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NLP Presuppositions for Parenting – Part #4 & #5

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Part #4. Every behavior has a positive intent

This is a challenging presupposition as many people find it difficult to understand why some individuals often behave in a confusing or destructive way.

In NLP we believe that underlying every behavior is a positive intention. This applies even to seemingly bad or nonproductive behaviors. What is important here is to uncover the positive intention i.e. the purpose of this behavior, as there is always a reason. Once the purpose is established, find relevant, healthier, and more ecological ways to satisfy this behavior. Thus, you can easily teach or help your child.

Children sometimes do what they do to get your attention and get a parent’s attention. They make some negative behaviors according to you. But their intention is positive. It is to have your attention. You may not have been paying attention to your child due to some overload of work. But your child needs your company. This is the reason he is making this negative behavior. Once you give him attention, he will not make this behavior now

If you, for example, find your teenage child wasting his time, smoking or drinking, take time and understand your child’s intention
behind this behavior and see if together you can explore with a number of other relevant behaviors that can satisfy this same
intention.

Also, if you watch our parenting behaviors, you have the best intentions towards your children, however, sometimes we have wrong behaviors. But by exploring the positive intention, we can creatively explore new behaviors to satisfy this intention.

You as a parent always want to bring up confident and happy children with high self-esteem, yet a number of times, the manner
you use to discipline your children can cause damage to their self-image or self-worth. What you need to do is to keep the end
outcome in your mind and explore new responses especially when you are punishing your child for unacceptable behavior. Be aware of what specifically you want your child to learn. What you want him to pay attention to when disciplining them and check whether that specific form of discipline achieves the outcome that you have in your mind.

Part #5. People are much more than their behaviour

This presupposition helps us separate the behavior from the person. People are not their behavior. Here you need to accept
the person but not their behavior. So, if your child has committed a mistake in solving his maths sum, instead of scolding him, ‘You commit mistakes again and again. You are stupid.’ Say ‘I know you are a hardworking child, but you should solve this sum this way.

Sometimes, children behave badly because they find themselves in an environment that stops them from being the best they can be. Once you change the environment and you change the person. After all, we have learned that each behavior has a positive intention. Perhaps that meaningless behavior is asking you to transform the environment.

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