In a Nutshell: Sometimes the only thing standing between obedience and mutiny is how skilled you are at adding a little pizazz to your presentation. Don’t let the politicians have all the fun…become a spin doctor at your house and watch your ratings in the public opinion polls soar!
We all know how politicians, news agencies, and advertising companies work: truth is sometimes stretched a bit and facts are often selectively presented to sway public opinion in a process called spin. It isn’t terrible that 12% of the country is unemployed; it is great that a full 88% of all people are working! You know how it goes. In the public sector, the process can be harmful even to the point of becoming propaganda and outright lies. But the art of spin can become one amazing parenting tool! Sometimes the only thing standing between obedience and mutiny is how skilled you are at adding a little pizazz to your presentation. Don’t let the politicians have all the fun…become a spin doctor at your house and watch your ratings in the public opinion polls soar!
I grew up in a house full of spin. I remember my mom telling me (when all of us were in protest over who had to eat the hard piece of crusty bread at the end of the loaf) when she was little she and her siblings used to fight over the bread heel. Somehow she could convince us the mushy spots on bananas were brown sugar and get us excited about playing maid. I didn’t necessarily like being “Kitchen Katy” or “Living Room Lilly” but the title somehow made the job a bit easier. PR is everything! Here are a couple examples of how to improve mood and gain compliance by adding in a bit of spin:
What you want to say VS The Spin
It is time to leave the park. Get in the car right now or I’ll leave you.
Let’s go get some fruit snacks in the car! Race you!
If you don’t get your room clean, you can’t watch the movie.
When the timer goes off, the movie starts. If your room is clean, you get to watch it with us!
Shut up! Don’t you dare talk to me like that.
When you use nice words, I want to listen to what you’re saying.
When your dad come homes he is going to be so mad at this mess!
Let’s surprise dad by cleaning up the playroom. He won’t even recognize it!
You are so mean to your little brother!
You are the big brother and need to show your baby how to be good. Then when he is big, he’ll be nice to you.
You get the picture. Just think of what you need to communicate, then add a little public relations sparkle to it. No one likes being told what to do and bossed around all day. Our negative words bounce right off our kiddos’ criticism-weary eardrums. Why not try to get your point across with a positive message and a smile? Some people may discard this method as Pollyanna Parenting, but for me, I’d rather have happy kids snuggled up on my lap than scared kids standing at attention. Children have to learn to follow instructions, work, and respect authority. But we can teach these things best when the atmosphere is pleasant and relaxed, emotions are in control, and relationships are strong. If adding a little “spin” to a request or task is what it takes, then sign me up.
As I got in the car to take all 5 of my children to a big event by myself awhile ago, I called to the back seat, “Okay! We’re going to have an awesome adventure!” Then I saw their faces and realized…they were all excited and happy. It was me who was filled with trepidation and weariness. I was spinning for myself! I chuckled and off we went. Maybe we do better with a bit of positive propaganda, too.