Do you remember the chapter about the roles that we were locking the children in, sometimes without realizing? The labels that they could not get rid of?
Briefly, if we consider that a child is lazy for example, and we act towards him taking this into account, well then chances are we won’t be disappointed : he will act lazy. If only to correspond to what we are expecting.
So, the book suggests, to unlock the child form his role, to treat him ad if he was already out of it.
This summer, I decide to try that out.
Our son Leon (4 and half years old) is considered as a whiny, a fussy child. Let’s just say he is very sensible…
Instead of reacting on that – « I am fed up with you crying for everything ! » – (Well… I won’t lie and say that it never happens to me to say things like that as well…), I decided to focus more on another side of his character : his enthusiasm, and the joy he expresses when he is happy ! So in these moments I began calling him « pretty smile ».
« Hello pretty smile! You seem happy! »
« What a pleasure to see this pretty smile! »
It is amazing how fast we saw the effect of that : reinforcing this happy side, we reinforced his happiness. So, just like his father before him, he began feeling « just happy about being happy » ! He clearly realized that we also saw him like a happy child, and I know it helped him to feel better.
Sometimes, he would just call me, while he was playing, so I would watch him, and tell me « pretty smile… », before breaking into one of these magnificent smiles of him…