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88: Talkin’ Smack About Our Kids

By November 12, 2019November 9th, 2023Mastermind Parenting Podcast
88: Talkin’ Smack About Our Kids

Our convo this week includes a clip from my Mastermind where I discuss a 1968 study done in a school called the Pygmalion Effect.

The Pygmalion effect is the phenomenon whereby others’ expectations of a person affect the person’s performance. The bottom line is that what we think and say about a child has the ability to greatly impact their future success. So remember, your words have power…when you speak unkindly about your kids, it represents what you’re really thinking or worried about and those thoughts can hinder their performance and their life.

Think better thoughts. Say useful words. Find a new narrative. Encourage and support your kids. And if your kids aren’t “doing well”, get curious and figure out why. Learn how to support your kids so that they have the brightest future possible. THEY deserve it!

As always, thanks for listening, and be sure and head over to Facebook and you can join my free group Mastermind Parenting Community, where we post tips and tools and do pop up Live conversations where I do extra teaching and coaching to support you in helping your strong-willed children so that they can FEEL better and DO better. If you enjoyed this episode and think that others could benefit from listening, please share it!

About Randi Rubenstein

Randi Rubenstein helps parents with a strong-willed kiddo become a happier family and enjoy the simple things again like bike rides and beach vacays.

She’s the founder of Mastermind Parenting, host of the Mastermind Parenting podcast, and author of The Parent Gap. Randi works with parents across the U.S.

At Mastermind Parenting, we believe every human deserves to have a family that gets along.

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0 (0s):
You’re listening to the Mastermind Parenting Podcast with Randi Rubenstein episode 88.

1 (7s):
My name is Randi Rubenstein and welcome to the Mastermind Parenting Podcast where we believe when your thoughts grow the conversations in your home flood.

0 (20s):
Yeah. So this week’s conversation, I wanted to include a Coaching clip from a workshop I did where I went over, something called the Pygmalion effect and the Pygmalion Effect is the phenomenon whereby other people’s expectations of a person Effect that person’s performance. And it was based on this study that was done at a school and in 1968 by some scientists. And, and I think y’all will find it interesting how they had the kids take these tests.

0 (1m 1s):
And then the teachers were given the test scores and sort of what happened and what this study concluded that the bottom line is, is that what we think about our kids’ affects who they become So if you think about it, you’re in your words, like what you say about someone, or even like, you know how they say, like, every joke has a little element of truth, like words have power. So I know, and I hear it all the time and I’m sure I’ve done it and still do it some times where you talk about your kids and you kind of bond with other parents, like you don’t want to be like that jerky parent that’s bragging or not.

0 (1m 46s):
So humbly bragging about your kids. So you bond with other parents sometimes by like saying funny things about your kids, but you’re sort of like making a joke at their expense, even though we don’t think about it like that. And we don’t mean it like that. It’s just sort of common, like parents bond with other parents by S you know, just talking Smack about their kids. And so I’ve heard recently I overheard, or I was in a conversation where a mom was talking about how hellacious her teenager was and bonding with other parents of teenagers. And they were just talking about how terrible the teenagers are.

0 (2m 29s):
And teenage girls are the worst and the drama and TJ teenage boys, they started speaking disrespectfully and they were all bonding over this. But I just want you all to remember, like, your words have power and there’s some truth that you believe, or, or you’re worried about in those words. And so those words and what you think are totally connected, and it’s going to affect how, what we focus on grows, the more you about your kids in that way, the more that’s going to effect your thing or thinking about them and your thoughts. Cause your feelings cause your actions cause your results in my life.

0 (3m 12s):
Right? So So so there’s that. So when you are, what you say about your children greatly affects your children. Because if you’re thinking every time your teenager shows an example of why teenagers aren’t to be trusted and a horrible, and it’s all about risky behavior and it’s teen teenagers and teen parents, that’s going to affect how you feel about your kids. And they’re going to feel that because I think only I just, I just heard this again recently only 7% of communication is actually verbal. So, so what you think about them affects your tone, affects your body.

0 (3m 57s):
Language, affects your facial expressions. They feel that. And if you think for yourself, when you’re around people that are in your one-third haters club, you just know no, nothing you do is going to make them like you, or they just, they, they, they, you can just tell you that they don’t like you. It’s hard to show up as your best self when your, with those people. I know what it is for me. Alright. And so ’cause, it gets into your head. You can just tell us. And so sometimes we like to start to, we start to have that graspy energy where we’re just trying to bend over backwards to convince these people that why they should like this.

0 (4m 41s):
So then we don’t show up as our most confident selves. We show up with all of this, like needy, graspy energy, like the life of me, like me, like me, we are trying to be funny. We were performing. We are not being our normal awesome self because we’re, we’re so concerned with what they think about us. Right. And we’re trying to get them to like us or, or the opposite sometimes, maybe, you know, they don’t like to do so then you get defensive and you like play devil’s advocate every second. And you’re just like really negative. Right. So then you’re not your most awesome self in that moment either. And it’s because you can just feel their energy and it affects you. It’s hard for us not to affect you as well.

0 (5m 24s):
Our kids are the same way so that if we’re thinking, because we’ve been talking smack about them. And so it’s definitely affected our thinking and that’s, what’s on our radar. And so we’re thinking all of these negative things about them, they are going to feel it, and they are not going to show up as their best selves. So I think y’all will find this study that I talk about interesting and eye and I read about it. And, and I also, you know, this isn’t just parents of teenagers. I’ve also heard, I heard a mom recently talking about her little and, and how Oh, she is going to give us Helen, she’s a teenager she’s already, you know, so manipulative and, and she was explaining ways that she was manipulative and she just, she, she’s not manipulative.

0 (6m 15s):
It’s like, you can think of it as like a little crafty four year old as being manipulative. Or you can think like she is a magical thinker. She’s always like creating up stories. And she, she is very invent inventive and resourceful and like there’s different words and language to use and ways of thinking about it. Like, if you are going to think about your little four year old as being conniving, manipulative are already outsmarting. You already a mean girl sassy, right? Like sassy. What about if we thought about it as a leadership energy? And what about if we thought about it as you’ve tremendous leadership energy, and now I can help guide you for good, rather than for evil, right?

0 (7m 4s):
So there’s just different spins and different ways of thinking about your kids. And even if there are showing up with some of these very strong traits, like a teenager, that’s acting out well, they’re acting out for a reason or, you know, there’s, there’s something interesting. I learned recently about the teenager brain, how it’s actually going through a period to either buy, I can’t remember which Dr. Daniel it is. It’s either Dr. Daniel Siegel or Dr. Daniel Goldman. I think it might be Goldman who talked about how the teenage brain is going through a pruning process. Like there supposed to be argumentative because adolescence is a time that the brain is like getting rid of information, extraneous information that they don’t see that it doesn’t think it needs.

0 (7m 54s):
So they’re constantly questioning everything. And, and, and if there’s a real human component to doing that, like that science. And so there supposed to challenge things, their supposed to prune, you know, from, from zero to eight to 12, they’re just like soaking it all in and taking it all in. And, and then you, that they have to get rid of some of the things that, that is not necessarily necessary And necessarily necessary. And, and then make room for new, more advanced concepts on the information that their brain chooses to keep.

0 (8m 39s):
And so if that made a lot of sense to me, because it, it was like, Oh, so when your teenager is acting argumentative, and when you are teenagers figuring out what information should I be able to prune? And they’re challenging on things. If you can not make it mean, Oh gosh, here we go. And instead make it me. Oh, they are doing exactly what they’re supposed to do. And I don’t have to react negatively here. I can just respond calmly and give them the information they need and let it roll off my back. Like, I don’t have to make their behavior mean anything about me, they’re just doing their job. And the more you show up like that, the more you model that calm, mature behavior, the more they learn that behavior as well, because they learn way more from what we modeled than from what we say is, especially when we are admonishing or give them a bunch of lectures.

0 (9m 32s):
Nobody’s, nobody’s listening, nobody’s in the thinking brain when that’s going on. So you are really just wasting your breath. So I wanted to share this with you because they wanted you guys just for this to be on your radar and start to start noticing, when are you talking smack about your own kids and, and just calling yourself out on it a little bit, like really do I need to bond with other parents by throwing my kids under the bus? Or can I bond with other parents on a common interest and something that’s for good, instead of something that is accidentally to the detriment of my own child, like I ha I’m an interesting person.

0 (10m 12s):
This other parent, we may have things in common, even the sides kids that we can bond on, we might have common interests, or we may be able to talk about things outside of kids in Parenthood and bond and connect to, and maybe if we want to bond and connect, we can bond and connect on all of the positive things that we’re doing here that is actually gonna benefit our Kids. So let’s bond and connect on that. So just be on to yourself, start noticing don’t judge yourself. If you’re doing it, we’ve all been there. We’re all still there. And this is a process. It’s just part of the journey. So enjoy the conversation today.

0 (10m 52s):
And you guys have a great week.

2 (10m 54s):
The pleasant, California, sunshine beams, down on the sharply dressed man, standing up to the broad double double doors, have a perfectly ordinary

0 (11m 3s):

2 (11m 5s):
Elementary school, just South of San Francisco. The man’s name is Dr. Robert Rosenthal, and he knows that today is going to be anything but ordinary. He knows this because he’s about to begin an experiment that we’ll change the face of psychology forever. The year is 1963 in the school. Year’s is just beginning with no time to lose Rosenthal. Along with his partner, Lenore Jacobson, give aptitude an IQ test to every student in the school as expected. Some students do well while others do very poorly. However, Rosenthal has no idea, which is which he’s careful now not to look at any of the test scores when all of the testing’s concluded, all of the teachers and faculty are called in to a meeting. They wait with with curious anticipation, as the scientists present the results and the field of scientific research.

2 (11m 51s):
There’s a long tradition of and deception. Oftentimes it’s important that the participants involved in a study do not have all the information or someone who was given full knowledge, could inadvertently be influenced by that information, which would skew the results. So like a good scientist, Rosenthal lies, having no idea what any of the actual test scores are. He’s picked some of the student’s names at random, and he tells the teachers that these students are very intelligent and capable. He calls them spurs. Then after receiving some appreciative handshakes, they pack up their gear and go home. About nine months later as a school, year’s coming to a close, the researchers returned to conclude the second and final phase of their experiment.

2 (12m 35s):
Rosenthal tests, all of the students, once again, and compared to their latest test, their latest scores to those from the beginning of the year, as he finishes reviewing the data or a rice smile pools at the corner of it is the corners of his mouth. The hypothesis he had set out to prove was correct. The Randi randomly selected spurt or students all had significant increases in their scores compared to the rest of their peers. So they were randomly picked the spurs. He was just like, like, he didn’t even look up the test scores. And it was like, these people are this birders. Okay. Since they were blindly chosen, it’s highly unlikely that all of these children were just naturally special and gifted.

2 (13m 17s):
The only significant difference between the spurs in the rest of the school was that Rosenthal made sure the teachers believed the spurs were special and that belief made it. So nowadays this phenomenon is called the Pygmalion effect and it crops up everywhere in schools, businesses, sports teams, and of course the home. So your beliefs and expectations for your kids have a very real and measurable effect on their future performance and achievement. If you believe your kid is highly intelligent and capable, you will unconsciously demonstrate that belief in your words and actions to our thoughts, create our feelings, create our words, create our actions, create our results, right?

2 (14m 6s):
Your kids will get the message loud and clear that they will be far more likely to rise to the occasion. Alternatively, if you believe your kid is lazy, stupid, unmotivated, helpless, or insert other negative adjective here, then chances are excellent that you will be right. It’s like a self-fulfilling prophecy. So that’s the thing. Our thoughts create our results. Our thoughts create our results. So if our child has been in defend and protect zone and we make that thought about that mean that our kid is just a negative.

2 (14m 47s):
They’re never going to be easy. They are just defiant there. They hate us. They’re destined for life to be terrible for them. They’re going to have such a hard time when that’s our belief based on them, living in this state of survival and shut down and anxiety or depression. And if we make the story up in our head, that it means that there are destined for bla bla bla, a future that will be their future. But if instead, we get curious and we’re like love and connect, defend, and protect. These are behaviors that they are defendant protect.

2 (15m 29s):
How can I help them through proactive pet time, intimate, recurring exchanges, building trust, becoming their soft place to land so that I can help them shift into love and connect. And they can then show us what their full potential is that who knows their future is so bright. So when we change our beliefs about our child, we change their future.

1 (16m 3s):
Have you read my book, the parent gap, have you listened to my book? The parent gap? I doubt you’ve listened. Cause my publisher hasn’t released yet on an audible. However, I had the audio version of the parent gap that I would love to send to you. You can download it at Mastermind Parenting dot com For slash book that’s Mastermind Parenting dot com For slash book for your free audio version of the parent gap. Your welcome I.

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