Brain Facts

How to change ‘Tudes with the Pattern Interrupt process

Welcome to the 'Tude blog, created by me to send little reminders and tips to myself and to share with others. Hope you find something helpful. I'm also open to content suggestions, so don't hesitate to share. 

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Feeling a little down or a little flat? You can choose your ‘Tude at any moment to make yourself feel better. Sounds simple and it’s true. Your brain can only hold one thought at a time, so when you’re feeling low, choose something that makes you feel happy and positive. Turn that frown upside down. That’s what The Pattern Interrupt is all about.

In the study of Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP), there is a simple concept that helps demonstrate the difference between positively and negatively charged attitudes. The purpose of the concept is to firstly bring awareness to ‘Tudes, then interrupt negative ‘Tudes and replace them with positive ‘Tudes.

Your brain is similar to a muscle the more you use it for choosing positive ‘Tudes, the more easily and frequently it will deliver positive attitudes naturally. The same applies to negative attitudes. Therefore if you want to be a ‘cup half full’ person with a naturally positive attitude towards life, flex the positive ‘Tudes often. By doing this you also block out the negative ‘Tudes. And just like a muscle that isn’t used, the negative ‘Tudes will eventually wither away.

Although The Pattern Interrupt is a very simple concept, it can take a bit of practice and frequent repetition to build the positive ‘Tude habits to the point they flow naturally. Especially if you have historically been a ‘cup half empty’ kind of person. Here’s how you can help you’re little peeps using a simple ‘Tude Chart.

The Pattern Interrupt Steps:

  1. Print or draw an empty ‘Tude Chart and stick it on your fridge.
  2. Notice your little peeps attitudes throughout the day/week, and note them on the chart, bringing them to your little persons attention as you do so. Praise positive ‘Tudes and place them above the line. Negative ‘Tudes go below the line, no praise or discipline needed, instead…
  3. When you notice a negative ‘Tude, note it on the chart and ask your little peep to think of the opposite. It may already be on the chart, or you may need to add it. Only add it once the child is displaying the new positive ‘Tude. You can encourage them by asking them how the new positive ‘Tude feels, how do they behave when they feel that way, what words would they use? Ask a mix of feeling, thinking, behavioural questions.
Examples of how to use the chart either with BUU Stickers (left) or writing the ‘Tudes (right)

Here’s a menu of ‘Tude choices if you need inspiration.

Once your child is feeling the new positive ‘Tude, praise them and acknowledge the great work to choose their ‘Tude. “That’s awesome ‘Tude choosing Miss D! Notice how easy that was and how quickly you changed from being a Bossy Boots to being Fun & Friendly. Nice choice!”

Here’s a quick look at an example from our household…

Tips for Parents:

There are a few principles to be aware of to make this as successful as possible:

  1. On the chart you’ll notice the ‘Above the Line’ (ATL) area is twice as big as the ‘Below the Line’ (BTL) area – this is to give a non-verbal visual representation that it’s ok to be below the line some of the time, and it’s better to be above the line most of the time.
  2. Look for the ATL ‘Tudes more than the BTL ‘Tudes. You don’t want to inadvertently reinforce BTL ‘Tudes by pointing out every single one. If your little peep is prone to BTL behaviour, choose your times to bring it to their attention. The point is to guide them to understand they can choose a more useful ‘Tude whenever they want.
  3. This tool may not work with extreme behaviour such as temper tantrums, at least not in the throws of a high energy tantrum. You could use it afterwards to discuss how your little peep feels when they have an episode, and then discuss what they would prefer to feel, think and do.

Things you may be interested in…

For those who need quick access to the ‘Tude Choosing tool!

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