What is it that you want? When I first start working with a private client, the first conversation is not filled with behavioral tools and tactics, although sometimes I can’t help myself and start talking about strategies right away. Mostly, however, I focus on hearing about what behavior challenges the family is facing. Recently I've started to ask, "What do you want?" What would your dream behavior be? If I had a magic wand, what would your family look like?
It sometimes takes parents or professionals a moment to switch gears from the conversation about their current struggles into what they realistically want, yet that piece is critical!!
Here’s why: If you’re not clear on the end goal, how do you know where you’re headed?
Many classrooms and homes are run with a different set of values or rules than I would chose. It’s part of what makes the world so fabulously interesting! As long as those values and rules are in place with intention and in the best interest of all beings, I’m all for it. The main point is that you must decide where you’re headed in order for effective behavioral change to happen. (Tweet) Get clear on the behaviors you want to increase and grow, as adding some focus on them is a huge step towards the behavior change you desire.
This concept is not unique to my philosophy, though it does go very well with Mean What You Say, Say What You Mean, one of my Three Phrases to Live By. You can find it in the energetic world in books like The Secret or anything on manifestation. You can find this concept in business, as your first task when when you want to start a business is to write a business plan. In the science community, the hypothesis step is about getting clear about what you’re hoping to find out.
Instead of focusing on the the problems, first get clear on your goals. For example:
- What are you hoping that your small being starts doing when she’s frustrated?
- How would you like your son to react when his brother hits him?
- What would dinner look like in your home if you could wave a magic wand and design it?
P.S. Keep your eyes open next week for the follow up to this blog. It’s all about what to do when you thought you meant what you said, but then the situation changes and you can’t keep your word. There’s a solution!
Ideas into Action!
Take some time now and write down your ideas. Where is your family headed behaviorally? Getting clear will help you get there faster!
Then let me know how it goes. Leave your feedback, experience and thoughts in the comment section below this post or email directly info@BehaviorAndBeyond.net with your behavior insights!
With a little help we can all grow. Keep checking in weekly for more parenting insights at Behavior + Beyond. For personal insights that I only share with my email list, please join my confidential email list below.