Friday, September 5, 2014

Gender Brain Differences, 5

I spoke recently at a parent-teacher meeting and described how empowering an apology can be, especially in a parent-child or teacher-student relationship, when you have learned new information that is prompting a change in your behavior. (No one can know everything so stop expecting that you do!) At the break, a small entourage approached me to say they thought ‘actions speak louder than words,’ and that no verbalization should be necessary, just a change in behavior. My brain has a different opinion. You are role-modeling not only a change in behavior based on something new you learned but also bringing it to the children’s/student’s conscious awareness so they know you are deliberately implementing your new knowledge in a change of behavior. After all, you can only do better when you know better. What do I say? “I regret telling you to put down your toys and be still while I read to you (or telling you to look at me when I’m talking to you). I have learned there is a better way and I want you to know I’m altering my behavior. You can play quietly with your toys while I read (or you never have to look at me while I’m talking to you).” Being intentional, in my brain’s opinion, usually includes some brief role-modeling verbalization about what you learned that is triggering your change in behavior.

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