The power of attraction for parents

Posted by Samantha on August 4, 2011 in Expectations, Letting Go |

A mother becomes a true grandmother the day she stops noticing the terrible things her children do because she is so enchanted with the wonderful things her grandchildren do.

Lois Wyse, American advertising executive, writer and journalist (1926 – 2007)

Mostly enchanting...

I am not immune to noticing the “terrible things” my children do.  I really wish I didn’t do this.  So every day I practice letting go of my irritation and reminding myself that of course my children will squabble on a rainy day when they’re stuck indoors with just each other for company (and their new kitten – plenty of squabbling opportunities there) and too few opportunities for running off all that energy.

And even on a rainy day like this, the truth is that my children do far more of the enchanting stuff than the other stuff.

I also practice this letting go because it is a fact that what we pay attention to is what we get more of.  Whether you call it the power of attraction or positive reinforcement it’s undeniably how things work.

If you keep your mind on how annoying your children are, that will influence what you notice and how you feel and you’ll leak all that irritation into your family environment.  Your children will pick up on the fact that you think they’re irritating and then that’s how they’ll behave – irritatingly.  This is a recipe for the turbulent adolescent years that too many families experience.

But if you take a leaf out of a grandparents’ book and start to notice how enchanting your children are (at times!), you’ll find that you feel more positive about them.  Then this is what you’ll be transmitting with your body language and your tone of voice and your energy.  Your children will sense that you mostly generally like them and then they’ll behave in generally mostly likeable ways!

We try hard to pretend that it isn’t this simple.  But it really is.

That said, today’s additions to our sitting-room wall are two pieces of A4: one is titled “Things you CANNOT do when you are angry” and the other “Things you CAN do when you are angry”.

It’s working already.  Why did I not do this before??

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