying her brother but waited until she had stopped. Hence giving her the clear message, she only gets the positive recognition when she is NOT breaking rules.
- To brother- “I see you were upset when your sister was annoying you and you could have got really mad, but I saw you being so patient and understanding. That shows you are a kind and patient person and also showed great self-control”
In this instance you are not only giving them energy and relationship when they have calmed down, but are also teaching them about the rules in a calm and positive way. Not when they are behaving inappropriately
The idea is to catch them or hijack them into being successful even if they are not quite there yet!
So where children arguing is usually an issue, look for every opportunity to embrace their greatness whist they are playing cooperatively. Under normal circumstances, what we do when they are playing nicely is go “PHEW they are quiet, I’ll go and get something done.” What we should do is create success by saying “I love the way you are playing so nicely with each other. That shows you are both being cooperative and respectful of each other and being amazing friends. I appreciate that you are helping each other and playing nicely together. Now I can now get our lunch ready. Thank You”
You could notch that up even further by popping in to continue recognizing their positive behavior every now and then rather than waiting until they decide to gain your attention negatively!
The more you do this, the more the children will learn about when and how to get your positive relationship.
ABOUT THE BIG WORDS: Young children love you using BIG words of greatness. Just watch them embrace and understand these words the more you use them.
They will start to duplicate and embrace others greatness as well. It is amazing to see!
To Your Greatness!