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10 Tips to be a Happier Parent

This article was written by Judy Bartkowiak from NLP Kids
  1. Focus on what your children do well: Where you put your attention is what you get more of. Children need your love so give them attention when they do something well rather than use that time to get on with your own stuff (yes you know you do!) They soon learn to do that thing more often as it gives them what they want.

  2. Introducing the feedback sandwich: When we keep on criticising and nagging; children turn off (it’s partly the high pitch of our voice) so when you want them to change their behaviour start with mentioning something positive you’ve noticed about their behaviour. Then tell them what you’d like more of or less of and finally reinforce with an overall positive ending with a ‘yes tag’ such as “and I’m sure you can do that, can’t you?”

  3. Tell them what you DO want: Why do we draw their attention to what we don’t want? “Don’t worry”, “Don’t’ shout” reinforce what they are doing so tell them what you do want instead.

  4. Get rid of the word ‘try’: Show you have confidence that they can do it by just telling them to do it.

  5. Be the behaviour you want: Children follow your example so show them what you want from them.

  6. Speak with authority: The lower you pitch your voice and the slower you speak, the more in control and authoritative you will sound.

  7. Encourage internal referencing: Children can work things out for themselves and need to be encouraged to do so in order to prepare them for negative peer group pressure. Ask them what they think and if you need to contribute start with ‘and……..’ because a ‘but’ negates whatever they’ve just said.

  8. Walk a mile in their shoes: Children see things differently and aren’t deliberately being difficult. Imagine you are in their shoes, would you really want to stop playing or watching TV to go shopping, school or bed? 

  9. Give precise instructions: Children need to know exactly what to do and what they’ve done well. Simply telling them to ‘be good’ or ‘do as you’re told’ is vague. When giving feedback tell them precisely what they’ve done well so they can repeat it to get your attention again. 

  10. Match their VAK: Some children are more visual, others more auditory and others kinaesthetic. Use language that matches their preference so they understand and connect with you. By speaking the same language they will know exactly what you want them to do.

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