lazy-clever-pretty-what-labels

Lazy, clever, pretty – what labels have you given your children?

If I read a label on a can, it tells me what to expect to be in the can. I can’t turn a can of baked beans into a can of tuna just by getting a marker pen and changing the label. But, amazingly we can with our children.

Read more

Our kids have labels. Sometimes the label reads ‘bright kid’ or ‘naughty boy’ or ‘nuisance’ or ‘pretty girl’. Sometimes it’s their mates or teachers that put labels on a child – but more often, it’s us, their parents. Kids ‘read’ their labels and act accordingly. If they think they clever, they’ll act clever, if they think they are dumb, they’ll act dumb. If they think they are a naughty boy then chances are, that’s the way they will behave.

Change the labels and you change the child. For instance, if we start saying that a child is kind, and they believe it, they will become kinder. If we congratulate them on good choices, they will re-label themselves and make good choices.

We might not actually realise when we are putting labels on kids. Often it’s our tone of voice or facial expression that does the job. “Bring it here.” “Go back and close that. Nicely!” Here’s some homework – listen to yourself as you talk to your kids and ask yourself, “Do I use that tone of voice with any other adult?”


Book a session with a Family Coach

family-coachSometimes family life is way more challenging than we had ever imagined. We would like it to be a lot more enjoyable, if only we knew how. Family coaching is designed to meet you where you are at, whatever stage you are at on your parenting and relationship journey. We want to be on the journey with you. To find out more and to book a session, click here.

Share

About Author

John Cowan

Writer, speaker and broadcaster, John Cowan shares his insight and opinions about the latest in parenting and family news in New Zealand. Hear John speak on radio stations every week throughout the country and regularly on national TV.  Follow @JohnCowanNZ on Twitter

Comments are closed.