While I was trying to decide what to write about today, I became frustrated because I kept coming up with all these “how to cope with” ideas.  I didn’t really want to write a blog post about that today.  So I took a break to read an article I’ve been wanting to read about Quantum Psychology that focused on eliminating “isness” which included all forms of the word “is” or “to be” from our language.  The article included examples of how to eliminate “is.”

John is unhappy and grouchy    to     John appears unhappy and grouchy in the office

John is bright and cheerful         to     John seems bright and cheerful

That is a bad idea                       to     That seems like a bad idea to me

Bread is better than crackers    to     I prefer bread to crackers

As I was reading this article, it occurred to me that this concept can be used to become a better parent.  “Isness” is judgmental.  Just because we perceive John to be unhappy and grouchy, doesn’t mean that John is feeling unhappy and grouchy in the way we think.  John might be affected by poor lighting in the office, or poor air circulation, or some other thing that we aren’t aware of.  Maybe John ate a high carb sugary breakfast and his blood sugar dropped.  We really don’t know.

If we apply this principal to our children, it seems to me that we would save ourselves from a lot of negative interactions and be more productive, thereby eliminating a lot of stress in the family.

For example, if your child appears to be whining and you don’t know why, rather than tell him “I hate it when you whine” try, “You seem irritated by something, can you tell me what you need?”

Of if they appear to be in a bad mood or angry instead of “Don’t take your bad mood (anger) out on me,” try, “You seem to be in a bad mood (angry), did something happen?”

In this way, we are not judging our kids, we are not telling them how they feel.  We are telling them how we perceive them at that moment and opening a door to allow them to communicate to us how they are feeling or what is going on with them at that moment.  Modeling nonjudgmental communication is a great way to teach your children, especially your teenagers, a more productive way to communicate that makes deeper connections possible.

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Janet Martin - June 15, 2011

It’s a skill you have to practice like a foreign language, or when you’re under stress, which is precisely when you need this, is when you’ll revert to your habitual less enlightened responses.

    Julia - June 15, 2011

    Yes, precisely Janet. We do have to practice this as it’s a real challenge to change the habitual ways we react to things. I read the article as part of a program I’m doing called Super Mind Academy. They ask you to take an hour out of every day to practice not using the word “is” in any of it’s forms. It does not come naturally, I can attest to that.

    It is a great exercise in retraining our thought patterns though. After several weeks, I find that I am giving thought to how I am about to phrase something.

    I’m glad you came by and read the post. Thank you for leaving a comment.

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