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Parenting as a Life Skill

How learning Neuro-Linguistic Programming helps you deal with young children and teens

When you first become a parent, you are faced with the world's toughest job without prior experience or a Users' Manual. Every parent starts off as "The Best." We vow to become the finest parent, never fall into traps that we have witnessed all our lives, and become our children's best friends. But as our little munchkins start to grow, the reality begins to sink in.

Parenting Rules and Patterns

In theory, we believe in a set of parenting rules. But in practice, we fall into the vicious trap of patterns that we have seen, observed, learnt from our parents or things we believe are the RIGHT WAY; despite contradicting evidence.

If you keep doing what you have always done, you will get the results you have always obtained.

More often than not, parents tend to get so frustrated with their children and teens' behaviors that they overlook the most important thing: The desired outcome. While addressing behavioral issues with your children, it is important to focus on what you WANT, say attention, discipline, or interest, rather than what you do not want like tantrums, untidy, or disobedience.

This is exactly why every parent needs to develop and work on some essential skills that will help them raise the children they wish to have, rather than getting frustrated about the children they're stuck with.

Below we take a look at the importance of a few of those essential skills and how you can learn to effectively incorporate them into your child-rearing style.

1. Effective Communication

We can never stress this enough: communication is the key to every closed door. Effective communication means that what you think you are saying is what the receiver of your words is hearing. When communicating with your children, it's easy to get carried away and start shouting when you realize your kids are not paying attention.

  • Verbal: However, you need to stop and rethink what you just said. Everything will count towards effective communication by rephrasing your sentences, communicating with proper body language, and changing your tone and words. Perhaps you are phrasing your command as a question, such as: "Why won't you tidy up your room," in which case your kids would start thinking of reasons instead of beginning to tidy up. Being clear and specific is the first rule.

  • Body Language: Then there is your tone and body language. Saying:" I love you" with clenched teeth might not sound like an expression of love or tenderness and will probably infuse wrong ideas in your children's minds. Dropping your voice level, pausing to stress, and calming up your tone also helps tremendously.

  • Tone and Setting: With teens, it gets even trickier. They perceive things with a hundred experiences of their own. The best thing to do with your young adults is to Develop Rapport. Sit them down, have a chat, share a meal try to be a part of their interests to open up more easily without considering you an outsider in their world.

If you still find it hard to effectively get your message across, there is always NLP. Learning NLP techniques equips you with a range of effective communication tools which are especially useful in communicating with your kids and teens.

2. Dealing with Behavioral Issues

While dealing with your children's behavioral issues, it is important to understand why your child is behaving roughly. Is it because they need attention, they are feeling frustrated, angry, or unheard?

The key here is to understand the underlying intention and address the issue at a core level rather than scolding off or punishing them for a bad habit or action. If it's the lack of attention, you know what to do. Try having a talk to fully comprehend their viewpoint first.

There is a basic presupposition in NLP that asserts: every behavior has a positive intent.

It might sound bizarre for someone unfamiliar with NLP, but once you believe this statement, there are a lot of inroads that you can make with behavioral issues. Even the seemingly nonproductive or harmful behaviors tend to be the result of a positive intention. Each individual is a sum total of their lifelong learning, and their behavior is the manifestation of things that they believe are their best options.

Once you understand the intention, the cause of this behavior, you can come up with healthier alternatives.

NLP also teaches us to be better parents by examining our own behaviors. We all wish our kids to be confident and smart, but sometimes, trying to discipline them with good intentions might damage their self-esteem. Slapping your kids because they are violent actually reinforces the idea of violence. Think about what you want to achieve and then utilize your tools of discipline because every action will have an impact.

3. Molding Better Humans

The most important goal of parenting is to develop future adults with higher values, morals, a positive outlook, nicer habits, and an acute sense of self.

You can help inculcate your child's self-confidence by letting them make small decisions on their own, asking their opinion in every matter, and helping them pick up sports, interests, and hobbies. To make them more self-assured, let them know that it's ok to make mistakes and learn from them. Teach them about the value of taking calculated risks.

When we learn NLP techniques, we understand how to help children visualize and plan and engender the elimination of limiting beliefs. NLP also equips you with tools that can assist you in molding better humans for future generations.

4. Help Them with Schooling

Another important skill that parents must develop is to become an educator. The teaching we know is a specialized job in which not every parent has the patience to partake. However, there are some things that you can learn through neuro-linguistic programming which might come in handy in teaching your young ones.

One NLP learner shared her experience of applying NLP spelling techniques, where she guided her child with the NLP Spelling strategy, which involved observing and learning from the best spellers in the world.

Similarly, other techniques such as Visualizations, Anchoring, Sub Modalities, etc. which are widely practiced in NLP and are immensely useful in teaching and schooling young children.

5. Enjoy Better Relationship with Teens

Each individual has a personal map of the world which they perceive through their own filters, i.e., value system. To better understand our children, it is essential to see their world through their eyes.

Once you learn how to be a part of their world, you can have more effective communication with your young adult children and work to steer them gently in the direction you consider best. NLP helps you with such tools to communicate with them.

Parents are humans, and humans make mistakes. If things go wrong, take a step back, listen to your children, observe their reactions, and then try again.

Like we say in NLP, there is no failure, just feedback.

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