How to talk so kids will listen… Chapter 6: Freeing children from playing roles

Here’s a recurring topic! Roles, or labels… Once you have been introduced to the concept, you realize they are everywhere…

Is is necessary to say it ? If you put a child under a label, you are not helping him. Because we have a tendency to do what is expected of us, to play the role out.
If I hear that I’m stupid, I’ll think I’m stupid, if I hear I’m whiny, ditto.
And the result is that instead of evolving, I reinforce this aspect of my character.

So, how can we help a child to step out of his role?
By treating him as if he was already out of it…
Unbelievable but true!

A few tracks for that (in brackets examples that can be applied to the role of the absent-minded, which we would have a copy of at home if we were to put labels!)

1. Look for opportunities to show the child a new picture of himself
(You packed your whole suitcase without forgetting anything and without me telling you anything)
2. Put children in situations where they can see themselves differently
(could you check the cake that is in the oven and get it out when it’s cooked, please?)
3.  Model the behavior you’d like to see
(I must not forget this checkbook, I’ll put it in my bag right away, so that I’m sure it doesn’t stay here)
4. Be a storehouse for your child’s special moments
(I remember that day when we were coming back home so slowly and you were the only one to remember we had an appointment !)
5. When the child acts according to the old label, state your feelings and/or expectations
(I’d rather not go shopping for another lunch bag, I expect that you don’t forget it at school anymore.)


I know these steps really need planning, it needs lots of thinking! At home, it helped us to bring pretty smile around more…


Back to the book post

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