In coffee shops, I overhear women talking. Often about their children.
What often stands out is the negative descriptions – they don’t listen, they’re strong willed, they’re struggling.
I often hear moms speak of daughters as “She has her own mind.”
Sons are often considered disconnected, doing their own thing, silly, childish, and/ or “you know how boys are”.
I believe wholeheartedly the moms aren’t being mean or negative. I think they’re trying to find another perspective or get help. I think they’re trying to share how hard something is at home, and find encouragement, or a parenting tip, or something to give them direction or hope.
What I wish I could write them on a napkin is “Your daughter? Oh my gosh. She’s incredibly intelligent, really understands science and has terrific friends who love her.” Or, “Your son is a handsome, hard working guy with big dreams for his future in music.”
When we internally label who our kids are, science shows that’s how we’ll see them.
In fact, how we see them, is how we treat them.
Know what happens next? It’s how they start to act.
Our teen does something wrong, and while we’re lecturing, we bring up the last 15 times they did this thing, and shame on them and when will they ever learn/change/ stop?
They feel judged and guilty and literally have no other coping skill except to believe what mom just said (or disbelieve it and rebel).
Next day, same thing because mom’s perspective is one of waiting and ready for this kid to do something wrong again.
But what if mom waited for this kid to do something right? To hold a higher expectation? To believe in more? What if the only thing that changed was mom’s perspective?
What if that?
Then she might ask questions instead of blame. Or give an unsolicited hug.
I don’t know. Something might change.
Easiest parenting tip: Here’s a video that will change your parenting in 3 fascinating, science based minutes. I nearly promise that you’ll know exactly how to tweak your thoughts to change your connection to your child/tween/teen.
How do you see your kid the majority of the time? What’s your perspective?
It may be the easiest parenting tip ever: Our thoughts really can change their world.