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  • Writer's pictureDr. Jacqueline Cahalan

Parent Reframe: From “Good” and “Bad” to “For Me” or “Not for Me”

Parents: When talking to your kids about choices and decision-making, try to stay away from labeling anything as  simply “good” or “bad” and instead try to get your kids to consider whether something is “for them” or not “for them.” This reframe can reduce feelings of judgement or shame, preserve connection, and encourage flexible thinking.  If something is not “for them,” you can talk to them about why- maybe it doesn’t make them feel good, maybe it is hurtful to others, maybe it interferes with other interests, activities, or goals, maybe it is inconsistent with their values and who they want to be as a person.  As our kids get older, they become increasingly independent in their decision making. Encouraging a perspective that preserves their sense of self while still encouraging critical thinking about their choices is something they will carry with them even when you aren’t around to help them negotiate choices.

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