Recently I saw a family with girl screaming histerically and parents offered her a reward to stop. At first glance it looks like a good idea, but it’s actually not beneficial for the family.
Let me explain with the story. One weekend we visited a very famous temple. It was one of those must-see attractions. So we hired a driver and while driving he explained that the temple is populated with very mean monkeys. We were surprised and he explained that monkeys take one’s possessions (like sunglasses, cameras etc) and can only be retrieved by the guard. Which of course charges »for your protection«. We decided not to hire a guard, yet we put away all our belongings that could get snatched, just in case. We felt safe, but we saw some other groups with the guard loosing stuff. What happened? After the monkey snatched something from the visitor, the guard offered him a chocolate bar in exchange of stolen things. And (not) surprisingly the monkeys were attacking only the groups with the guard. They learned that guards carry chocolate bars and the surest way to get them is to stole someone’s possession. Smart, right? Same as the child in my first paragraph:)
When are rewards not good for your child…
Did you know that the most common New Year’s resolution is to spend more time with family & friends? According to some polls more than 50% people want to appreciate and be more with their loved ones.
But sadly most New Year’s resolutions fail and here are some reasons why:
They are unrealistic – Often times we expect miracles to happen or that you (or something) can change overnight.
They are not really yours – when you see that your next-door neighbor started jogging, you think to yourself: “um, I should get fit too. I’ll do the same.” Or when your mother repeated for the millionth time that you should stop smoking, you say “Ok, maybe now is good time to do it.”
How do you feel about your parenting? Do you enjoy it? Is it easy for you? Do you love every minute? Or are you stressed and frustrated? Do you feel like you need to be so much more and do so much more for your kids?
Maybe you are just trapped in one of the beliefs that are making your parenting hard instead of a joyful, fun and easy experience.
Let’s look at some common myths parents are believing that often make their lives miserable.
Did it ever happened that your child asks you something and your answer is completely out of the line, not even slightly connected to the conversation.
Of course the obvious reason could be that you didn’t listen at all. You could be doing something else or you just weren’t there with your mind, thinking of all the other stuff you need to take care of.
This one is easy to solve. Be present and actively listen. Stop doing and thinking whatever you are doing and thinking and focus on what your child is telling you.
Another reason that your answer could be completely wrong is that you put that sentence in another context, which has nothing to do with the conversation. This happens when the words you hear trigger some of your subconscious memories or emotions, connected to a completely different, often unpleasant story. You go in the flight or fight response, protecting your own world.
The end of the world? Will it happen or not? We already survived few:) But I think we can all agree that our Mother Earth will not vanish yet.
Do you ever think of your world like this? If you replace »world« with your year/day/situation… it’s the same. One day it’s there, then gone, and new one arrives with completely new challenges ahead.
With year coming to an end, it’s perfect time for planning the new one. Which is completely fine, when you are not doing it from the wrong perspective.