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Happy Kids Happy You: linguistic techniques for parents
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She experiences the results of her method first hand in workshops. "You get to see the relief of parents. You know what may work for one might not work for another but there is a sense of shared struggle. As parents, as mums, we have a wealth of experience and we do a better job when we are positive." Another key aspect to success is what Sue terms in NLP language "getting into second position". This means, she explains, "finding out what your body already knows. You picture your child in a situation, see it as your child would see it. This can be very revealing. "In a quiet moment, " Sue suggests, "step into their shoes and role play them. It is surprising what people discover about the positive intentions of their kids when they do this. You realize your child's frustration at not being able to express themselves and it is a great way of changing frustration into curiosity."

It is a common mistake to think that a child is behaving in a certain way to annoy us - when the reality usually is that they are behaving as they should - as a child - and by not recognizing that and helping them to have alternative positive responses, we parents fall into the trap of reinforcing undesirable behaviour. Another problem which Sue is addresses is how we as parents need 'time out'. "We tell our kids to take time out," she says, "we might send them to the bottom step to reflect - well sometimes we need this as well, we should give ourselves the privilege! Sometimes we have to recognize, 'this is the best I can do today'. We project onto our children negative intentions which aren't there. When we take some 'me' time, we can see this and those moments of being who I am as well as being a parent, these can be helpful in influencing our moods."


Parenting Editor
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