Judy is the mother of four children aged 16-29yrs and runs a Kids Therapy business from home in South Bucks, UK. She is the author of 'Be a happier parent with NLP' and the Engaging NLP series of workbooks.
2. Watch out for deletions. Listen to everything that is said without deleting any content. Sometimes we focus on certain words and phrases and miss the rest or we miss the context.
3. Are you generalising? Are you saying that he or she is 'always' saying or doing this or 'never' doing that? Think of the exceptions and work out what works rather than what is not working.
4. Are you distorting what's been said or making assumptions, mind reading? Are you making something of what's been said that isn't a fair reflection of the content e.g. 2+2 = 5.
5. Don't rescue them. That means making the anger go away by bribing them or getting them out of the situation. They won't learn that way. They will gain more self-esteem from managing their state themselves. You can't be everywhere!
6. When a child is angry or upset they are in 'child mode' (Transactional Analysis) where it's hard to reason with them. So to move them into 'Adult mode' ask them a simple question such as "Is this a small problem, a medium problem or a big problem?" or "On a scale of 1-10 how much is this a problem fro you right now?" This will distract them from 'child mode' as they seek to answer your question.
7. If they are way past reasoning you can encourage them to breathe out the anger. Ask "Does your anger have a colour?" Can they breathe it out like a dragon? What colour would calm be? Can they breathe in that colour?
8. If their anger was an animal what animal would it be? What does this animal want? Can they stroke it and calm it down? Give it some love?
9. Tell them to put their hands to their heart and say " I feel........." (cross, sad, angry, hurt... or even... I don't know how I feel). Then ask them to open their hands out in front and say "Right now lots of other children feel just like I feel. I'm not alone, lots of children feel like this." Then they put their hands back to their heart and say "What I need now is........". It could be that they need to say 'sorry' or ask for a hug, or just rest quietly in their room. This is a self-compassion break.
10. Teach them how to anchor a calm state. They need to think of a time when they feel really happy and relaxed. Then imagine you can make that image bigger, zoom in and see yourself relaxed and calm. When they are experiencing a strong sense of calm, ask them to squeeze their earlobe. When the feeling fades, they take it away. You're building an association between the action and a the state of being calm. Repeat the process three times to establish the anchor. They can then use this when they start to feel angry.
The anchoring process is explained very thoroughly in 'Be a happier parent with NLP'.
You can get in touch with me via SKYPE using my ID judy.bartkowiak or email email@example.com or fill in this contact form.