This is a great place to start, isn’t it? What this addresses is the premise that certainly I as a parent believed which was that if you keep doing something, eventually it will work. This is a trap we can all fall into at one time or another, often without even realising that we are repeating the same pattern. As parents we may be particularly prone to this as we may follow the pattern we used with our first child with child number two and wonder what’s wrong when they don’t automatically respond in the same way. But our children are different and may each need a different approach. Continuing to repeat the same pattern won’t suddenly begin to work. It’s us who need to think of another way for that child which will be more appropriate for them.
As teachers, when children don’t understand one way you might be explaining a concept, you need to find another way, you can’t just repeat the same explanation hoping that the penny will eventually drop.
Many children expect their parents or teachers to change. ‘It’s all their fault!’ is what they’ll say. What this NLP pre-supposition says is that if the result (what you get) is not what you want, then it is YOU who has to change.
For many children this is a new way of thinking, a new way of taking responsibility.
Do something different.
If you do something different you will get a different result.
This is an excellent challenge for children. How often do they repeat the same behaviour, get the same result and wish they’d got another one?
I love this expression and use it frequently,
‘What would you like to have happen?’
Ask them what they want to happen in the situation and ask them to describe it in detail, even act it out if that helps. If you have a very young child, ask them to draw what they’d like to see happen. Then ask them what they could do differently to make this result a reality. Discuss with them their different options and how likely each one would bring about the outcome they desire.
You may find some resistance. After all, this may be a pattern that’s been going on since early childhood. I find using hypnotic embedded commands quite useful here.
‘I’m wondering what you could do to change this?’
‘I’m curious about what you can do to make this change happen?’
‘I’m wondering when you’ll find another option in this situation.’
Clean Language is useful here as well, especially using the time sequenced phrases. This enables them to understand what happens in order so they can see the structure of the behaviour.
‘…and when you’ve done something different, what happens next?’
‘…and when you do something different before, what happens then?’
‘…and that xxxx… tell me about that.’
‘…and when x does y…. what happens next?’
An activity I also find useful for this belief of excellence is using Story Cubes. Of course, you can simply get them to tell a story about a sequence of events that keeps recurring that doesn’t give them the result they want. However, I find switching to a right-brain activity such as drawing, storytelling or other creative activity helps shift them into a more imaginative frame of mind where they are more open to other options and changing a behaviour pattern. With the Story Cubes, you can ask them to tell you a story of what normally happens and then repeat the exercise telling the story in other ways to get the result they think would work better for them.
If you’re doing this in a school, it would make a great drama activity as groups of students create different outcomes for common playground misunderstandings. You could also set it up as an art activity creating different scenarios or ask students to take videos to show this.
I like the idea of writing a letter from the future to their younger self.
‘Imagine you have achieved this thing and you are writing a letter or text telling your younger self, your x (their current age) year old self, how great it is to be doing it.’
The idea of future pacing is to get the brain imagining and creating that outcome in the future where it has already happened. It’s like mapping your neural pathways ahead of doing the thing you want to do, so they know where they have to go.
If you'd like to know more about how to use NLP to help your kids, here are a few things you can do that are completely FREE.
- Like my Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/NLPEFTKids
- Join my mailing list for lots of tips https://judybart.substack.com/
- Listen to my podcast 'Understanding children and teens' Judy Bartkowiak
I would also recommend my latest books (well I would wouldn't I?!) 'Understanding children and teens' and 'Empower your kids!' . You can get a signed copy from me of course or buy from any of the usual places.