I have to admit it, books that have pages filled with block upon block of black text on white paper are not the most appealing thing for me to look at. To be completely honest, it bores my eyes just looking at it and I am rarely tempted to read. I am more of a creative nature and need a visual stimulus to grab my attention.
Turning Over A New Page?
However I recently discovered e-books, something I thought would never really be a thing for me. I realized how easy it was for me to get the content I was interested in without having to actually read through the pages myself. So essentially these e-books are just made for me! Happy days.
Anyway, on my husband’s recommendation I listened to the book “Multipliers: How the best leaders make everyone smarter”. It’s not a storybook, it’s a motivational, organizational behavioural book. It deals with the different types of leadership and the impact this has on the people around us.
There are so many valuable lessons from this book that can really help you to feel better, and not just at work. One of the takeaways for me was when they shared an example about how to raise kids. If you have kids, you might share the same frustration. Every night you repeat over and over that the kids should get into pyjamas, brush their teeth and go to bed (and stay there!). That hardly ever works though, right? Getting the kids to bed was tiring and frustrating – the more I pushed, the less they listened. They thought it was a great game!
Kids Are Smart and Will Figure It Out
Well at least for us we had room for improvement. The book had an interesting idea. It highlighted that the usual way we deal with kids is to tell them what to do. And what do kids tend to do in response? The opposite.
Why? Because they don’t want to give us what we ask of them, just for that simple reason. I think it’s their version of sport.
See, bedtime was MY show, I was the Boss, so it had become MY responsibility.
So the idea was to turn it around and make it THEIR show. Instead of telling the kids what to do next, rather we should guide them – by only asking questions.
We tried that night. It wasn’t easy. Barking orders is such an in-grained habit, and I really had to concentrate and fight the urge to TELL. But we hung in there and focused on only asking questions.
What we saw was amazing. They knew precisely what to do, and sure didn’t need to hear us telling it to them.
I asked: “What do you need to do before you go to bed?” And the kids shouted “Get into pyjamas!” Which they promptly and happily did. Hubby and I looked at each other. Beginner’s luck? we silently wondered.
We continued asking questions like: ”What do we do next?”, “How do we keep our teeth healthy?” etc. The kids were still playing a game with us, but this time it was THEIR game, and they loved winning!
Can It Really Be This Simple?
While I admit we got some silly feedback to some questions in between, it worked remarkably well. It didn’t take long with this method until the kids developed a new routine. They knew what to do and were in control.
There were some hiccups, and we had to decide which battles were worth it and which to leave. We decided to keep them in charge, and make bedtime a fun game. Jumping back into Boss mode would just have squashed their enthusiasm. We decided, for example, that the occasional poorly-executed brushing was an acceptable cost for showing the kids that we trusted them to get on and do it. Seizing back control, while so easy to do, would just have taught them that it wasn’t really their show.
Soon we no longer needed to ask so many questions as the kids just started doing it by themselves. The result was happier kids, less stress for us parents and more time to read a story. The whole tone of bedtime had changed, and it became enjoyable family time. I’m not pretending it’s always easy but we now look forward to the pre-bedtime routine with them.
And They Slept Happily Ever After
Despite my initial skepticism, I was won over. The Multipliers e-book explained all the research that led to this and many other practical and powerful approaches to kids, colleagues, bosses (and husbands!). There’s a ton of great stuff in there, and I really do recommend the book.
If you wanted to speak to an expert (for a Multipliers session at your work, for example), I recommend you speak with Hazel Jackson, CEO at Biz Group in Dubai. As the GCC distributor for Multipliers, Hazel is a renowned expert.
I have no ties to the e-book or to Biz Group, I just like sharing things that have had a great impact for me. It’s a fun thing to try, maybe you want to give it a go too!
I’d love to hear your stories about how you have learned to convert potential battles into positive and fun experiences for your kids.