Let me ask you a question: How naughty does a child have to be to not get presents at Christmas?
This is where we get everything so wrong.
You do not get naughty children. You get good children who sometimes do naughty things.
How many naughty things does a child have to do in a year to be so bad that they can’t have Christmas presents?
Did you know that we don’t understand the concept of consequences until we’re at least 19 years old? Any threat that does not have an immediate consequence becomes a futile attempt to control behaviour by threatening that absence of something good. We all know that doesn’t work so why do we still do it?
I have a 7 year old daughter. I can’t imagine anything that she could do that would make me take Christmas off her.
Naughty and evil are not the same thing. Naughty and nice are not opposites. Essentially all children are good. Some may exhibit more naughty or attention seeking behaviour than others but study after study has shown that praise is way more effective than punishment in addressing behavioural issues.
So why is it ok to make Santa into this evil character that withholds presents on the basis of occasional behaviour? Why is it ok to make children think they are bad or naughty? They do naughty things, they are not naughty children.
We need to start changing our language. So next time your child does something wrong, take a moment to think about how you tell them off. Make it clear that they have *done something naughty* but that they are not a naughty child, and you love them no matter how they behave. Make it clear that you understand that they didn’t do it with malice or because they are a bad person, but that they did something you don’t want them to do again. Then when they do something well, praise that behaviour. Thank them for doing such a good thing.
Don’t let Santa be evil this year. Enjoy the magic of Christmas with your children.
This story is part of my “How to avoid screwing up your kids” course.
You can download the pdf of this story here
Online course available now!
While we are under parental care we are driven to learn behaviours that give us the best chance of survival. It’s a very primitive drive based on the caveman days where if our parents didn’t bond with us we would die.
These days it’s more complex of course.
As a therapist and a person who experienced an abusive childhood, I am very aware how easy it is to screw up our kids without even trying!
I certainly know that I was very worried about the effect my upbringing would have when I became a parent myself.
There is no right or wrong answer to parenting.
We all do our best. It’s just that sometimes we aren’t aware of the consequences of what we do.
Through my role as a Cognitive Hypnotherapist I get to see the consequences.
In this course what I have tried to do is give you some simple and practical techniques to bring up your kids in a way that makes them resilient enough to cope with whatever life throws at them
What I hope is that through these techniques you can do as much as possible to stop your kids ending up on a couch to seek help from someone like me one day!
To celebrate the launch of this course I am offering you a launch discount for the rest of the week (Offer ends 31st August, 2013)
**usual price $49
*you will need to sign up to Udemy as a student first but it’s free and you will get access to a load of other courses too. It is hosted on a US site so I’m afraid it speaks American currency!
I was listening to a programme on Radio 2 yesterday that was discussing whether or not we should have a GCSE on resilience for kids.
The suggestion and discussion was around how you should teach it in schools.
I listened open mouthed.
Since when did resilience become a thing we learn from books?
Even worse that we feel society is that broken that we shouldn’t just teach it but we should test it too.
Then again, the timing of this programme is good because I am just about to publish an online course which is to help parents understand what they can do to bring up resilient kids.
It’s something a lot of us worry about
Is what I am doing as a parent screwing up my kids?
The course covers:
- The way we build (and can break) the connection between moments and events and what they mean to love
- How to deal with your kids when they are scared of stuff
- A simple technique to change behaviours without losing our temper
- How to teach your kids that we are all unique and how to deal with their own problems
“How to avoid screwing up your kids” Course
The course will be available on www.udemy.com and I will share the link with you once it’s available.