PARENTING + TOOL
Michael Jackson was a profound lyricist with some interesting insights. MJ probably isn’t the person you’d expect me to write about on Choose the ‘Tude, but I love his song “Man in the mirror” particularly the chorus…
I’m starting with the man in the mirrorMichael Jackson – Man in the Mirror
I’m asking him to change his ways
And no message could have been any clearer
If you want to make the world a better place
Take a look at yourself, and then make a change
Why is this important?
Because we are the models for our Little Peeps. They look up to and learn from us by observing how we behave, what we say, the tone we use, how we treat ourselves, things and others.
Have you ever experienced one of your little peeps doing imaginary play or talking to one of their siblings using the exact same language and tone as you? I can think of several times when Miss D has directed Mr T to do something exactly how I have directed her–stern tone and all. Or Mr T negotiates something how I negotiate with them on occasion. They are smart little sponges soaking up everything we do.
Little Peeps are amazing imitators
To me, this is the perfect reminder that my Little Peeps are a reflection of me #MiniMe They are amazing little imitators that I can learn a lot from if I’m brave enough to take a look in the mirror and really check-in.
If I find my Little Peeps displaying undesirable ‘Tudes or behaviours, it’s a sign for me to stop and take a look at how I’m being, the words and ‘Tudes I’m choosing. Luckily that goes for the good and the not so great examples.
Not always, but sometimes I’m the cause and they are simply reflecting what I’ve been modelling.
So take heed of MJ’s words. “Take a look at yourself and then make a change”. Then you’ll really experience what it’s like when you ask them to choose their ‘Tudes. Sometimes it’s easy… sometimes, not so.
What if other people are being modelled?
In some cases, you may not be the cause of the ‘Tude challenges. In these scenarios your role is to understand the situation that triggers the ‘Tude and behaviour, then model the ‘Tude you’d like them to use in the circumstances.
Have a chat with your Little Peep one on one and see if you can work out what is causing their feelings and emotions. Once you’ve identified the scenario, then you can help them to discover solutions. Be careful not to solve it for them without involving them in the process. You support their need for Competency when you let them figure it out.
Focus on the behaviour, not the Little Peep
It’s not about making anyone right or wrong or blaming and shaming. You are helping your Little Peep observe the words or behaviours as opposed to the person. You can do this by asking questions such as:
Identify the triggers: “What specifically is Suzie doing to make you feel sad? What words does she use?”
Acknowledge your Little Peeps feelings: “And how does that make you feel?”
Acknowledge the culprit may be having challenges of their own: “How do you think Suzie is feeling?”
Discuss choices to handle the situation: “So what do you think you can do if Suzie says XYZ again?”
You may need to encourage and add a few little suggestions here, but give your Little Peep a chance to explore and answer for themselves so they develop the skillset.
HOT TIP: The questions above are also great to direct at yourself when you’re taking a look in the mirror or reflecting on how you’re handling things. #WinkWink
So next time you see your Little Peeps displaying interesting ‘Tude and behaviours, before reacting in the moment, take a second and think of MJ “If you want to make the world a better place, take a look at yourself and make a change.”
Other resources you may find helpful:
Although we have the super quick ‘Tude Choosing Technique eCourse. If you’re interested in learning about what causes ‘Tudes and how you are showing up in the world – I highly recommend doing the Advanced Master Class. You’ll learn the 2-minute ‘Tude Choosing Technique + you’ll get a much better understanding of yourself.
For those who need quick access to the ‘Tude Choosing tool!
For those who want to know how and why this works!