Tonight, just after dinner, we were all upstairs in the master bedroom and the kids had our TV on for some quiet time. Except they weren’t quiet yet. They were a bit excited, and making plenty of noise.
I hardly ever mind the noise, except that my wife and I were trying to have a conversation. She was washing her face in the bathroom and I was only 6 feet away with the kids, beside the bed. My wife was trying to say something, but it was literally impossible to hear her.
I asked the kids, politely, to “listen to Mommy”, but it didn’t work. Pretty normal so far, right? Yes. But this is where my style starts to divert from the “normal” way of dealing with kids.
You see, I understand that if I keep asking my kids to be quiet, they’ll keep making noise. Then, I’ll get irritated and start nagging them. I might even shout if I got really upset!
Years ago, while I was learning about NLP, I learned a saying. It goes like this: The definition of insanity is to keep doing the same thing while expecting different results. I learned this from Tony Robbins, the motivational speaker guru. But I’m pretty sure he didn’t invent the expression.
But back to the story. What did I do instead? I made use of an Ericksonian hypnosis technique called “utilization”. Dealing with your kids is not hypnotherapy, but the principle still applies. In short the concept is to “utilize” what your child is giving you. In this case, my kids wanted to be the ones talking. My oldest was by far the loudest. She really wanted to be in control. So I gave her a simple task, relating to an upcoming vacation, that would put her in control while also getting her to listen.
What task? Well, we’re leaving for a vacation to Cuba in a few days, and my kids are very excited. They know that people speak Spanish in Cuba. So, I told my daughter, “Sweetheart – tell mommy to say something in Spanish”. I had a feeling she’d go along with this. She did, and my wife said something in Spanish. I have no idea what she said but it sounded cool … one day I will master that language!
Next, I said to my daughter, “Ok great – now tell mommy to repeat what she was saying before”. What happened? My daughter complied. She asked my wife to repeat herself, and then she sat back and listened.
Mission accomplished. Instead of yelling at my kids to be quiet, I simply utilized their desire to be in control. If you are a customer of my audio course, then you may also notice I used a compliance set. Put another way, I used an unconscious reframe to get my kids to see themselves as being in control because they were listening to something *they* had asked for.
Maybe I’m a bit “weird” to suggest that techniques of hypnosis and influence can be successfully used to get children to act appropriately. Maybe … but I prefer to think that it’s weird to keep asking your kids to be quiet and expecting that suddenly they are going to listen. Not gonna happen. Try something new.
My advice to parents is simple. Pay attention to what your kids seem to want, and give it to them in a way that satisfies their needs and your own. You’ll avoid fights, stress, and you will all be a lot happier.
I hope this example was helpful to you. If it was, imagine how much you’ll enjoy my free audio lesson.
Enjoy your children,