No Stopping on the Steps

I can’t stand it when kids stop in front of me when we’re using steps. So, …

No stopping on the steps.

The alliteration helps make it memorable. The exact words used in the exact same order every single time it’s uttered reminds them of the past and they remember exactly what is expected.

I say this every single time my children stop in front of me when we’re using steps.

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I’m Afraid I Can’t Help You

My son said he was afraid and wanted to sleep in Mom & Dad’s bed. I’m not a fan.

I’m afraid I can’t help you.

Turn the verb into a colloquialism.

The NLP community would call this an Apply to Self Sleight of Mouth technique.

It also paces my son’s understandings by using the same word he used. Now he understands, deeply, what I mean.

In other words, if he believes it’s hard for me to object to his pleading because he’s afraid, then he also buys why I can’t help him–’cause I’m afraid.

Now, that said, consciously, he understands I’m also just joshing him. It helps to understand this when his older sisters are giggling because the hear the humor in it.

I amplified the effect by beating by creatively coming up with other angles.

I’m afraid I can’t let you sleep in my bed.

I’m afraid you won’t like my answer.

I’m afraid you are big enough to handle it.

I’m afraid of being afraid.

I’m afraid, I’m afraid, I’m afraid…

I hear my son giggle slightly. My work is done.

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Is it true?

If it’s not true, then they must be kidding.

If it sounds ridiculous, it probably is.

These two phrases give children perspective. And, when repeated word for word in applicable scenarios, they become boilerplate mental responses.

For example – this morning my child was saying two children in preschool were telling him they weren’t his friend.

Now, I could dispute the merits of their comment, e.g. “that’s not true, dear.” Or, I could fire off an anchor that’s been established and reinforced since he was old enough to hear me say these things to his siblings.

These two phrases work in tandem inoculating the range of uncertainties.

They are universals – they cover all scenarios.

The only things that don’t get kicked out are truths. Even mean truths can be subject to the later phrase.

What if they are too young to understand the individual words? Who cares! Use congruent tonality and conviction and playfulness to instill meaning so that when they do understand at a more surface level, what’s under the surface will surface.

Here’s how this interaction and many others went …

If it’s not true, then they must be kidding.
If it sounds ridiculous, it probably is.

Is it true?

  • No.

Then, they must be kidding.

Are Billy, Bobby and Joey your friends?

  • Yes.

They are just teasing you.

If it’s not true, then they must be kidding.
If it sounds ridiculous, it probably is.

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When I Say Socks and Shoes

When I say socks and shoes, it means socks and shoes – Not what you want to do!

The rhetorical device and/or Greek figure used is rhyme, where you duplicate a sound in words, or parts of words.

Another rhetorical device and/or Greek figure used is the repetition of a word or phrase word for word, in successive sequence.

Also, ‘socks and shoes’ is not a grammatically correct verb phrase. I’m sure you noticed that. But, my daughter, who was lollygagging, understood full well it meant ‘put on your socks and shoes’.

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If you lose track of your toys

If you lose track of your toys, you won’t have them when you want them.

I find it’s best to speak with insights that are undeniable, because undeniable truths are hard to argue with.

Rhetorical devices offer many choices for stating things, persuasively.   Petitio principii is the one at work in the above quote.  It’s better known as begging the question.  Where as the conclusion is similar to the premise.  It’s similar to or a form of tautology.  How do I know this?  You can trust me, because I’m honest!

Either way, you can test this as a way of having the receiving person’s internal reaction be, “that’s true.”

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Both of the following are examples found at http://courses.csusm.edu/fallacies/petitio.htm because courses.CSUM.edu allowed them to be posted there.

“No one is permitted to use the gymnasium on weekends, since people are permitted to use the gymnasium only on week days.” – ?

“The reason I keep insisting that there was a relationship between Iraq and Saddam and al-Qaida is because there was a relationship between Iraq and al-Qaida.”
–George W. Bush

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Ready to leave

Leave your shoes on, until we’re ready to leave.

Today, I was with my children at a local mall.  My older daughter wanted to leave her shoes on in the play area against the rules.  I said, “leave your shoes on, until we’re ready to leave.”

Earlier in the day, I had been working on a page in a soon-to-be-released ebook on rhetorical devices.  Epanalepsis was one of the ones I was working on.

When I got home, I thought to myself, “why should I continue to catalog these gems in Evernote, when they happen often enough that I could create page depth on a blog with them.

So, I did.

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