(so that they are not easily led astray by the wrong crowd...)
Before we jump into this super simple little technique we need to understand a little about child-development.
When your kids are little, you are their entire world.
Everything you do is magical, and they want to be a part of it.
But then they have their 12th birthday and become a teenager…
OK, so it’s not quite as cut and dry as this, we all hit puberty at different times and this is what I’m really talking about.
During puberty your child’s attention shifts from you, to their friends.
Their friends become the most important people in the world and they will literally do anything to fit in.
Don’t believe me?
Think back to your teenage years and all the bonkers things you did because it would make you look cool, feel like you belong or impress that boy/girl you were madly in love with.
This is by design.
While we’ve changed the goalposts regarding when it is safe, socially acceptable and morally appropriate to get into a sexual relationship and have children, our genetics haven’t quite caught up yet.
Remember, we’ve been knocking around this planet for a fair few thousand years and until very recently we died in our 40’s.
The only way to ensure the human race continued was to have lots of children while we were fit enough and healthy enough to look after them.
The same is true of every other species on the planet.
How many cats, dogs or rabbits wait until their mid-years before starting a family?
Don’t worry, I am not suggesting our kids should be doing any of the sort, it’s just an important factor in why your children stop listening to you.
They need to fit in with their peers because their genes are getting them geared up to become a mother/father.
The problem is that unless they are 100% confident in themselves, they will become very easily led.
In psychology speak, we’re talking about their locus of control.
The locus of control is simply who/what controls their thoughts/actions.
The pre-puberty locus of control is you as a parent, although I know when they’re being a little terror at about 2-years-of-age it most definately doesn’t seem that way…
Once they hit puberty this shifts to either themselves, or their peers if they’ve never learned to trust their own decisions.
& this is why they disregard everything you say and make stupid decisions to fit in then end up in hospital having their stomach pumped after drinking a bottle of Archers… (yup, that was me at 17 – sorry mum!)
Anyhow, back to helping you make sure your children do not do all the silly things we did.
You need to help your child become the master of their own world.
They need to be confident that their decisions are right, stay firm when their mates are being bonkers and have the guts to walk away if they’re in a situation which is not right.
So how do you do this?
You help them believe in themselves.
You help them understand that it really isn’t the end of the world if their BFF (best friend forever) doesn’t speak to them.
You show them.
Start by giving a little bit of power back to them.
Depending on their age right now give them options.
& start with really simple options so instead of ‘would you like something to eat’ which has a million different options, you can instead say ‘would you like an apple or a banana?’
If they’re hungry they’ll pick one.
What you’re doing with this choice is helping them make an important decision (we die without food), once they’ve made it they know it was a good one and they help themselves feel better (they’re no longer hungry).
This is how they learn to trust their own decisions.
This is how they refocus their locus of control internally and not externally.
If they’re a toddler give them 2 choices, if they’re a little older maybe 3 and then never more than 5.
Oh, and don’t forget to pay attention to developmental age not chronological age.
If your child is struggling with severe depression or anxiety, then don’t do more than 2 choices, it’s too much.
As a side note, in all honesty, you really do need to start this when your children are very, very young.
But as with everything to do with our minds, don’t worry if you haven’t because you can always help them change.
I mean, psychology would be a rubbish subject if it didn’t actually help do anything & I’d be a useless psychologist if I wasn’t able to help people change their thoughts, actions and behaviours (& just so we’re all on the same page, this is exactly what you do on a daily basis as a parent.)
I know, this may seem like something really simple but trust me, it is unbelievably powerful.
& if you have a partner who frustrates you by being indecisive, you can absolutely use this technique on them too 😉!
But just remember, they’re not doing it to be annoying, chances are they never learned to trust themselves.
Getting through anything on your own is really hard and most kids need their parents so much more than they let on.
The thing is, that most parents never had a great parenting role model when they were young & we can only ever do what we’ve been shown to do.
You can’t teach someone to drive if you can’t drive and you absolutely can’t teach your child to love themselves, trust themselves or be the best version of themselves if you don’t know how to do that for yourself.
It’s simply not possible.
But what you can do is get someone in your corner to help you, help them.
& that’s where I come in.
Use the link below to find out about all the different ways I help you, help your child fall in love with themselves again, even if they’re struggling with social, emotional or behavioural difficulties-
x Katie x
& I’ll be right back here tomorrow with the only formula you need to know to turn leads into clients (even when you’re fast asleep 😉)