The Parenting Power Of ‘Next Time’

The Parenting Power Of 'Next Time'

I want to share a simple but extremely powerful concept.

We’re all very sensitive to criticism. Unfortunately, almost all of us have way too much of it in our lives.

You can make a massive shift in your family by making a small change in how you word things. When your children make a mistake, or when you want to suggest that they do things differently in the future, say these magic words, “Next time can you ….”

For example, if your child has spills milk, while you’re cleaning up the mess or they’re helping you clean up the mess, depending on their age, instead of saying to him or her something like, “Why did you do that? Be more careful.”, instead shift and say, “Next time.. Why don’t you pour the milk only half full. Stop when the glass is half full, okay?”, or whatever your instruction would be.

Create an atmosphere where you are clear that it is no big deal that a mistake has been made, because that’s part of life and that’s part of the journey. That will create a climate where change is that much easier for everyone to make.

Say “Next time”, instead of “you should have” or “why didn’t you” or anything like that just “Next time”. If you’re late getting out the door, and you’ve got a teenager and you can see something that your teenager did that made you be late, you just say “Hey, next time could you..” It really softens the sing of what you are saying, which increases the effectiveness.

Many of you have very sensitive children and yet you need to provide them with limits and direction. This concept makes it much easier to make the correction, without adding extra hurt to your child’s reaction. It also helps keep you from being too critical on yourself! It keeps you focused on the future, and moving in the right direction. That is way more powerful than focusing on the past, which we can’t change. . I’d love to hear your comments afterwards. It is really powerful re-frame, so once again, the two words that when you encounter and I’ll use it with you that next time you encounter mistake with your children or even with yourself when you see that you yell at your children.

When you notice that you have made a mistake, do the same thing. Say to yourself, “Next time, I’m going to count to ten or I’m going to lie down on the floor. Remember that it is rarely urgent, and that the more relaxed and positive you are about your child and you learning whatever you want to learn, the more likely it is to happen.

One last example of what you can say to yourself, “Next time, I’m going to remember that beautiful analogy of a volcano and realize that right now, everyone’s emotions including my own are too hot.”

Whatever you say, just keep that focus on next time.