Welcome to Part 04 of this series of articles on parenting aimed at enriching your & your childs life using some of the principles of Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP), brought to you by 5th Element, Pune. This will be the final part in this series.
A lot parents I have spoken with have asked about how they (as parents) can get the children to listen to them and behave as instructed.
I believe that this is one question that every parent must have asked them self at some time or another.
A mother once asked me that her son is always distracted and is not able to focus attention on anything and that is negatively affecting his academic performance. She wanted to know how she could get the son to focus attention on studies and hence improve his grades.
Another mom asked me that her daughter gets very angry and yells when her demands are not met.
One of my observations has been that the child will do what one or the other parent does.
Now, I know some of you reading this might wonder how I can be so categorical about it and hold the parents responsible for the childs undesirable behaviors. And it is natural to wonder. And I will explain it in the points below.
Firstly, I ask you to set aside any notions of blame and realize what a wonderful opportunity is present before you. The fact that the child is replicating the behavior demonstrated by one or the other parent only means that this parent has an unprecedented opportunity to influence the child's behavior simply by adapting their own behavior.
Secondly, realize that as adults you may have the maturity and wisdom to determine the appropriateness of your behavior as per the context. A young child however is yet to learn all the social contexts and may or may not be able to distinguish the nuances between different contexts. How then can they decide on the appropriateness of the behavior if they cannot even distinguish the differences between the contexts?
For example in case of the mother whose son was 'always distracted' - she had a job function that required her to perform many diverse activities all at the same time. Her son's distraction was exactly the same behavior.
The other mom who complained about her daughters yelling, had not realized that her own voice would climb a few decibel levels when she was having an excited and animated discussion while presenting her views. In a sensory description, the daughter was replicating exactly the same behavior.
Bring out your "Gift of Parenting" diary.
a) Make a list of a few behaviors in your child that you want to be able to influence and change.
b) Ask someone close to you and whom you trust, to observe you & others in your family for a few days and find out who demonstrates the same behavior though which might be considered contextually appropriate. Make a note of the context and the influencer.
c) Make a list of contexts in which you would like the child to demonstrate a different behavior.
d) Now, list down how you will create these contexts and have the influencer demonstrate a different behavior in this context.
Watch the magic unfold.