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