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Our latest blog posts, written by the Wilson Centre experts on various topics surrounding child development.

How you talk to your child & their Self-Esteem

12th September 2018

“The way we speak to our children becomes their inner voice.” Peggy O’Mara

Most of us are reactive to situations, especially when it comes to our children.

Picture this; your 4-year-old has just grabbed a hold of your crystal vase from the table… your first reaction is most probably to shout, “No! Don’t touch that!” However the brain does not actually register the word ‘don’t’ and instead focuses on the actioning word, which in this case would be touch… see the problem here?

Changing your reactions to situations is of course easier said than done and takes reprogramming of your brain, which is Neuro-Linguistic Programming or NLP as it is commonly known. An example of how NLP works: if someone says to you ‘do not eat chocolate’ what are you now thinking about? Eating chocolate! Instead someone utilising NLP might say ‘eat fruit & vegetables’- giving a positive actioning statement for the brain focus on.

By utilising NLP you begin to use language in a positive proactive actioning words as opposed negative commands. For example, when your child is doing something wrong, instead of saying ‘don’t do that’, give them a commanding statement, ‘come here and do this’. This will protect your child’s self-esteem as they will not feel as if they are constantly doing wrong. That way when they follow the command they receive praise and feel good about themselves.

Using NLP with our children is all about taking the reaction out of situations, using positive language and ultimately thinking about the effect your words will have before saying them.

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