How often do we find ourselves dreading an event, visit, or simple errand with our child? We look at past behaviors or incidents and expect the worst, based on what we experienced previously. We may even go so far as to picture the meltdown occurring and already start feeling frustrated and frazzled by the anticipation of it.
When we do this, we emit a certain frequency and our child picks up on it. Everything we think, say, and feel produces some kind of effect on our children.
How about trying an experiment? I’ve done this before with phenomenal results! Ready?
Expect the best from your child.
Not perfectionism, not nit-picking… just expect great behavior. Visualize it. Focus on what you WANT to happen and picture it happening that way. You might be very surprised at what unfolds!
I discovered this powerful shift some time ago, yet I often and easily forget the impact of such a simple adjustment. I had a great reminder today while reading a fantastic book: Bob Lancer’s Parenting With Love… Without Anger or Stress. Here is a paragraph that really resonated with me:
Praising or Thanking in Advance
When you want your child to do something, try praising or thanking her for doing it in advance. This tactic exhibits an uncanny power to bring out desirable behavior that has not yet happened. For instance, to encourage him to pick up after himself, try sincerely praising him for picking up after himself and genuinely thanking him for the contribution before he has done so. To encourage your child to play nicely with others at the playground, right before you launch her into activity you might say, “I want to thank you very much for playing so nicely with the other children at the playground today.”
Ironically, I found this to work with my To Do lists as well! For a whole week I created “Done” lists in lieu of “To Do” lists and I was so much more productive! They would read, “Went to bank, completed freelance project, did laundry, balanced checkbook,” etc. Guess what – I doubled my accomplishments that week!
What do you think? Do you have anything to lose by expecting your child to flourish and shine versus waiting for the meltdown? Thoughts are free. They can be changed and controlled with practice. Try it and let me know your results on my Facebook or Twitter page, or by commenting below!