Free them roles

Parents often find themselves putting their children in roles just to explain their behavior to the outside world.


When you are at a relative’s house for dinner and your son rejects the entrée, you say in self-defense,“Ah, well, he’s a picky eater.”



When a visiting relative talks to your daughter and she turns her face away, you feel compelled to explain, “She’s just shy.” 


When your five-year-old doesn’t join the others in the pool, you tell the other parents, “He is afraid of the water. He takes a long time to warm up to new things.”


Of course there’s a problem with these statements— not only is it reinforcing the negative social attributes,but also…. 


Our kids are hearing all this and taking it to heart. Worst case —they integrate it into their PERSONALITY.


“My parent sees me as a shy, picky eater who is fearful and takes a long time to warm up. Ah, so that’s who I am. I guess I’d better stay away from that pool!”


But what do you say?


 Do you just sit there silently while Aunt Rose nags at Johnny about not eating the roast beef? 


How can we support our kids, while not making them feel stuck in a role, and simultaneously politely fend off well-meaning friends and relatives?

Say this instead

A very useful phrase that seems to do it all is “when he is ready.”


“Johnny will try a new food when he’s ready.”


“Don’t worry, I’m sure Maria will talk to you when she’s ready.”


“Sammy, I know you’ll try out the swimming pool when you’re ready.”


Now your child is getting the message that you’re not pushing him to do something he’s not comfortable with, but you don’t expect him to be stuck at that stage forever. 


He can decide to make a change when he feels right about it.


And in case you’re wondering, the above is an excerpt of the book “ How To Talk So Kids Listen And Listen So Kids Talk” by Adele Faber & Elaine Mazlish


The book was voted the best parenting book ever…


And you can access for free when you become a member of Storytellers Book Club Today>


To your success 


Micah Langat from KIPC


PS: Which roles have you assigned your children lately? 


To be clear, it’s not your fault that you assign roles to your children. It is something we learnt from our parents. It’s a generational thing, you see what I mean?


But there’s a huge problem because children not only take it to heart, but they also integrate it as their PERSONALITY…


Believe it or not, but no words leave more impact than the words from parent to child. 


Can I count on you to free yourself and your child from assignment of roles so you can have a thriving relationship? 


Click here to explore if Storytellers Book club is good for you>

1 comment

  1. I’m a mum and a psychologist by profession but I never thought such statements were that impactful to kids behaviour and personality, we learn everyday!

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