“Waiting is not easy!” – Mo Willems.
You’re standing in line waiting for your morning coffee. There is one employee at the register and one barista. The line behind you is also growing.
You notice that the person placing the order is now asking to see all the ingredients of the milk being used. You just want your coffee!
Oh wait, that was me…and I had to hold myself together and text a friend about the ridiculousness of people.
Now, I have the resources to wait in line, especially because I’ve chosen this particular coffee shop.
Your child doesn’t always have those resources.
I had a conversation with a parent recently about her 4-year-old sitting in his stroller and kicking the stroller of someone in front of him in line.
They were waiting to place a food order. The immediate reaction was, “We don’t do that! You shouldn’t kick someone.”
Followed by all the ways that this person, who only has 4 years of experience, is wrong.
That’s a lot of “nos” and “don’ts” all at once.
Imagine being constantly bombarded with everything you’re doing that you’re not supposed to do all day, every day…especially in school!
Behavior plans anyone?
That simply cannot leave you with a feeling of being good enough.
It also wires your brain into a “no” state, meaning that it becomes fixated, rigid, and less capable of decision-making, problem-solving, reflecting, considering the needs of others, and achieving higher levels of learning.
All those skills are dampened with a NO.
They simply cannot see beyond the moment, react to feeling wronged, and take fewer chances when presented with a challenge.
They only see one solution, and if that solution doesn’t work out, they give up, express that they’re a failure, and never attempt again.
Now, the flip side is that your brain, and your child’s brain, is being wired and rewired all the time.
So, there’s hope! And it starts with you bringing more “yeses” to your repertoire of words.
You can alter brain signals and transform your child so that they view the world with a “yes” brain.
A brain that takes on a challenge because solving a problem is fun and can take a step back to analyze what the situation brings.
What a difference a slight shift in your language and your perception will make.
It will let your child know that you get what it’s like being 4, needing to move, not being able to, and wanting to just throw yourself on the ground.
Practice it and see how going from “no” to “yes” makes a HUGE difference.
When a challenge is viewed as something fun, you’re approaching the world with a brain that’s curious about the unknown. In an environment flooded with “nos,” we are dampening a child’s natural sense of wonder.