Posts Tagged ‘communication’

How Your Thinking Can Affect How You Live and Parent

How Your Thinking Can Affect How You Live and Parent


A wise man once said, “You become what you think the most about.”

I remember hearing a story about a small group of soldiers that really demonstrated the power of the mind and the power of positive thinking:

Image credit: philipus / 123RF Stock Photo

This small group of soldiers were in the jungle when their Jeep got stuck. They had no way to radio or signal for help and were unable to push it out of the mud. The senior man on the team told them that they were all very strong soldiers and that they COULD and WOULD be able to free the Jeep. With unparalleled strength the men worked together and lifted the jeep enough to free it from the muck.
They got back to the base and related their story to others. The others didn’t believe the soldiers. They said it was impossible, that the men were lying, and that they could never lift a Jeep. No small group of men would be able to do that.
The men were challenged to repeat their feat in order to prove what they had done earlier in the jungle. With the crowd of sceptics expecting the men to fail, they did. The men were unable to lift the Jeep.

This shows the great power of encouragement and discouragement.
Think about this story before you express your fear or support.
Are you setting up someone for success or failure?
Are you empowering them or disempowering them?
Are you projecting some of your own fears or issues onto someone else?
What is the true rationale – not just the surface rationale – behind your words and actions?

While it is important to address concerns, issues and negative possibilities, focusing on and dwelling on these often make them more negative, sometimes distracting one from seeing the whole picture. Most often, the big picture includes positive, negative and neutral aspects. Focusing on the negative breeds negative feelings, which then encourages negative results.

As a parent, it is normal to worry about your child/ren. It is normal to expect that they will experience headaches, heartache, and failure. While a parent may wish the child to avoid these, it is important for the parent to recognise that when only the negative is considered, the parent not only sets up the child for failure, the parent actually encourages and helps to facilitate the failure, while reinforcing the parent’s fear of the child’s possible failure, and expressing the belief that the child is incapable of success. This creates an even more negative reaction in the child as it breaks down the child’s confidence and self esteem. When the child is old enough to take responsibility for his/her own successes and failures, the adult child may realise that the negativity from the parent is avoidable by limiting contact with that parent.

Again, there is value in addressing and acknowledging negative possibilities; the harm is when the positive and neutral possibilities are ignored and the negative is the main or sole focus.

There comes an important time to recognise the value of letting go, including a parent letting the adult child become independent. The adult child still needs the parent, but in a different way. This is when both parties can greatly benefit from re-evaluating the relationship and the parent-child dynamic.

Communication and Expressing One’s Needs

Communication and Expressing One’s Needs


A friend of mine was telling me about his honeymoon and the fight that was caused on the way there:


The two were married in an arranged marriage.  They didn’t know each other much before the wedding.  He brought her to Canada and planned their honeymoon driving around the province showing her around.  He was a truck driver who enjoyed long drives and was used to driving long distances without stopping.  

On the first day of their drive, after they had been on the road for a few hours, he asked his new wife if she was hungry.  “No,” she replied.

They stopped for gas a while later and he asked again if she was hungry.  “No,” she replied.

Later on the drive, he asked her once more if she was hungry.  “No,” she replied.

When they got to the hotel for the first night of their honeymoon, she was furious!  She had been hungry for hours and he hadn’t stopped for food anywhere along the way.  

He didn’t understand her anger because he had asked her multiple times if she was hungry.  

She explained, “I should not have to tell you what I want or need.  You are the husband.  It is your job to make these decisions, not mine.  You should have known that I was hungry after so many hours!”  

She had expected that he would stop for food, even if she said she wasn’t hungry.  


Their story demonstrates the importance of communication and voicing one’s needs.  I believe in the importance of taking responsibility for oneself, one’s emotions, and one’s needs.  No one else can truly know what another person is thinking.  Yes, some needs can be anticipated, but if someone asks you what your needs are, share them.  The other person may need some guidance in order to better support you.


If you never ask, you’ll never know…


Direct communication is often effective, but the problem with it is that by voicing one’s needs, some people may see that person as demanding or intimidating.  Some people who hear another’s needs feel obligated to meet those needs, and feel pressured simply by hearing those needs.  The person expressing his/her needs may only be voicing their needs, without expecting others to meet those needs.

Those who prefer direct communication often take for granted that other people will do the same.  This can result in missing social cues where the direct message is not the intended message.  This can be frustrating for all involved.

There are many communication styles that work for different people.  Some styles are more difficult for some people than others. Learning different communication skills and styles can be one way that we can better understand each other, including our partners, friends and family.

We may not always agree with each other, but when we understand the other’s perspective, it is a lot easier accept.   


 Nothing brings down walls as surely as acceptance.

– Deepak Chopra