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A Healthy Mind S.E.T.®

The first three steps to solving behavior problems: A Healthy Mind S.E.T.®

Self-Talk • Empathy • Teach

Research indicates that 1. positive self-talk; 2. empathy; and 3. teaching appropriate behavior, rather than punishing inappropriate behavior, all help to build positive relationships, promote attachment and manage behavior issues. We have labeled these the “3 steps to a Healthy Mind S.E.T.”, and have made them the core of every prescription in Behavior Checker. How to remember to use this Healthy Mind S.E.T. every day when caring, supporting and protecting children? Remember “S” means Self-Talk, “E” means Empathy and “T” means Teaching. The summary below shows how S, E, and T can work for you every day. 

  • A caring, supportive and protective parent who adopts a Healthy Parenting Mind-S.E.T. can lower the risk of stress becoming toxic to a child. Here’s how it works: S stands for Self Talk; E for Empathy; T for Teach. You will find suggestions on using Mind S.E.T. for every behavior prescription in Behavior Checker.  Become aware of the language in your head, those words you use when you talk to yourself, your Self-Talk. The following is an example of how Self-Talk can support your emotional health when dealing with issues concerning breastfeeding.

    SELF-TALK CAN HELP YOU FEEL VALIDATED:

    Negative self-talk: “I can’t do this. I’ll never be able to do this. I’ll never be a good mother because I can’t breastfeed. My baby will hate me forever because we won’t have a bond.”  Positive self-talk: “Even if breastfeeding doesn’t work out or takes a while to happen, I am still a good mom. I can figure out the best way for my baby and me to bond.”

    SELF-TALK CAN HELP YOU FEEL CONFIDENT:

    Negative Self-talk: “If I can’t do something as simple as breastfeeding,  I can’t do anything. I am such a failure and so stupid. I can’t be a good mom, if I can’t even breastfeed like I should. What is wrong with me?”  Positive Self-talk: “I’m confident that we can have a good life even if I am having trouble breastfeeding or cannot breastfeed. This is a new experience for my baby and me. We will learn together. If I need help, that’s okay. Either way, I will be okay and so will my baby. It’s no one’s fault— it’s the way it is.”

    SELF-TALK CAN HELP YOU BUILD TRUST:

    Negative Self-talk: “I should be able to do this, so I’m too embarrassed to ask for help. Besides, w hy would anyone want to help me?” Positive Self-Talk: “I am lucky to have great support here in my pediatric medical home to help me learn how to help my baby breastfeed. We will do this together because I trust my medical support to take good care of us.”

    © 2018 Raised with Love and Limits Foundation.

  • A caring, supportive parent who adopts a Healthy Parenting Mind-S.E.T. can lower the risk of stress becoming toxic to a child. Here’s how it works: S stands for Self-Talk; E for Empathy; T for Teach. You will find suggestions on using Mind S.E.T. for every behavior prescription in Behavior Checker. First, in order to empathize, a person can use positive Self-Talk to calm enough to shift to Empathy. Empathy is our ability to understand the world of another person; to put ourselves in that person’s shoes, so to speak; and view the world as that person sees it.

    Let’s see how empathy works when you are upset about your child’s sleeping,  bathing and diapering behavior.

    These examples show how to think about your child’s needs, instead of just reacting to her behavior:

    SLEEP: “I can empathize with my baby. I can imagine how confusing it is for her to try to get into a sleep pattern that matches the rest of the world.” 

    BATHING: “I can empathize with my baby. I can imagine how frustrating it is for her to not be able to splash and play as much as she wants.”

    DIAPERING: “I can empathize with my baby. I can imagine how hard it is fo him to stay still and not move around while getting changed.”

    © 2018 Raised with Love and Limits Foundation.

  • A caring, supportive parent who adopts a Healthy Parenting Mind-S.E.T. can lower the risk of stress becoming toxic to a child. Here’s how it works: S stands for Self-Talk; E for Empathy; T for Teach. You will find suggestions on using Mind S.E.T. for every behavior prescription in Behavior Checker.

    Teaching helps children learn about the world, understand the rules (called  “limits”) of the world and practice how to manage within those rules. In order to teach somebody something, first decide what you specifically want to teach.  For example, teaching your child to go to bed when it’s time.

    • Be aware of negative self-talk that leads you to feel angry, such as,  “It’s way past her bedtime and she should be in bed now!” Change that to positive self-talk, such as, “So tonight we are running behind, but it’s no big deal. We’ll do better tomorrow night.”
    • Shift to empathy in order to look at bedtime from your child’s point of view. Doing so reveals her reluctance to ending her day. She may be thinking: “What if something happens I might miss? What about one more hug? What will you do when I’m in bed? It’s lonesome in there.  Watching TV is more fun than sleeping.”
    • Teach the same way you like to be taught. Do you want encouragement? Do you want some reward when you’ve reached your learning goal? Do you learn best when threatened or encouraged? Putting yourself in your child’s shoes and using those things you like when you learn can help you become an effective teacher for your child.

     

    Go to Bed Using “Beat the Clock”:

    Teach how to get to bed by playing a fun game called, “Beat the Clock”. Say,  “Tonight we are going to see how fast you can get into bed.” You’ve set the learning goal. Then say, “When you’ve gotten in bed before the phone timer sounds, than you can have an extra story while we snuggle.” Now you’ve set the reward for achieving the learning goal. Then say, “Wow! You are really hurrying to beat the timer. It looks like you get an extra story.” Not only will this reduce your stress, as well as your child’s, but it also avoids any trauma for your child that results from bedtime battles.

    © 2018 Raised with Love and Limits Foundation.

The authors and Raised with Love and Limits Foundation disclaim responsibility for any harmful consequences, loss, injury or damage associated with the use and application of information or advice contained in these prescriptions and on this website. These protocols are clinical guidelines that must be used in conjunction with critical thinking and critical judgment.