Why Parents DO NOT see Eye-to-Eye with their Kids
“We all see things and perceive things differently, and this does not just apply to adults, it does too for our young ones. In other words, we all have different models of the world.”
Let’s do a quick activity together.
A word will be presented to you in the next few sentences. Pay attention to what appears in your mind as you read the word out loud. The word is ‘MUMMY’.
What appeared in your mind?
I did this activity in several of my training over the years. And I have collected quite a handful of interesting ideas and answers from all over. Most said they either saw their mother’s faces or the Egyptian mummy. A small handful had more creative answers like the instant noodle snack Mummy. One particular young boy could not stop laughing after the activity and bet that I could never guess what he saw. A few minutes later, I realize the reason of his laughter was a popular advertisement (then) on the television – a particular pampers brand ‘Mamy Poko Pants’.
What can we learn from this activity?
A simple word like ‘mummy’ creates such different mental representations, what about more abstract concepts like ‘love’, ‘responsibility’, or ‘success’? When a parent looks at the child and say ‘I love you’, the emotional attachment and value of the 3 words is not determined by the act of saying, but rather whether the child feels the ‘love’ that the parent was referring to. This is due to a difference between the parent and the child’s model of love.
In our many years of training, we have seen many parents and children approaching us in our I Am Gifted! school holiday programmes for desperate help to help them eye to eye. And here’s lesson number one: we all see things and perceive things differently, and this does not just apply to adults, it does too for our young ones. In other words, we all have different models of the world. This difference we experience stems from the fact that parents and their children have very different mental filers, and it is these mental filers that creates one;s inner reality. They are made of up our values, beliefs and attitudes.
Learning to AGREE and speak in your child’s perspective.
The trouble with most parents today is that they think their kids perceive the world in the same way, or that because they are older, more experienced or worst, simply because they are the parents, they end up talking to their kids from THEIR perspective. That is why most of them find it very hard to get through to them. I remember having a parent describe it to be a situation of a chicken talking to a duck. No matter how much and how long you cluck, the duck is never going to understand you. Instead, learn how the duck thinks, then speak in duck language to the duck. Recognize your child’s model of the world, respect it and work around it. I’m sure you will be surprised by how much you and your child actually want the same for each other.