Aha! Parenting Blog

Practical solutions for real parenting problems

Your Secret Miracle Maker: Subliminal Communication

"The key to communication is not what we say, but rather the attitude that lies behind what we say... all of us are telepathically communicating all the time.  Every moment, we are choosing to join or to separate, and the person to whom we're speaking feels what we have chosen regardless of our words." -- Marianne Williamson

Did you know your child is a mind reader?  Scientists say that 93% of human communication happens without words.  To insure human survival, kids (even more than adults) are designed to sense their parents’ feelings even when we don’t say a word. Your child may not know what words are going through your mind, but he or she feels your intention.

Are you on his side? Do you have trust in her?

Or are you carrying a chip on your shoulder?  Do you need to be right, which by definition means someone else has to be wrong?

Are you worrying, unintentionally giving her the message that you don’t have confidence in her ability to handle things?

Are you willing to see things from another perspective? To look for a win-win solution? To manage your own anxiety so you bless her with your confidence?

Once your child feels you're on his side, everything can shift. Here's how:

1. Get clear on your positive intention before you open your mouth.  Most of parenting happens inside your own heart. Can't find your positive intention? Think long-term.  It's more important to have a good relationship with your child, and to raise a child who can manage her emotions, than to get immediate obedience.

2. Create a sense of safety for your child by internally affirming your confidence in him. You don't have to yell "Be careful!" as he climbs higher.  Just spot him and ask him if he's staying safe, so he can tune in to his own body.  Worried that today's tantrums mean he'll be out-of-control as a teen?  Not likely, if you help him develop emotional intelligence in the meantime. ( Click here for how to do that.)  Most of us come out ok, and most "misbehavior" is age-appropriate.  Kids do grow up.  Have a little faith in mother nature -- and your own parenting.

3. Move from “fixing” your child to appreciating your child.  Your kid can't change if she feels bad about herself.  Is she hitting her brother?  Set limits on her behavior, of course, but be grateful she's letting you know that something's very wrong for her and she needs your help.  Is he driving you crazy? Find a positive frame through which to view his more challenging traits. (He's not stubborn, he has the integrity to stick to his opinions.) Then, help him learn to manage those traits. If he feels your acceptance and appreciation, he'll welcome your assistance.

Now you can work together, in partnership, to solve any problem.  You’re on the same side. That’s when you make miracles happen.

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