Parenting expert, author and podcaster Kyriaki tells us our kids are constantly taking in vast amounts of stimuli every day. As parents we can help them interpret these experiences in ways that will serve them their whole lives.
- What does it mean to create positive narratives?
- You’ve heard the saying, there are two sides to every story? Creating Positive Narratives means focusing on the story that is most positive or empowering.
- After an experience, children have only a few seconds to a few minutes where they form an opinion about what happened.
- In his book, Personality Isn’t Permanent, Dr. Benjamin Hardy gives the example of a time his son was pushing his young sisters in the stroller and lost control, almost causing the stroller to go over into a ditch. Describing this as “the time he saved his sisters” was empowering versus labeling it an “accident” which is disheartening.
- What this is NOT
- This is not brushing off feelings or telling our kids their “OK” or it was “nothing” if they get hurt or scared.
- This is allowing them to feel their feelings and then framing the experience in a way that will empower or serve them every time it is discussed or revisited.
- What narratives do we create?
- We are constantly creating narratives – around our family history, our marriages and divorces, friendships, etc.
- Research has shown that couples who look back on their history, even hard history with humor or a sense of overcoming victory were more likely to stay together than couples who look back on hard times with contempt or judgment.
- As we tell and retell our stories, we can frame them in a truthful light but one that’s helpful not hurtful.
- How do we create positive narratives?
- Rather than focusing on the negative, simply focus on the positive or empowering.
- For example, if you or a loved one experienced a life threatening illness in the past – instead of saying things like “that was scary,” you can choose to say things like, “that was a really hard time that we overcame together!”
- Why is it important to help our kids create positive or empowering narratives?
- Narratives help create identity and a sense of belonging, which is so important for kids in their formative years.
- The way we frame relationships, family dynamics and difficult experiences affects how they process similar experiences in the future.
- I love when families attach identities to their narratives, i.e. “we are the type of people who figure out hard things” or “this family always sticks up for one another.”
Pick up a copy of Kyriaki, “Motherhood is Big Enough”, is now available in ebook format on Amazon. Also, download the denmother podcast wherever you get your podcasts and follow along on IG at @the_kyriaki and online thedenmother.net.