Do you worry about your child while they are at school? Do you hope they had someone to play with , a friend, not on their own at playtime or with a teacher? Do you hope they feel better and aren’t feeling poorly or sad? Of course there are days like this. As mothers we do worry about them. Fathers do too but they seem better able than us to rationalise that if there is a problem the school will phone them. So when you first see them after school and say “Have you had a good day?” what is your belief? Are you communicating this worry to them such that they feel they need to tell you what didn’t go well because that’s what they can tell that you are expecting?
I’ve had a number of clients who tell me how worried they are about their child, it could be a health issue, not settling into their new school, sad about a difficult situation at home. When I ask them how they greet their child I can see straight away by their facial expression, body language and tone of voice that a loving child would subconsciously give them what they feel they’re being asked for, namely the bad news about their day. This has the effect of making the day worse than it was because they are reinforcing and remembering the things that didn’t go well and getting a reward by way of attention, for this.
Do something different. Last week a client of mine changed her approach and she made herself belief that her son had had a good day even though he’d taken a mock exam that day and this belief affected how she asked the question ‘Have you had a good day?’ and he told her the exam had actually gone quite well. She repeated this belief-facial expression-tone every day and amazingly his tinnitus miraculously improved, he seemed much happier, he wasn’t complaining of feeling unwell and she in turn was able to turn this fake belief into a real belief by the end of the week.
This is not unusual. I’ve had many clients who simply by making themselves belief their child has had a good day and asked the question with that in mind, have been surprised at the results. When we focus on what has not gone well, this is what we find. When we focus on not feeling well, that’s what we get. It’s no surprise that you get higher absenteeism through sickness amongst employees who are not happy in their job or who are bored at work because they have more time to dwell on it. It’s the same with our children.
So what do you do if they respond ‘well not great actually’? Ask them to tell you want did go well. If they say ‘nothing’ then respond ‘what absolutely nothing at all?’ to which this will be a challenge to find something so you have a good start then to get them to expand on what also went quite well. After a while they will realise that they will get more attention from you for what went well than those things that didn’t go well so that’s where they will put their focus. What you pay attention to will be what they pay attention to because your attention is what they want.
Try it this week. Think about what you want them to respond to your ‘Have you had a good day?’ and belief that you will get a positive response. They haven’t always had bad days so if you find it difficult, focus on when they have had a good day and keep that thought in your mind. With the positive physiology (rather than the worried face!) greet them and let your positivity be reflected in your language and tone of voice. Reward them with smiles and hugs for positive responses and pay little heed to the negative ones.
You may find my Ebook on Positive Parenting with NLP a help or Confidence for Kids. You can find all my books on Amazon including print books of course. If you are starting to find this topic interesting you may want to train as an NLP Kids Practitioner yourself. I run regular Distance Learning courses on Skype and Residential training for parents and children in Burnham, Bucks, UK. Get in touch [skype-status skype_id="judy.bartkowiak"]