images-6The Talk …

How many times have you said the following: “Go to sleep, so you will not be tired in the morning”. “ Study hard so you can get into a good college.” “Don’t speed, I do not want anything to happen to you.” As a mother we have said one, or even all of these sayings. Of course our daughters have heard our “words”, but did our words make sense to them? Maybe…

For years I have been trying to convince my youngest daughter that going to sleep late, effects how tired she is in the morning.  Of course she has heard my pleas but did they make sense to her? I am not sure. Now at 10 years old, she gets it. But why did it have to take so long?

I recall pleading with my oldest about maintaining a high-grade point average and staying in honors classes. “Calm down mom” she would say. It drove me crazy! Didn’t she know that if she didn’t do well in high school, she wouldn’t get into college?

I have learned a new technique that I would like to share with you…Stop talking!

Future Time Perspective

There is a well-researched concept in the literature called Future Time Perspective (FTP). In one study it is defined as the extent to which the future is perceived as predictable, structured and controllable; these attributes give the length of the time envisioned in one’s outlook toward the future.

What does that mean? Children and adolescents have difficulty visualizing future concepts. This is normal because during these years the brain is maturing and abstract concepts are difficult for them to comprehend.

Building the Vision

Start dreaming with your daughter, it’s much better than yelling! The best thing you can do for your daughter is to build a vision for her.

Here are a few tips on how to do it.

  1. Build a vision using words (auditory)
  • Instead of saying: “Do your homework, don’t you want to get into a good college.”

Consider saying

“I cannot wait to see you walking on campus at  –University and setting up your dorm room, you will be so proud of yourself and so will I”

  1. Build a vision though touch (tactile)
  • Even if your child is a sixth grader consider taking her to a college campus to see and feel all of the excitement and provide her with the vision (future perspective) that she can be there one day.
  1. Encourage her dreams (vision)
  • Place a picture of her dream college on her wall so she can visualize it for the future.

I chose college as an example, but this technique can work in all areas.

Mothers Wisdom

You can help build pathways in your daughters MIND to help visualize her FUTURE. 🙂

References

Noreen E. Mahon and Thomas J. Yarcheski (1994) Future time perspective and positive health practices in adolescents. Perceptual and motor skills: Volume 79, Issue, pp 395-398.