Mind Blowing Advice to Shift Your Script with Kids


If you haven’t already listened to last week’s podcast with Dr. Ken Ginsburg, check it out! There were so many nuggets but I want you to focus on just ONE right away!

Here’s the scenario: A child shares an accomplishment with you. Our tendency is to give accolades and praise for the accomplishment! You may even be a step ahead, doing a great job focusing on effort over outcome. But…we can do even better! Instead of focusing on the effort, or even the accomplishment, focus on what the child is bringing to you, in relationship. 

Good: Focus on Accomplishment
Child: Look at my report card! I got all A’s this semester! 
Adult: Wow, that’s amazing, I knew you could do it! Keep it up!

Better: Focus on Effort
Child: Look at my report card! I got all A’s this semester!
Adult: Wow, that’s amazing – your hard work and determination paid off. 

Beautiful: Focus on Relationship
Child: Look at my report card! I got all A’s this semester!
Adult: I love it when you share important parts of your life with me! 

In the “good” scenario above, you’re rewarding an accomplishment. This isn’t necessarily bad, but the underlying message your child may read is that you only want to hear about wins, success and achievement. In the “better” scenario, you’re encouraging effort. This is great because we want kids to know that effort is just as important as outcome. If my child gets a B or C, but tried her best, asked for help and sought support, I’m proud. 

But here’s where Dr. Ginsburg shared some magic…

In the “beautiful” scenario, you’re focusing on the relationship. You’re saying to the child, bring ANY important life events to me – success OR failures – when you’re proud OR when you’re beating yourself up. Being in relationship with you is the most important thing to me. Share YOU with ME. 

Folks, just practice this one small shift, will you? I’m going to try too – it feels like a fundamental swing towards unconditional love and secure relationships. 

Let me know how it goes!

Oh, speaking of relationships, if you are a medical provider looking to build a community of likeminded colleagues while getting CME AND educational resources for your patients and practice, check out my membership. It’s truly made for YOU.