LET’S STOP SHOULD-ING ALL OVER THE PLACE
It can be a nasty little word, ‘should’. It can make us sound pompous and arrogant when we use it, or feel disrespected and resentful when we are at the receiving end of it.
It is used to say or ask what is the correct or best thing to do. But best for whom? Unless I am hopelessly lacking in self-awareness, I know myself better than anyone else does. And when it comes to important matters, like managing my pregnancy, choosing my care providers or even deciding upon which childbirth preparation program fits me best, well then, assuming I’ve gathered and weighed all the available facts, I definitely know what’s best for me, my baby and my birth.
And yet … I make mistakes that others can see at times. And people who care about me have the best of intentions and may want to assist me. And of course there are things responsible parents have to instill in their children. So where to turn?
A conflict resolution expert says it’s all in the languaging and suggests substituting ‘could’ or ‘could choose to’ instead of ‘should’, and sometimes adding a modifier … words like maybe and perhaps.
‘You could choose to drink more water for your health.’ ‘Maybe you could try backing off with him a bit.’ ‘Child, you can choose to stop wrestling at the table or you can leave the table.’
Notice how this language respects and encourages personal responsibility by assuming that the other person is capable of making the best decisions (regardless of whether they do so or not in that moment). And isn’t that the way we all like to be treated? With respect for our own integrity?
So when considering your next step in moving forward in life, or choosing your pregnancy and childbirth carers, you could consider what HypnoBirthing prenatal education or a Childbirth Doula have to offer, then make your well informed decision. After all, only you know the best answer for you.