Archive for the ‘Self-fulfilling prophecy’ Category.

Want a tip that can positively impact your child’s behavior and self-image?

Almost everyone parents with “self-fulfilling prophecies,” even those unaware of it.
It can be a powerful positive or negative force in your child’s life
has the potential to dramatically change your child’s behavior and self-image….
for good or for bad

What exactly is a self-fulfilling prophecy, what are some examples, and how can parents use it for good?

Selffulfilling prophecy is defined as any expectation, positive or negative, about a situation or event that affects an individual behavior in such a manner that it causes that expectation to be . 

This happens to be my favorite thing I learned about in a Child Psychology class at Texas A&M.
I think you’ll see why when you read about the impact it can have.

Examples by Age:
Early Childhood Example:
Scenario –
You are at the door with your little one, Sam, getting ready to leave a fun party.
You say to the parent next to you, “Sam always throws a fit when we leave parties!” (NEGATIVE example)

Stop and think about what your child just heard you say.  You basically told him how to act!
If he hadn’t planned on having a fit this time, he likely will now because you have just set up a prophecy for him to fulfill.

How to positively change your child’s behavior –
You know your munchkin has tendency to have a fit when you leave fun places.  You’ve even vented about it with your friends (out of the range of your child’s hearing!)  You decide that in the future, you are going to use the self-fulfilling prophecy to your advantage.

You decide to say, “Sam, we are going to leave in a couple of minutes.  When it’s time to go, I know you will make a good choice and not argue or complain!” (POSITIVE example)  (Incidentally, that’s a reference to Philippians 2:14 in the 15 Fabulous Verses to Memorize free download that can help you parent with Scripture on the go.  That same list is in the back of your copy of Parenting with Scripture: A Topical Guide for Teachable Moments.)

By the way, I’ve toooootally been there, dragging my “precious little angel” out of somewhere while he/she was kicking and screaming from under my arm.
Fun times, aren’t they?!
That’s why I enjoyed employing techniques like the self-fulfilling prophecy.
It may not work every time, but I can guarantee it cuts down on the negative behavior.

Grade School/Tween/Teen Example:
Scenario –
You or your child’s teacher says “Your homework is always late!  You can’t get it together!” (NEGATIVE example)

Stop and think about what your student just heard you say.  Is it likely that it motivated her to do better or deflated her self-image further?

How to positively change your child’s behavior –
You know your child’s grades are suffering because homework isn’t getting turned in on time.  You ask her to sit down with you for a snack at the table.
You say,
“I’m so proud of the # grader you’ve grown into!  I know you can do this homework and get it turned in on time.  What do you think we can do to help you accomplish that?” (POSITIVE example)
Then, you and your child develop and plan with appropriate rewards and consequences to help her positively and successfully accomplish this responsibility.    Related verses, discussion questions, and take action ideas for the topic of “Responsibility” can be found in Parenting with Scripture: A Topical Guide for Teachable Moments.


 Think back, are you guilty (like me!) of negative examples of the self-fulfilling prophecy?
Are you excited about seeing the flip-side that the positive versions of self-fulfilling prophecy can have?


Comments Off on Want a tip that can positively impact your child’s behavior and self-image?   Posted In:     |    Written By: Kara Durbin
read more>>  

Want weekly tips on Parenting with Scripture?

Enter your email address to follow this blog and
receive notifications of new posts by email.