Today’s Lesson

I learn something new every day and today it is this:

When trying to advise a young person (or any person come to that) do not start with a negative. Point out the solution before you mention the problem it is aimed at addressing, because starting with the problem turns off ears, gets backs up and prevents the positive from either ever getting said or being listened to.

Why I didn’t realise this before I don’t know, but now I see that this isΒ why I feel like I’ve constantly repeated myself with advice to my daughter on a certain issue for the past 7 years and she has never taken a blind bit of notice of me. I started with the negative each time and she never heard the advice I was giving out of love and concern for her, all she heard was the criticism and it hurt her and made her switch off.

It’s never too late to admit you’ve been wrong and to put the record straight and thankfully I realised today that by tackling things in a different way a problem sometimes becomes instantly solvable.

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7 thoughts on “Today’s Lesson”

    1. It only just clicked. I upset her and I hate to do that and i sat and thought to myself why is it that every time I try to give her advice with this she always gets upset and never takes any notice and then the problem resurfaces. It’s the only contentious issue we ever had and it’s frustrating that every time we try to address it it ends in tears for both of us.

      I realised then that I start with the problem and criticism. Today I apologised again and said “have you ever thought of doing this…” [advice first] “because if you did it would stop this from happening” [bad thing last] she finally listened to me.

      Usually it’s “why on Earth are you doing [bad thing], I’ve told you before [alienation] why don’t you [she’s upset and not listening]” No matter my tone of voice or my approach she’s hearing negativity.

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  1. Do they talk about the concept of the “compliment sandwich” over there, Michelle? I believe that’s where you sandwich your negative thing in between two positives so that the person receiving the criticism doesn’t start off on a negative footing and then ends up with something nice to cushion to blow. Very similar to what you’re talking about! πŸ™‚

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    1. No, I’ve not heard of that before, that’s even better! I will be sure to use it in future. It’s odd because I do it all the time with my students and then mess up when it comes to my own child.

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