You’re on the phone having an important conversation. One of the children’s making a lot of noise and you nervously tell them to be quiet. They don’t take any notice whatsoever. You’re getting irritated. You keep telling them to be quiet. You seem to be having no impact at all. In the end, you lose your cool and threaten the child. “If you don’t stop making a noise we won’t go to the park today.”
If you’ve generated enough fear the child will stop for a while, but if you look closely you’ll see they feel really confused. They haven’t clearly understood what you want. They’re reacting to the fear. If you haven’t generated enough fear, they carry on making noise a few seconds later. It’s as if they can’t hear you.
Let’s have a look at what’s really going on here.
Children respond far more to your energy than your words. If there’s a conflict between the energy and the words, the energy usually wins. If your energy is nervous and very focused on how noisy your child is you’re sending a signal to the child to be noisy, even though your words are saying the opposite. The more nervous and irritated you become about the noise, the stronger signal you transmit to the child to be noisy.
At the same time your nervous energy confuses your ability to communicate clearly. Negative emotions scramble the message you want to transmit so it often becomes virtually unintelligible to others.
Watch anyone who’s communicating from a place of negativity. You’ll see how hard it is for them to be clearly understood by others. People will misinterpret them, make more mistakes and become less competent than they really are in this kind of atmosphere or energy.
If you want to turn it around …
Everything gets easier when you see that your energy affects your children directly. It’s more significant than your actions or words.
When you’re happy and peaceful, happiness tends to reign throughout the family. If someone gets upset it’s easier to handle and other members of the family don’t react so much.
When you’re nervous, frustrated and angry you’ll see this reflects in your children. It looks like they’re pushing your buttons, but in reality those buttons are already flashing red.
It’s better to take a long term strategy if your children often don’t listen to you. Put the focus on you, not them, and pay attention to how you feel.
Give yourself permission to feel good. Do things that help you feel happier. Find ways to enjoy yourself. Take some time for a little peace and relaxation when you can. And above all, build a habit of daily relaxation. It starts to pay off within days, but over months you’ll experience profound change. You can literally see your children become happier before your own eyes, the more you relax and feel good.
And the same goes for any other relationship – at work or at home.
If you want to build a habit of daily relaxation here’s the simple place to start: The 30-Day Energy Challenge