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Stories About Parenting


If you want to know how to motivate anyone to do anything, find out what drives them; because we are driven by what’s important to us - in other words, our values. In fact, contrary to what some people may think, we are not driven by our goals, we set our goals according to our values.

This may sound obvious, I know…..but maybe what isn’t so obvious to many people – and certainly to most parents and teachers – is that children, no matter how young they are, also have values…….. they may not be the same as ours, but they are equally valid and worthy of honouring!

Sure, at 7.30 on a weekday morning, when you’re trying to get the kids ready for school, get some breakfast into them, get them into the car, like NOW!, it’s really a challenge that they want to play with the dog instead…..and that’s even supposing you’ve managed to get them out of bed in the first place! But what’s important to you just isn’t important to them………!

So, rather than repeatedly going through the constant

“But why should I?” from them, and your

“Because I say so, that’s why!”

how can you make it work for all of you?

Well, first, I’m not promising it’s always easy - you’re going to have to be creative; but as long as you keep remembering that they have values, and you take the time to find out what these are and include these in whatever you want your children to do, you’ll be amazed at the difference it makes!

For example, a few years ago, when she was eight, my god-daughter, Chiara, said to me

“My teacher is so stupid”

“In what way?” I asked

“Well, he keeps moaning that I never put my hand up, or talk to him, or ask questions! But why should I? I’m doing the work!”, .

(Which actually seemed fair enough to me, but I knew it needed sorting out). So I asked her

“Why do you go to school?”

“Well, to learn of course!” she replied, in that ‘isn’t it obvious you idiot’ tone of voice!

“And why does the teacher go to school?”

“To teach….!”

“Exactly! So,how do you know when you’ve learned something well?”

“Because I can do it”

“Right! But how does the teacher know he’s taught you well unless you give him feedback………..?”

I waited, as she considered this; then she said

“So it’s for his benefit, then?”

I nodded.

“Oh, alright then, I’ll do it” she said.

Because that was a value she could sign up to, so she was motivated to do it for that reason, not because I said so, or the school said so - because it made sense on her scale of what was important…….it was, in every sense, of real value to her!

Dee Shipman



The easiest way for someone to learn something is to put it into a reference frame of something they’re passionate about.

So Chiara, aged 8, whose passions are acting and horses, easily learned a poem by heart when I framed it as

“Here’s a trick that actors use to learn their lines”, and added

“To remember the rhythm of the poem, imagine you’re cantering on your horse”.

This works because ‘Passion’ is not a noun, it’s a Nominalisation, a process; in other words, a strategy.

When someone has a passion it’s a strategy that they run with easy excellence. So changing the submodalities of the strategy of something they can’t yet do into the submodalities of the strategy of their passion - their strategy of excellence - results in them then being able to do the once challenging thing easily and well.

Dee Shipman


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From ‘CAN DO’ to ‘CAN DID’……..!

In today’s economic climate, we all have to do more with less, and so we’re told that there’s a real and imperative need for a ‘can do’ attitude. Yet one of the most powerful secrets of business success is not just a ‘can do’ attitude, but an ability to ‘live’ your goals backwards. – in other words, to have a ‘can did!’ attitude instead…… and the ability to action it!

So here’s the secret of how to do this:-

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When I was a child, there were two constants in my life….I loved learning; and I hated school. The two were apparently incompatible – with a couple of notable exceptions.

In my Primary school it was George Breeze, the music teacher. The first time I had a lesson with him I sat reluctantly at the piano, waiting for instructions, Instruction! But he simply asked me what I wanted from music, and what it would be like when I got it. Sharing that with Mr Breeze crystallised it in my own head, and also made me feel comfortable… rapport with myself as well as with him.

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