Have you ever stopped to think about the stories that you share with your family in everyday life?
Maybe they go something like this, ‘Good morning, I love you. Time to wake up sweetie.’
So far, so good!
But ten minutes later they shift to, ‘Aren’t you up yet? Hurry up! You’re going to be late for school. How many times must I tell you to sleep earlier so that you’re not so tired in the morning?’
Or maybe it begins with, ‘Hi! How was your day, love?’
And then quickly becomes ‘Can you please put that phone down?’ or ‘Are you going to eat that food or just play with it?’
When I meet with parents to talk about all the ways in which stories can help them parent, they always ask for tips on how to manage resistance in their children.
How do we get our children to do what is needed without arguments?
How do we manage all our responsibility and theirs without using commands all the time?
‘Hurry Up! Do your homework. Stop arguing. Eat your food.’
Commands may get the task done but they don’t help us build powerful relationships with our children.
Often commands lead to arguments.
And arguments leave children feeling frustrated and parents exhausted.
If this sounds like a familiar issue in your family, then you can try our storytelling solution.
There are just three steps to it!
When you want to teach your child to act responsibly, help them understand how different choices have different consequences. Link the task you want them to do with how they will feel if they do it and also if they don’t.
Allow them to experiment with the possibilities.
Find a story that shows a character dealing with the same situation and talk about the story with your child.
Try to avoid judging the child’s opinion of the character. Sometimes it takes time for children to understand consequences.
Teaching children to think about feelings gives them the power to act more responsibly and avoid negative consequences.
If you need help finding the right stories for your children, email us to ask about our parent support programme, Children Who Belong.
In this programme (launching 1st December) we show you how to use this solution in everyday life and you even get personal coaching from Giuliana, who helps you to find the best stories for your family. Our email address is: firstname.lastname@example.org.