After the Power Lecture

29th February 2016

Did you have a go at the Power Lecture this week?

How did it work for you?

I used it with good results at a Birthday Party on Saturday – lecturing in the car on the way in – with a special highlight on the behaviour I expected when it was time to go.  Another parent noticed how quickly my kids got ready when I told them it was time to leave.  She asked “How did you wrangle your kids so quickly?”  I told her about the Power Lecture and she nodded approvingly – “Pre-emptive wrangling,” she said.  “I like it!”

Whatever you call it, kids deserve to have the boundaries, rules and expectations set out for them.

There’s something really important that needs to come after the Power Lecture.  After the ‘event’ you need to follow up with some Power Praise or just some reflection time.  This kind of speech goes like this:

“Hey – I’m so proud of you.  You *insert behaviour that was asked for here*.  It was so good not having to nag/ shout/ bellow/ wail/ cry/ scream at you.  Thank you so much for *insert the good behaviour here*.”

At this point your child will probably be glowing.  I’m serious!  It sounds cheesy to us, but kids absolutely love and I mean lurv genuine, well-earned praise.  And this little moment where you take the time to give them a pat on the back, some eye contact and sincere words will help them associate choosing great behaviour with success, happiness, calmness and satisfaction.

Now don’t be fooled – you don’t need to go over the top with praise.  And you certainly don’t need to reward them with anything more than your words.  My kids try it occasionally by asking “Because we were so good can we get a lolly/ chocolate/ take away/ toy/ trip to Disneyland?”  The answer is always no.  But I do always repeat that I’m proud of them – and they glow a little, in spite of themselves.

Remember to be really specific – especially if there’s a certain behaviour you’re really working on like listening, leaving events without a tantrum or saying goodbye nicely.  And you can make a big deal of Power Praise, reliving the highlights for the other significant people in your child’s life.

Here’s another example:

“Well – great behaviour kids.  I like the way you all listened and packed up when I asked you.  I reckon we might be able to do this *insert fun activity* again another time because you were so well behaved.  Thank you for being so fabulous.”

And then a bit later on – something like… “Hey Kids – did you tell Dad how great you were when we went to *destination*?  I was so proud of them – they all listened really well.”

I know it seems like that’s laying it on a bit thick, but kids need that.  Not patronising, superficial, meaningless praise – but the real stuff… you can lay that on like concrete and it never gets old.

In our household, we even make a bit of a game of it with Mummy or Daddy proclaiming that they are going to make a speech!  And then we launch into Power Praise.  Of course not every family is as ridiculous as ours.  You’ll find what works for you!

Send me an email.  Let me know how it goes.

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