Whether we’re talking about sports, business or parenting, Neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) is the technology that studies the behaviours and thinking patterns of successful people and turns excellent performances into strategies that other people can replicate to enjoy the same success. Some of the benefits reported by parents applying NLP in their lives include:
- Improved flexibility in the communication with children by understanding how the brain works
- The know-how to improve relationships more easily and effortlessly
- A more positive outlook in life and a proactive mindset
- The ability to overcome negative emotions quickly and be in control of one’s mind and behaviours
- Improved coaching skills (parenting is a form of coaching)
- More patience, acceptance & understanding in difficult situations
- Greater self-confidence & self-esteem
- And so much more!
Today, millions of parents around the world wanting to improve their relationships with their children turn to NLP because of its practical nature: they get tools and skills that can be applied right away to manage themselves and their children better. One crucial thing that parents need to understand first, is that in the relationship with their children, they cannot remain the same person and expect different results or for their children to miraculously change. Parents need to examine their own language patterns, behaviours, habits and mindset and identify what’s working and what isn’t when it comes to dealing with kids. From there, they can make small tweaks, progressively and test out the change. If the feedback is good, they can continue. If the change doesn’t produce the expected results, they will need to try something different. NLP believes that there’s no failure, only feedback. So don’t get discouraged when something doesn’t work; make a change and try again. Here are 3 tips that parents can use when applying NLP:
- Let your child have his/her own worldview It is easy as parents to impose our worldview and perspectives on our children. Contrary to popular belief, a child is not born a blank slate.If you have two or more children, you will realise that each child has his/her own personality. Hence, they see the world through their own lenses and interpret things differently from you.That’s not to say you should not nurture them on certain morals and values, but give them enough space to explore doing things on their own and expressing their own creativity.Sometimes, maybe we should wipe ourselves clean so that we can learn through the eyes of our children again.
- Behind every behaviour, there’s a positive intention.This simply means that a living being will not purposefully bring harm upon themselves.For instance, when your child blatantly disobeys you or goes beyond the line of safety, always search for that positive intention that they might have for themselves or simply ask them what their intention is by doing what they did; you might be surprised at the answers.Many times their intention is pure, many times manipulation is the judgment we impose upon them.Even if what they want is more attention, more fun play, doesn’t that stem from a natural desire for love and growth?
- Get over your guilt – you always do the best that you can Like every responsible and loving parent, you probably wish for your parenting skills and behaviours to be close to flawless so that you can give your child the best education and care.
While this is what we strive for, there are instances (many, many instances) when for different reasons, we’re not feeling resourceful and perfect as parents. What we can tell you is this: do not waste time feeling guilty and frustrated over your outbursts; don’t lay awake at night ruminating over what you’ve done wrong. Understand that we do the best we can at each moment of our life, be it with our children, spouse or in-laws. If at any moment we’d perceive a better way of doing things, we’d choose that. So find a systematic way of taking time to regularly reflect, review and identify your intentions for each day. It can even be for as little as 5 minutes a day. Find that positive intention behind your seemingly wrong behaviour and always ask yourself: “What can I do next time that will better express my positive intention instead of shouting, nagging, etc.” rather than letting the old behaviour get to you and seeing it as a constant source of guilt.
The above article was contributed by Flavia Pal, NLP Consultant with Mind Transformations, and is an extension of an article found in the print edition of Singapore’s Child April Issue 173 with the headline ‘Brain Training’.
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