I had an interesting conversation with someone I work with the other day. We were talking about the house he lives in (a super nice one in a nice neighborhood). I said I didn't want to live where I live any more. I also said I didn't want to be age 80 and still interpreting. I told him of a few other things I didn't want to be doing. He stopped me, explained some neuro-linguistic theory and asked me to re-phrase. What do you mean? "Rephrase in the positive". Rephrase in the positive ..... I had to think about that a bit. "Think about what you're saying - is it positive or negative?"
Oh! I get it!
That led to an interesting discussion with my girls. One of our daily topics of conversation is "what did you do today to make a positive difference to someone?" This fits with that. It's made me think of how I speak. "I don't want...." is getting replaced with "I would like to have" or "I will work towards getting..." It's weird but I kinda like it.
It also leads to my kids having to come up with solutions, not just complaints. Instead of "I don't want (whatever) for dinner", give me a positive statement. "I would like to have kielbasa and pierogies for dinner. Much easier. "I don't want to clean my room" becomes "I would like to work for a half hour (and get it inspected) so I have time to play." I can live with that. It'll take a while for this to become our normal and truthfully I'm not sure that we'll ever get rid of all the negative statements. But this is a good start!
Now, how to end the sibling bickering.....