Featured Author – Pamela Brady Adv Dip Ch Hyp
When you tell your child that they are bold, enough times, they will believe it.
Children don’t develop a logical or rational mind until around the age of 6 or 7. That’s why they believe Santa Claus visits all the children around the world or the Easter bunny leaves eggs in their gardens, they are not capable at a young age of working out the logistics of such tasks. Up until around the age of 7, children rely solely on their care givers to teach them what is safe and what is not safe, who they are and who they are not.
Hypnosis can be described as suggestion that influences feelings and behaviour and, as parents give children around 3,000 suggestions from birth to the age of 7, they are constantly being influenced by what we say and are extremely suggestable. As children live in a world of imagination and are easily influenced, it can be said that they are always in a hypnotic state.
Parenting comes with no instructional manual and we mostly rely on our experiences of being parented to keep our children in line and in turn become functioning members of society or at the very least to appear as if they are so. However, parents often fail to realise that being told to stop crying when they are upset or being yelled at for having a disagreement with your sibling does not teach emotional regulation or conflict resolution. Instead parents do what their parents did and history repeats itself.
When a child is being emotional or oppositional a parent might “try” the naughty step, a time out or punishment. Behavioural approaches to parenting focus on, of course, changing the behaviour, but what effect does this conditioning have on the child’s inner world? These approaches are often criticised as the child can become too focused on a reward, in turn, leading to a lack of a moral compass and a lack of sensitivity towards other peoples’ emotions. But when we look at the word “discipline” what does it mean? A lot of people think it means to punish, and by punish, we mean take away their Games, take their phone, give them the silent treatment, not let them see their friends, ridiculing or shaming them.
But what happens when you punish a child? Do they always see the errors of their ways, right the wrongs and thank you for your efforts? No, definitely not. Sometimes, they carry out what you requested of them, the punishment is lifted and they get clever, they have found a strategy to deal with you, but have they learned the lesson you were trying to teach them, which may have been don’t hit your sister when she calls you names or do your chores? Probably not, they probably get resentful and angry with you or they get clever and learn not to get caught.
Childhood experiences leave lasting effects on our children. We will all damage are children to some extent, some to a greater degree than others, although we don’t intend to or set out to but it is the case. We may pass on our fear of dogs or water to them or we may do everything for them and send the message that we don’t believe they are capable human beings resulting in low self esteem. We may criticise their efforts or not show them love or warmth suggesting they are not worth being respected or are not lovable. Children need repeated experiences to learn and repeated positive messages to promote self belief, self love and positive behaviour.
If there is a difficulty, separate the child from the behaviour. You love your child, but dislike the behaviour. Reinforce their sense of identity. You are kind, you are caring, you are important (The Help) watch them smile and repeat. They will feel better about themselves and believe they are a good kid and their behaviour will change.
Can you imagine how good that would feel, how good I must be if the person I want to impress the most says all these nice things about me, I must be one hell of a person! Love them unconditionally, let there be no conditions attached to love. Love them when they are happy, sad or angry. Let them express their emotions. If you cannot, or wont be with them when they are experiencing all the negative emotions, what message does this send? “Hide those unpleasant feelings, bury them deep where they can only hurt you, or you can treat me how you want and I wont stand up for myself or say how I feel or tell you to stop”. And from a hypnotherapy point of view, we know how unhealthy this is, we see people like this presenting to us with issues such as depression, anxieties, we see people suffering with autoimmune diseases and other unexplained pains and illnesses resulting from these types of experiences above. The messages you send your children will impact and shape the person they become, as did the messages you received. If you could be calmer, take back control of your emotions, if you could let go of your past, if you could be the positive parent you wanted when you were young wouldn’t you choose to be. Hypnotherapy offers this opportunity for those who answered yes.