The Power of Suggestion
Words have power! The messages transmitted from a parent or teacher to a child become deeply embedded in the child’s beliefs. Essentially, words are hypnotic.
Hypnosis has a mysterious reputation, and one popular belief about it is entirely false: that it involves someone taking control over another’s mind. The reality is that hypnosis works only by the power of suggestion, and at no time does a hypnotized individual lose their free will. During hypnosis, an individual is eased into a state of mental receptiveness or suggestibility, and then a transformative verbal message is repeated. The goal is to program new ideas into the subconsciousness to change behavior.
The words we tell our children are hypnotic. Given their early development and the great trust they place in us as parents and teachers, children are already in a highly suggestive state. Therefore, we must be intentional with our messages. Do our words convey belief that they are good, smart, loving and capable? Or do we feed their subconscious minds with notions of naughtiness, laziness, and incompetence?
For example, halfway to school in the morning, a child says, “Oh no, I forgot my book!” As parents, we may reply: “Why are you always forgetting things? You don’t remember anything.” Or we can reply, “Well done, you remembered your book. You always remember.” Both are transformative messages conveyed in a vulnerable (suggestive) mental state. Which message would we like our children to encode?
The point to be made is simply the power of our words… As parents and teachers, we are like hypnotists, and with every statement to our children we are feeding their self-images and molding their subconscious. So be intentional with your message. Suggest only what you want the child to believe!
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- Published in Behavior Management, Development, Dr. Katen's Blog, Healthy Living, Parenting, Relationships, Successful Living, Teaching
Boundaries and Behavior Management in the Classroom
- Published in Behavior Management, Dr. Katen's Blog, Healthy Living, Teaching
The Five Fundamentals to Behavior Management in the Classroom
- Published in Dr. Katen's Blog, Teaching
Teaching Others How to Treat You: The Art of Boundary Setting
Setting boundaries is fundamental to building healthy relationships. We probably all agree on this but may have different ideas about what boundaries are and how to set them. This week, I want to discuss some pitfalls of setting boundaries, and then offer some alternatives and other tips.
A boundary separates one person’s thoughts, feelings, and actions from another person’s. In other words, it defines where you leave off, and I begin. Different kinds of relationships have different boundaries.
Boundaries fall along a spectrum:
Enmeshed Healthy Rigid
(too close, ill defined) (clear, appropriate, comfortable) (too far apart, inflexible)
1.Pitfall #1: Trying to change someone else’s behavior.
- In reality, we set boundaries by changing our own actions, not by coercing or manipulating others.
2.Pitfall #2: Using words to set a boundary.
- Actions set boundaries, not words. Oral demands lead to power struggles.
For example, if while playing a boardgame, a child cheats, asking the child to change her behavior crosses boundaries and doesn’t work. Instead, put the game away, and do something else.
You teach people how to treat you – with your actions (not your words).
- You are always doing this.
- It’s best to set boundaries early (the sooner, the better).
- It’s easier to relax firm boundaries then tighten flexible/unclear ones.
©2021 Individual Matters, LLC. All rights reserved. Feel free to republish so long as credit is given.
- Published in Dr. Katen's Blog, Healthy Living, Parenting, Relationships, Successful Living