Once you make a choice to be a Potentialiser®* your kids will undoubtedly notice the change in your approach. In fact, one lady shared with me recently that she had tried taking a more questioning approach with her teenage daughter and her daughter had been taken aback for a moment and then said “Mum, are studying psychology or something?!” This made me smile and demonstrated how much the daughter had gotten used to being told what to do which made that the change in approach to asking Better Questions very obvious.
In my book, I talk about the options as to how to handle resistance like this, so in this blog, I wanted to focus more on the fact that once you have started on the journey of asking Better Questions and handled any initial resistance it is important that you are consistent in your Parenting style from that point onwards. I do appreciate that you may forget sometimes, and this is to be expected at the outset, but the advice I want to share is to remember to be consistent in your approach.
When you start to ask those Better Questions it is like a door opens and you give your child permission to start thinking for themself and empower them to start making their own decisions in appropriate situations. This communication style engenders trust and demonstrates your respect as well as enables them to build their confidence to make decisions and trust their own judgment. So once you start on this journey it is important to be consistent in your approach – accepting that there still be times when it is appropriate for you to ‘tell’.
Changing your communication approach to one that is more about ‘asking’ effectively draws a line in the sand about how you wish to parent and the clear positive messages that it sends to your child is one that will be beneficial to them as they develop into young adults and beyond. So another consideration that becomes important here then is where there are two parents in the child’s life that a consistent approach is taken by both parents. Clearly, if you have one parent that takes a more empowered asking style and the other is more authoritarian and controlling then the child is getting very mixed messages that will confuse and potentially disappoint them.
One lady that I talked to who had read my book said that she immediately handed the book to her husband to read as, not only was she sure that the Better Questions approach was going to enhance her parenting communication style, she also knows that she wanted her husband to be able to adopt the same approach too. I was inspired by this action as it demonstrated a real commitment to adopting the technique and ensured that their children had consistent messages from both of their parents.
Of course, in addition to the benefit to the children, the other added benefit is that both parents are now sharing the journey to learning to become a Potentialiser® and so can encourage and support each other as they practice the art of asking Better Questions. So a real win-win for everyone!
* POTENTIALISER – potentialiser
Meaning: Releaser of amazingness in yourself and others