Supporting Children with Positives
It is important to help children understand what it is we want them to do or how we want them to behave. However, most information is shared in the negative perspective. “Stop that. Don’t do that. I do not like that.”
If we change our approach to be proactive and positive, the likelihood of cooperation from the child increases.
Simple Tips to Make Positive Changes
- Look for positives in your child’s day and you will find them. Comment on the positives. Say, “I like when you…. “ Use this comment at least a couple times a day.
- State ahead of time what you want to see. These are your expectations. Example: “When we get out of the car hold on to my purse or hand.”
- Be specific in your description. Example –“Hold on to the cart and walk in the store.” Not – “Be good in the store.”
- Teach children what you want them to do. - NOT Don’t Do
- Emphasize the helper role for your child. Example – “Be my helper. I need you to help me carry the laundry to the washer.”
- Show appreciation to your child. Thank them and show pride in their accomplishments. Small steps are important too.
- Give them ownership in family life and chores. This will show them they have value within the family setting.
- Do not ignore appropriate behavior. Some children need over emphasized expression and not just the words. Show excitement for their positive behaviors.
- Make it fun or in a game like situation. Example – “When we are in the bank we are going to be as quiet as a mouse.”
Positive attitudes will impact our day and approach to life over time.
It is better to be proactive and try to teach children our expectations and appropriate behaviors in a positive approach. However, it is not always easy to do. Practicing these skills and working on developing a positive approach will influence the development of your child and their social skills with other peers and adults.