I was thinking about the change process in therapy. The only thing a therapist can really do to help a client is by living what she/he preaches. Regardless of what the therapist says, no matter how true the principles or how effective the behavioral strategies, her words are only as good as her own practice of them.
Why do I believe this?
Simply put, I believe in the motto of Leadership Education, coined by Tiffany Earl, "Inspire Not Require."
I conceptualize the process of change as one when the inner soul or spirit of a person listens to the voice of truth (i.e. the Holy Ghost) and is motivated to act on that voice because of an example (an "inspiring" example) in someone or something they've seen.
That's why I believe it's a principle applicable whether you're a therapist, a parent, a teacher, anyone trying to motivate someone - we must all understand the power in the concept of inspiring over requiring.
Now, obviously, there are moments like, "GET OUT OF THE STREET!" When you just require a child to do something.
But as I listen to myself and my spouse and make observations in public, I notice so much of the adult/child relationship is dictated by requiring children to do things that the parent doesn't do. I want to improve on this.
This seems as effective as policmen on the freeway monitoring speeding. What happens? The speeder slows down while passing the policeman, and then speeds up again later. There's no fundamental change in attitude or behavior. In fact, it encourages a challenge of authority, getting away with something, a sneaky feeling of success. I see kids behaving the same way.
I was thinking of how impactful it is to inspire a child through modeling. My kids are inspired to read when I'm reading; they are inspired to run because I run; they are inspired to go to church when I talk about how much I love church......
they are inspired to eat vegetables because I eat vegetables!
INSPIRE NOT REQUIRE