Why Labelling Children Limits Them – and YOU!


When a game in the training session touches a nerve… ????????

Labels always limit. There is a big difference between self-constructed identity and an imposed identity given to you by someone else.

Imagine a child has come up to you and said, “Emma has just hit me and it hurt!” Your first reaction if you are reacting rather than responding might be to say, “Emma! You’re such a bully! You’re so mean and agressive!” ????

Now just pause and think about how that child might feel. Will they want to cooperate and be helpful – not hurtful – to others? Will they feel like you understand them? Or will they think, “You didn’t even listen to me about what happened from my point of view. You think I’m mean and agressive so what’s the point in trying to do anything else…” ????

Let’s flip it and look for the possible positive intent in that child’s behaviour ???? (it doesn’t have to be true, it can just be a guess!)

“You seem sad. You wanted to be part of the game the other children were playing. Did something happen? You may not hit. Hitting hurts. When you want to play the game with the others say, ‘Can I be part of the game please?’” ❤️

You decide who you are. You have the power to flip whatever labels you may have heard in the past and switch them to positive ones. You also have the power to help children learn new skills and connect with you, or to disconnect from them and leave them with the ineffective behaviours they are currently expressing.

As a practice, take a look at YOURSELF through loving eyes ???? Think of a label that someone may have put on you or one that you think about yourself. Write your label and then FLIP IT in the comments – I dare you! ☺️

Here is mine:
I am not disorganised, I just need encouragement and a little motivation to get started. ❤️

You got this! ????


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Emma is The Play Coach who loves everything and anything to do with play. Play is children's work and she thinks it should be adult's work too. Connect with Emma for consultations and trainings that promote wonder, joy and well-being through the power of play.


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