"I care about..."

May 21, 2021

Hey parents! How are you doing? 

The last week has brought about a whirlwind of changes for Singaporeans – parents and kids alike. The sudden switch to working and schooling from home could bring about many different feelings, on top of the worries you may have about the COVID situation. 

If it’s been a tougher week than normal, you are not alone.

And... neither are your kids! At times like these, checking in with our own emotions and those of our loved ones is so important. In spending more time with your family at home, perhaps this is an opportunity to invite them into loving conversations.

Today, we’ll share a new acronym that we recently created to help you listen openly and respond empathetically to your child!

I.N.V.I.T.E infographic

In this series, we will explain what each point means, along with examples and frequently asked questions. Let’s dive in… 

"I care about..."

This first step is all about sharing your BIIIG picture priorities with your child. What is a BIIIG picture, you ask?

Well, the ‘little picture’ refers to what you want your child to do. (You can probably think of a list of these things already!) The BIIIG picture refers to why you want them to do it! 

The spirit of sharing your big picture is loving, positive, and gentle. In reflecting on what your deep-down hopes or concerns are, the conversation is framed by love and care for your child, instead of situational frustration and nagging. 

In his book, Changeable, Dr J Stuart Ablon writes that parents often want to change their kids’ behaviour for 4 general reasons: in the interest of their health, safety, learning, or how their behaviour affects other people.

Do any of these BIIIG categories resonate with you?

A few tips for the road:

Avoid using the BIIIG picture as a threat

The idea behind “I care about…” is not to make your child fear the future or consequences. It is to express your love and concern! Steer clear of listing negative scenarios that “might happen” if your child doesn’t do a certain thing.

Keep it short and sweet

When you feel strongly about your child’s actions and future, it may compel you to convince or persuade them to change their mind. In doing so, you might tend to repeat yourself or lecture. 

Try to keep your “I care about” statements simple and to the point. While there is no hard and fast “word limit”, doing this would help you to avoid nagging. It would also leave room for your child to think and respond.

After reading this blog post, do you have questions or reflections? Feel free to share this article with your spouse or friends. Practise speaking in terms of “I care about…” and see how it feels to reframe your thinking.

Wishing you a safe and healthy week ahead!