How to better understand people
I wanted to share one of my favourite tips for helping kids talk about emotions (using an empathic approach). And you actually don't have to do a heap of talking yourself! Jump in and check it out now!
If you want to learn more about how to use empathic connection in your communications and improve your relationships download the FREE starter kit here. It also includes a few tips for managing the silent treatment and the dreaded "i don't knows"!
If you're struggling to find a way to think systematically about how to go about disciplining and training kids; sign up to the waitlist for our course: The Practice of Empathic Discipline (Huddle Wisdom) I want you to have the free mini-course for navigating emotional storms too. We'll send that to you when you sign up to the waitlist for the Empathic Discipline. But if you prefer, you can also just click here Toolkit to get the toolkit!
The key to being influential is connection. You need to be able to connect with someone before they will trust you. If they don't trust you, you cannot be influential. Clearly; this is a critical hurdle for any business person, teacher, parent, doctor, human being. But the connection between people is more porous than you might think.
Humans are supposed to connect but we've somehow unlearned or suppressed this; perhaps because in order to connect to another person it means we need to let our guard down. We have to open up so to speak. The implications are great...because we become vulnerable. But if our intention is to be more authentic and genuine in the world, then we have to somehow find a way to get out of our own way and start building bridges with people. Sometimes, it means getting comfortable with the uncomfortable. Now; I am not saying any of this is easy, and I acknowledge the complexity of our lives and relationships but there's no way around this - in...
Kids are a gift. No doubt in my mind.
But. When they're struggling with stuff they can't figure out themselves. They express emotions that we adults feel inconvenienced by at times.
Think about the person you trust most in your life. The person you feel most drawn to. Now, would you feel comfortable expressing your pain and frustration when you're struggling? Would you feel vulnerable with them? Why not? Do they make you feel safe? Whatever it is you've got, they can handle it - is that what you picture?
Let's be that person for our kids. They need us to help them deal with stuff.
If kids could do well, they would do well. Let's give them a chance. Like our trusted person would give us a chance, unconditionally.
I'd like to share 3 of my favourite concepts that helps me to help my kids figure out tricky problems and how to go about solving them.
I hope it blesses you and helps you and your kids do well together.
In most cases, fussy eating is a part of growing up. It's an expression of independent thinking and a need for mastery and control over one's environment, body and choices. But, I don't hear parents celebrating! Fussy eating can be exasperating.
But let's take a step back and think a little bit about what we would be doing if we were presented with limited food options that didn't appeal to us. Have you ever travelled some place where the food wasn't really stuff you'd eat? How did the locals treat you? Did they force feed you? If they did, I'm sure you wouldn't visit right? (1 star review!!!) We might be curious about the strange new foods there but we'd prefer to try them at our own speed.
Here are some tips to help you adjust your 'speed' and help your kids try the 'local' cuisine in your household.
The first thing is to keep your cool around meal times to minimise stress for your child (I know you will be stressed enough for the both of you); otherwise, Kids will...
Every emotional storm has a lifecycle. This pictogram is one way to visualise the antecedents (things that feeds the storm) and the factors that siphons energy away from the storm.
I suggest using it as a way to develop your understanding of how the storms in your life live and breathe.
The short version of this post, is that we cannot extinguish an emotional fire. Unless it's ready to be extinguished. In most cases, we have to just let it pass. Now that's highly inconvenient. But like in nature, a storm is just a storm. Nothing more, nothing less. It's only when that storm happens to pass over some hapless township and causes havoc that it becomes a disaster. The nature of the storm hasn't changed though. This is not dissimilar to what we observe when children (or adults for that matter) experience an emotional storm...once it starts, it is very difficult to stop.
So what can we do about it? Well we can work to understand it's nature for instance. What feeds the storm? What saps it of energy? What gives it momentum. If we can learn more about it's lifecycle, we can start to plan and put together a 'disaster kit' so to speak. We can do better though. Prevention is always better than cure, but sometimes we simply have to batten down the hatches despite our...
I talked about this in episode 001 of the Huddle Wisdom podcast and expand on some key ideas here.
1. Backchatting is neither good nor bad; it is simply something that indicates the difficulties a child has with the demands of the environment. Therefore we ought to feel personally attacked, but it's difficult for us adults not to be offended by the insolence of the know-it-all child.
2. Be the adult. Breathe. We must try to remain calm and rational; lest we become part of the 'paddy' fest. Nothing ever gets solved by getting angrier and angrier.
3. Set the culture in your house. Set the rules of engagement. Praise your children when you catch them following the rules. This is more likely to reinforce the behaviour you want to see. It's better to praise behaviour you want to see than admonish behaviour you don't want to see.
Listen to Episode 008 on the Huddle Wisdom Podcast for a little more...Dealing with Backchatting.
If you want to get a better handle of empathic connectedness that helps you deal with various tricky situations like backchatting...
In the heat of the moment, us adults just want to rid ourselves of the emotional fire our kids have ignited for us.
For many of us, it's incredibly difficult to keep our composure and not add fuel to flame, lest do or say something that we regret later.
The H.A.L.T acronym is great and easy to remember.
H is for hunger - are we hungry? are our children hungry? None of us do well when we're starving. So let's make sure we feed the beast! Make sure the kids get something to eat when they get home from school. And there's definitely something to be said of making sure they get 3 square meals and something to snack on in between (fibrous fruit and nuts is great to sustain their energy levels).
A is for angry - we have to empathise with that, acknowledge that feeling and validate them. But we have to pick our moments when we want to discipline or teach. Wait for the flames to peter out first.
L is for lonely or lost - sometimes when our kids are...
Sometimes we make impulsive decisions in the heat of the moment when our lizard brains get far too ferocious. It's not all our fault, we were designed so that our limbic systems kick into gear when we sense threat or danger in the environment.
But sometimes we need a wizard to keep our lizard brain in check. We need a wizard to be able to assess threat with a little more nuance so we're not making decisions that we might regret later.
Of course, it's important that our lizard brain helps us to stay away from danger or deal with danger if it is imminent. But sometimes we use our lizard brain too much when we're making decisions in the future, and we over-estimate threat; that's when our wizard brain is more useful.
The reality is that we need both lizard and wizard. But i think it's better that the ol' wizard is riding the lizard than the other way around!
Tune in to Episode 7 of the Huddle Wisdom Podcast where I talk about this a bit...
Sometimes kids have a hard time talking to you about things when they need the most help. Learn to use emotional intelligence and empathic connection to gain co-operation without the friction.