Mar 21, 2022
Many of you are searching for tips on how “not to” parent. This doesn't surprise me because I've talked about this on the podcast before. Asking for the “not to’s” instead of the “how to’s” is part of our human condition. It's much easier and more natural to focus on what not to do rather than what to do. I've heard this referred to as the human negativity bias and it's something that we've carried over, it's part of our primal wiring. We're always scanning our environment for things that might feel unsafe or dangerous. So, we're always kind of looking for the negative, looking how we can keep ourselves safe and healthy, what we need to avoid and “Not do.”
That's why when our kids are running by a pool and we might say, “Don't run, don't run.” Instead of saying, “Walking feet, walking feet.” It's so much easier and instinctive to say what not to do rather than what to do. Searching for, “What am I not supposed to be doing?” is somewhat of a natural question. Because even though you don't know exactly what to do, you want to make sure that you’re not doing the “terrible” things, something wrong.
The way to counteract that human negativity bias is through awareness and a lot of the learnings and positive psychology, which I incorporate into Mastermind Parenting. I'm a bit obsessed with neuroscience and I have been for a very long time. I think it's just so amazing that we can actually create new habits that retrain the way that we communicate, retrain the way that we think, and retrain ourselves. It’s that old adage, “You can't teach an old dog new tricks.”
But you can. You just have to practice a whole lot. And when you start to practice little things like focusing on what the behaviors you want, rather than the behaviors you don't want, it doesn't come naturally. It seems so simple, but it doesn't come naturally. So, you have to practice it.
In today’s episode, I’m going to use some simple examples and scenarios which will help you begin to practice this shift from the more authoritarian style of parenting which tends to focus on telling our kids what “not to do,” and move toward some more positive approaches found in Mastermind Parenting. It’s about practicing these skills that let you communicate expectations before things go sideways. It’s figuring out what you want, not what you don’t want.
Listen to this episode for more of my thoughts and strategies on how you can move toward being a Mastermind Parent! And as always, thanks for listening, and be sure and head over to Facebook and you can join my free group Mastermind Parenting Community where we post tips and tools and do pop up Live conversations where I do extra teaching and coaching to support you in helping your strong-willed children so that they can FEEL better and DO better.
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About Randi Rubenstein
Randi Rubenstein helps parents with a strong-willed kiddo become a happier family and enjoy the simple things again like bike rides and beach vacays.
She’s the founder of Mastermind Parenting, host of the Mastermind Parenting podcast, and author of The Parent Gap. Randi works with parents across the U.S.
At Mastermind Parenting, we believe every human deserves to have a family that gets along.