How a Christmas Ad can help your child’s behaviour
Ok, I’ll admit it, I’m a bit of a softy for TV Ads…especially the heart-warming animated ones we get at Christmas. I also believe that if you’re going to tell a story (as the best adverts do), why not create a message that will make the world a better place. The current Marks and Spencer / Paddington Bear advert is a great example of this and has a message we can use both inside, and outside our families.
In the story, Paddington Bear wakes up to hear “Santa” on the roof, and finds a man in a dark beard clutching a sack of labelled presents and wearing a stocking over his face.
Presumably due to coming from Peru and knowing no better, (or does he know the truth really?) Paddington assumes this is Santa himself and treats him as if he is – helping him to do “good” by delivering presents under the right xmas trees. At first you can see the phoney “Santa” is reluctant to return the stolen presents, but by the end of the night he sees the joy that the recipients experience and becomes happier, giving Paddington Bear a hug before leaving. (And yes I think he said “Thank You little bear” at the end of the advert)! He’s had a “paradigm shift” about the world and his role within it.
See the Light in Others
So, how can we take this message and use it to make the world a better place? I am reminded of a quote by Dr Wayne Dyer, a well known Teacher, Healer and Author. “See the light in others, and treat them as if that is all you see”. This is exactly what Paddington did with the fake Santa, and we are shown the profound effect that seeing the best in another human being has in that case. Each of us tends to respond to others expectations, spoken or not, and act accordingly.
This is true for your child, too…
If you have a child who is not behaving at their best at the moment, try these techniques out.
- Seek out the best in them, the times they do something well, or something helpful, and tell them what a kind / helpful member of the family they are.
- If you notice them doing something that appears to be violent, destructive or selfish, take a deep breath and start by asking them “what are you trying to do?” It may just be that they are trying to do something constructive, but going about it in the wrong way, like trying to play with a sibling or friend but being inappropriately rough. Or taking a toy off one child with the intention to share with another. It helps if you assume the best about the situation, regardless of the evidence so that you can resolve the matter positively and peacefully.
- Or take a leaf out of Paddington’s book, and lead them from negative behaviour to positive, so they can experience what it is like to do a good thing and feel good about it! If your toddler looks like they are about to hit their baby sibling, take their hand and get them to stroke the baby instead, giving them positive feedback at the same time. Verbally praise them for being a good and kind sibling, and that’s what they will become. Like the burglar, you could provide them with a “paradigm shift” about their role as a sibling and family member.
This Christmas, try assuming the best in everyone – young or old, and see how the season turns out for you this year!
Need more help? “Daphne and the Smiley Shells” is a storybook that will help to bring out the best in your child through storytelling, focussing on the positive in them and building habits for your child to find and and show, their very own light. Buy it here
Haven’t seen the ad yet? Click here to catch up with Paddington
Vicki Tongeman is a Wife, Mother, Artist, Teacher, Author and Coach. She lives on the beautiful shores near the New Forest and loves walking and being mindful on the beach and in nature. Her friends call her the “Magic Mermaid” as she combines life changing coaching techniques with a sprinkle of Mermaid Magic!
As an NLP Practitioner and personal coach Vicki is passionate about helping people develop their inner self confidence and achieve their goals.