When Napoleon was asked if he preferred courageous generals or brilliant generals, he replied neither. …
Those of you who are parents would probably agree with us that it would be a lot easier if children came with a manual on how to bring them up.
Parenting is usually experiential, in that you learn from your mistakes and make progress the best way that you can.
Yet you are never sure if you have done a good job until our children mature into adults and you see whether the seeds that you planted and carefully nurtured have turned into the things that you wanted for them.
So wouldn’t it be great to get some help?
This is where NLP comes in, NLP gives resources for life and certainly helps guide you as a resourceful parent to, in turn, bring up positive, resourceful children.
There are many practical things that NLP can help with in parenting and here are just a few for you to consider.
It all starts in the womb.
When we carry out Time Line Therapy™ interventions we ask the person for the first event which will make the problem disappear. We have quite a number of people who go back to the womb.
One example of this is where the person had a lot of unwarranted Guilt in their life.
For their first event, the person went to a memory of being in the womb and overhearing their parents discussing how the pregnancy was a mistake and they couldn’t afford it.
That could certainly give you feelings of guilt!
As we have mentioned before in previous articles, all of our behaviour, learning and change happens at the unconscious level and one of the roles of the unconscious mind is to run and preserve the body.
If your child is running automatic behaviour such as bedwetting, sleep disturbance, reliance on dummies, then you can resolve these behaviours by talking to your child’s unconscious mind.
Teach your child about their body and the function of the brain and explain the role of conscious and unconscious mind.
Encourage them to communicate with their ‘inner self’ and you and they can ask if it is ok to do things differently.
If they say it is, then show them how to ask for the desired behaviour e.g. ‘Please can you wake me up so that I can go to the toilet’.
Be specific with the behaviour required.
This works on the same principle as the Unconscious Mind waking us up at a specific time each morning, making the alarm clock unnecessary for some people.
As children grow up they like to fit in and be ‘cool’, this can lead to behaviour which is socially unacceptable such as fighting.
One of the things that we look at in NLP is called ‘Reframing’ which is where we look to frame the behaviour in a different way to achieve a positive outcome.
So in this case you would discuss other ways that they can be ‘cool’ by doing different things, also draw focus to how many of their friends are ‘cool’ who do not fight.
Their behaviour always has a reason or purpose driving it, although the positive intention for them isn’t always positive for us or others!
Taking the time to elicit, with NLP’s wonderfully effective techniques, what your child’s positive intention is, will allow you to guide them to alternative behaviours which, while still fulfilling their positive purpose, are also more acceptable to the people around them.
Tell them what you want rather than what you don’t want.
Say it the way that you want it, giving short and clear commands.
We were in the supermarket the other day and a parent was pushing their child in the shopping trolley. The child was very well behaved and was playing with a new toothbrush that was in its wrappings.
The parent then said ‘Now don’t get throwing that toothbrush’.
What happened next? You guessed it, not only did they throw it; it went into someone else’s trolley leaving the embarrassed parent to retrieve it.
The thought probably hadn’t entered the child’s head until the parent brought it to their attention.
The unconscious mind does not process negatives so if you say ‘not’ to do something they will probably do it as if given an order.
Your children ‘model’ you, so make sure that you set them the examples of behaviour that you want from them.
In our experience, most phobias such as fear of spiders, mice and flying come from children learning the behaviour from their parents or people who care for them.
They will learn the things that you teach them.
Remember children are not born with limits or failure, they have to learn them!!
One of the best things that a child can learn is that there is no failure, only feedback which allows them to realise every experience can be used to learn from.
Think about when a child learns to walk: if they fall down they get up and have another go, maybe the next time holding on to the furniture.
When they are very young our children don’t have any concept of ‘failure’.
If something doesn’t work they have another go at it in another way. But as they grow older they are often scared to do things differently and become resolved to so-called ‘failure’.
Failure can be reframed as ‘success that just stopped too soon!’ and as an opportunity to discover something new, to encourage in our children a sense of positive curiosity and wonder in learning something new.
One of our beliefs in NLP is that ‘People do their best with the resources available to them at any one time’.
I wish I had known what I know now about NLP and Parenting as my best would have been far better with the NLP resources that I now have.
So if you have or are going to have children our advice is to learn as much NLP as possible and make it part of your everyday lives.