THE SAVIOUR COMPLEX AND WHAT TO DO ABOUT IT!

Today I would like to talk about our saviour complex as parents. Some of you will really hate me for it but the truth is: unless we become conscious of it we all do it. And that is truly a shame coz it does inhibit children to develop great skills.

What skill do you think I am talking about?

I will tell you at the end. Now good examples I see between parent and child all the time are as follow:

Siblings are having breakfast. The older is eating quietly and the younger decided to shake the spoon – oh by the way they are having plain yogurt with granola for breakfast – so imagine that:  the younger decides to shake the spoon full of yogurt and granola on the table towards the air, the space. All the yogurt flies away straight into the older little girl’s hair!! Oh what a disaster!

Meanwhile Mum and Dad are sitting on the sofa near by dreaming of having a quite time whilst drinking the ENTIRE CUP OF COFFEE. Oh what a dream!

Then little girl cries and goes: “Ahhh my hair! Mummy Mummy there is yogurt on my hair, L shook the spoon and it is all dirty!” and she starts the crying. Then daddy goes STRAIGHT AWAY with his saviour complex, running to clean her hair saying: “Oh honey, that’s ok, I’ll clean that for you. L do not do that again, no shaking!”

And I watch, observe and interfere: “LL, honey, if that upsets you tell your brother. Tell him, take a deep breath, find your big voice and say: “L please don’t do that. My hair is all dirty and I don’t like when you do that. Can you please stop.”

Now, between us parents, can you see the difference of this two approaches?

On the option one, daddy is trying to be the saviour and saves his little girl from that upsetting situation. He unconsciously forgets to teach to his little girl a very important skill: the ability to communicate what upsets her and therefore not teaching another skill which is the one where brothers and sisters develop the ability to communicate between each other with no rivalry which will also make it less likely to have any sort of competition between siblings in the future, putting the parent in a neutral position where the parent does not take sides but teach the children to communicate their upsets encouraging  dialogue and a better understanding between each other.

On option two Mum encourages her little girl to develop speech and open her feelings to her brother explaining to him how she feels.

Next step in others specific situations would be Mum or Dad saying something like: “What would you prefer your brother to do instead? And even considering saying yourself  “Not shaking the spoon?”

Then go the to little boy and reassure it by saying “Did you hear that L? LL would prefer you NOT to shake the spoon baby.”

And in this case, on the second option you are not only teaching your children to communicate as well as having one child teach the other one a new skill or a different approach to that situation.

Win win!

Becoming brain smart is also about seeing situations in ways where there is ALWAYS A NEW SKILL TO BE TAUGHT IN A MOMENT OF CONFLICT!

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With warm wishes,

X Mel

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