I would like to invite you to feel inside for a short moment and review some of the conversations this week. Do you find such examples?
When a tourist approaches me here in my hometown of Berlin and asks me for directions:
I don’t remember saying at any time, "Don’t go left at the intersection. Do not cross this street. Don’t pay attention to this building and then come where they will."
Sounds like a helpful description? This example makes it somehow clear for me. If I express what I want and need in a moment, yes, that is a small "goal" too. I would like to fulfill my need. So when I ask someone to do something, it’s specifically. My own need for clarity plays into this as well.
"Stop painting the wall in the hallway!" – Who of you, has already said that or something similar?
And who was then surprised when the child immediately completely enthusiastically embellishes the floor with the pens or continues to conjure up colorful pictures on the wall in his room?
Yes, I don’t want my child to paint the wall. Actually, I want it to give free rein to its creativity on a piece of paper.
So please: express specifically what I want. Not only what I don’t want.
At this point, even if it is a little off topic: If there are tears then, my child is perhaps frustrated or sad, I ask for. What was the need behind it, to choose this wall of all things? Do not immediately conclude that the child is careless or wanted to annoy me. Maybe it was also trying to please me with the painting?
Then I can also express how happy I am to see a picture on paper and hang it on this wall.
Many of us did not learn to express needs in childhood.
In my childhood I heard very often what not to do. And in the same way my language has strengthened, I have taken over this. To this day, it’s not easy for me to ask for something very specific. It’s easier for me to say what I don’t want.
But requests are an invitation to another person to enrich my life in this moment.
"Don’t do this… Don’t do that…"
The words alone don’t sound like enrichment to me.
The needs of other people are just as important.
Saying what I don’t want can be taken as a rebuke or a prohibition against acting out one’s needs. In the end, it’s all about developing strategies to meet the needs of everyone involved equally.
I’m just going to pay more attention to phrases with "not" in my communication in the coming week, especially when dealing with my two sons. I am curious how many times these phrases will cross my lips.
Does this sound interesting to you? So let’s give it a try together:
Saying more of what we want and saying less of what we no longer want!
P.S. by Bea: I had already written an article that went in this similar direction: Talking positively with children.
However, this post from mindfulsun gave me a new impulse that I find particularly valuable for me right now as well. While I offered a kind of lightning-fast distraction in my post (see also the examples), here is much more of a suggestion to feel within and recognize the true needs of all involved.
- 11. Jul 2020
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- Needs, Communicating, Communicating with children, Talking positively with children
School founder, mother, eternal child. Believe that creativity is the most important skill of the 21. The company is a pioneer in twentieth-century education and advocates for more serenity in learning, living and parenting. Loves cooking, traveling and DIY and is always trying out some crazy idea, usually with children.
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