The upbringing of children is not so much about the child, but about the parent and how they communicate both verbal and nonverbal! It is all about your behavior, because your behavior will determine the behavior and development of your child. You can trivialize or deny this statement all you want; however, it does not change the truth!
Your communication as a parent will determine the behavior and development of your child.
As parents, we can sometimes be prone to feeling overwhelmed by guilt and inadequacy because we think that we are not doing it right or because children are masters at manipulating us to make us feel guilty. Furthermore, as parents, we may feel angry or fearful about our lives in general. These feelings can then influence the way we communicate with our children and thus begin negative cycles of parenting.
It is very important that you compliment yourself for all the great work you do every day. In this way, we can build positive cycles of parenting. In addition to a child’s inborn character traits and his or her genetic programming, your child will, for the most part, be shaped by your behavior, by the example you set. Later on, teachers and peers will also contribute to this example function.
It is a well-known fact that an adult conveys almost 85 per cent of his messages through nonverbal signals. With young children, this is probably almost 95 if not 100 per cent! Certainly during the first years before they learn to speak, it is mostly nonverbal, and then as they learn to speak, verbal messages gain in importance. Yet, most educators feel that children learn mostly by watching, copying, and modelling behavior of parents and peers!
Developmental psychologists have always known children learn by imitating adults both verbal and nonverbal communication.
Think about it. They learn by copying what they see and the communication they hear. Therefore, all that we wish to see in our children, we will have to model as good examples. In addition to that, all verbal statements that we make are a direct order for our child – a direct link to his or her subconscious.
Give YES messages, not DON’T messages!
Many parents are always surprised as to why their children fall down when moments earlier they had so adamantly warned, ‘Be careful that you don’t fall!’ If I tell you not to think of a pink elephant, what happens? Right, you will visualize nothing but a pink elephant. So do you see what happens when you communicate to your child a do not instruction? Exactly! As I said earlier, it is all about awareness. Use it or lose it!
So how does it work to your child’s advantage, and how will you as a parent successfully reach your goal of communication? By giving a yes message. Then Be careful that you don’t fall becomes Be careful when you run. Or just plain Be careful.
Forewarned is forearmed. So say, Remember your keys instead of the often used, Don’t forget your keys. This is very practical advice for adults as well because you don’t realize that you keep forgetting things only because you are constantly conditioning yourself with not messages. In training yourself to change do not messages into yes messages, you will automatically extend the same good habit to your children. Words like always, every time, and constantly are not welcome. They have a very negative effect and should be avoided.
Unlike 99 per cent of all adults, a young child is totally present in the moment. In the now. Incidentally, this being in the here and now (nowhere/now here), is what all spiritual aspirants strive for. And this is what we find so attractive in children, in addition to their frankness and their unconditional love and purity. By communicating to a child with always, all the time, and constantly, you force that child to not be present in the moment, and you constantly force old bad memories onto him or her.
Memories of previous failures and humiliations will then overpower the child, and the child then reacts negatively. We often make it worse with communication, such as Grow up, Don’t be such a baby, Look at your brother/sister, they know better, et cetera.
For those of you who think you do not really communicate these negative words a lot, I would like to invite you to keep score with your partner on how often you really do use them (or think them) in the course of a week. You will be amazed.
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