Discipline: Shichida's 5 Minute Suggestion

On the BrillKids Forum, I read about Shichida’s 5 minute suggestion which is recommended as a disciplinary tactic.  Since I got it through word of mouth, I am not certain if this is correct (so Shichida parents feel free to step in and correct me if I’m wrong).  The idea is to talk to your child about 5 minutes after he has fallen asleep.  The reasoning behind this is that your child’s brain is very receptive at this stage (something to do with the brain wave frequency).

For instance, if you want your child to sit down and pay attention in class, you can try “talking” to him the night before shortly after he falls asleep.  Some mothers have reported good success with this tactic.  Unfortunately, I can’t say that it has worked very well for me, if at all.  I tried asking Gavin to cooperate in the morning and take a shower without making a fuss.  The next morning, I could hear him screaming at the top of his lungs while I was making his breakfast – he was upstairs being showered by Daddy.

Perhaps I’m missing something or I’m not doing something right or perhaps this tactic only works for some children.  Perhaps it only works for children who are in the right brain mode?  I’ve always felt that Gavin has displayed considerable left brain dominance since he was quite young.  Yet another possibility is that it might be something that needs to be repeated more times before it is effective?  I gave up after a couple of tries weeks apart because it didn’t seem to be working for me.  Then again, it could be something like hypnosis – it only works on some people.

When I was in University, we had one lecture on hypnosis during behavioural pyschology.  Our lecturer requested a few participants from the lecture hall and successfully hypnotised only half the group.  He explained that some individuals were more receptive to being hypnotised compared to others which was why hypnosis only worked on half the group.  I ought to try this with Gareth to see if it works on him…

What about you?  Have you heard of Shichida’s 5 minute suggestion?  Have you ever tried it on your children?  How well did it work for you?  Please share your experiences in the comments below.

Published by Shen-Li

SHEN-LI LEE is the author of “Brainchild: Secrets to Unlocking Your Child’s Potential”. She is also the founder of Figur8.net (a website on parenting, education, child development) and RightBrainChild.com (a website on Right Brain Education, cognitive development, and maximising potentials). In her spare time, she blogs on Forty, Fit & Fed, and Back to Basics.

7 thoughts on “Discipline: Shichida's 5 Minute Suggestion

  1. Wow, what a coincidence! An hour before you published your post, my mum wrote to me about an article she read in a popular Russian family magazine about a mother using exactly this technique with her child (“Moya sem’ya” is the title of the magazine, if it is of interest to any Russian-speaking readers of this blog). I have not read the article, as I haven’t got an access to the magazine, and, as I understand, it only suggests this technique without going into too much detail. But I would like to learn more about it too. I will let you know if I find anything interesting.


  2. The source of this technique is probably from “Self Mastery Through Conscious Autosugestion”, a book written by Emile Coue in 1922. The book isn’t targeted at children but has a small reference to how parents can use this technique. For those interested in the topic, the ebook is available freely on the internet or on my website under “Other Resources”



  3. Ya. I heard about this from my friend who send his son to Shichida too. She told me if there’s something you want your child do but he/she doesn’t listen, you can try talking to him/her when he/she’s sleeping and must not be an instruction e.g. you “must”… but more like an encouragement with lots of affirmation and praise.
    I never tried, I felt funny talking to my child like that 😛


  4. It’s called 5 minutes power of suggestion. I tried using it a few times but my boy would wake up and asked, mummy, are u talking to me? Grrr….


  5. Hi there, I got the Sichihida handout which describes this. There is something called InnerTalk CD which you can play before sleep but mainly about topics like Sleep, Stress. It is expensive at RM139 per topic so I have yet to get one. But it is more like for me! Especially when I am stressed out! Haha!


  6. Mi – Thanks for the link. I’ve downloaded it and will read it soon.

    Amanda – thanks for the tip. Must remember that the next time I try talking to my son after he’s fallen asleep…

    Angel – haha… yeah, happened to me once also but I think it is because we haven’t waited long enough. He wasn’t really asleep yet.

    Irene – thanks. Definitely something to check out.


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