T.E.L.L. the youth what you desire to hear them say and do. Young people learn by repeating what they hear and see. They learn behaviors from their experiences. The younger people in your life learn from YOU. Be mindful and careful what and how you T.E.L.L. them.
Can you honestly and sincerely say, “Repeat after me”?
Today might be a good day to consider how you interact with a younger person. Are your words and actions ones you want repeated?
Please note the Show & T.E.L.L. posts are not written to portray guilt or reward to any caregiver. The posts are intended to share a message about interacting intentionally with young people. Tell Our Children is all about uniting, mentoring, and inspiring caregivers to improve communications with the youth. Every post is intended to empower readers to improve interactions with younger generations. Tell Our Children strives to educate caregivers on ways to better Teach, Encourage, Listen, and Love – T.E.L.L. – young people. We believe everyone can T.E.L.L. youth better.
This is the last post exploring how results and actions can be directly related to how we think. If you have not read any of the four previous posts, you can link here to the previous post to determine where you must begin.
In this series you can see there is a connection between actions and results; however, when you think in more depth your daily actions are related to your attitude in the moment, and your attitude can be strongly influenced by your values. The example being used throughout these posts is a conversation I had with some students about getting an “A” in class. That was their result, and the students could easily identify what actions would contribute to getting this result. This opened the conversation to think about and talk about why the students don’t do these actions so they can get an “A.” In other words, what obstacles or challenges got in the way? The majority of reasons could be directly tied to a momentary attitude, or thoughts and feelings in the moment that allowed them to not focus on the actions and results.
For example, “I’m too tired; I don’t feel like it.” Asking what controls their attitude led us to consider values. If you find value in a situation — in this case education — you will be less likely to have an attitude that stops you from achieving a desired result. If the student values education and learning, the student will have a tendency to show up with an attitude that supports the needed actions for achieving a result. If the student does not explicitly value education and learning, the student may allow his or her attitude to control the action.
As mentioned in the previous post, the good news is values are learned. They are not genetic. A child is not born with values. A child learns what to value depending on life experiences.
Adults can T.E.L.L. — Teach, Encourage, Listen, Love — children to learn empowering values. You can also T.E.L.L. yourself values.
How? By what you feed your mind or what you say to feed the mind of the child. So today the question is: where does the information you feed your mind come from? Is this information empowering your thoughts, values, attitude, actions, and results in life? Or do you feed your mind with limiting ideas that end up influencing your values, attitude, and actions and therefore the results?
When asking students this question, they would talk about the impact of their friends, watching television, school, teachers, parents, books, and church, just to name a few. They would bring up positive and negative influences on the way they think. Some would make a comment about how they need to rethink from where they are feeding their mind.
Now let’s focus on the children in your life. Are you giving them empowering ideas to think about? You identified possible obstacles for achieving the desired result you wish for them; what input will you provide to address these possible challenges? What will you say? What will you do?
Your words and actions, how you Teach, Encourage, Listen, and Love them every day and in these critical moments may impact their values, which ultimately may impact whether they achieve the result you wish for them.
There is no guarantee the result will be achieved; however, you can still do your part to T.E.L.L. them. If not you, then who?
In closing, we are interested in hearing your response to these posts about linking results to thoughts. Did you complete the exercises? Please email your responses to us. You will receive feedback!
Within the next weeks we will share the complete responses from the individuals introduced in the beginning of this series: the mother with older children, the mother of a 4-year-old, a father of teenagers, and a mother of an infant and toddler. Maybe through their responses you can learn more about how you might interact with your child. Yet, the better thing to do is for you to do the exercises. That is how you learn to think in more depth about how your words and actions. What you T.E.L.L. your child every day has an impact on developing values, attitude, actions, and results in life.
Clearly, common sense would tell us that you communicate with a one-year-old child differently than a four-year-old, or a teenager. As the child gains experiences in life, the child collects ideas and develops perceptions. What the child understands at a young age is clearly different than what the child understands at an older age.
An effective interaction is developmentally appropriate for the child. The interaction:
- Involves a child’s current understanding
- Encourages a child to make better sense of a situation
- Gives a child an opportunity to express current thoughts and feelings, and be heard
- Is loving, shows you want only what is best for the child in the present moment.
#6: An effective interaction T.E.L.L.s a child in developmentally appropriate ways.
In every interaction, adults are informing a child about something, whether it is about what the child can expect from you, how to speak and think around you, what the situation could possibly mean, etc. There are many things we T.E.L.L. a child whether we realize it or not. A child is constantly seeking to understand. The child can only understand what she is developmentally capable of understanding in the moment.
What is developmentally appropriate can be as simple as making sure you speak and think in such a way a child understands. Or you can make sure you speak and think in such a way you communicate what is best for child’s well-being and personal growth in that moment.
Interacting in a developmentally appropriate way can also mean speaking and thinking more about how children develop physically, cognitively, and socially. There is good information available to help you better understand the growing child. I will be looking at some of these ideas in the next posts.
For now, try and think about how your words and actions are developmentally appropriate for the child. Ask yourself how your words and actions are being comprehended by a child. How do you know a child understands your words and actions? Are your words and actions appropriate for the child in this moment of time? Do your words and actions allow the child to develop for better, or worse? How are you helping the child develop empowering thoughts, skills, and behaviors?