Hello from beautiful Montana;
Parents, ask yourself – Would you like to work for a boss who never complimented your efforts? Who only commented on what you had done wrong? Would it make you a more loyal employee to receive positive feedback and encouragement on the things you were trying to learn?
You would be more willing to change habits or ways of doing tasks if your instructions were not always negative and demeaning.
The answer is no! None of us like to be in a negative environment where we are discouraged from trying new methods or ways of doing things. Being told to do something only one way stifles the imagination and limits the use of creative freedom. Work can be fun if we feel empowered.
Many workplaces and homes do tasks in the same old, same old way. It is not an adventure to clean closets or pick up clothes, but a drudgery and a habit to do it the same way. Giving the parameters of a job and then allowing the freedom to find new and better solutions builds confidence and independence.
Change Your Responses to Change Bad Habits
If your child habitually drops his coat on the sofa when he comes home from school and that annoys you, have a brainstorming session with him and let him come up with new solutions. For every situation there are at least five solutions, so don’t get stuck using just one.
Give recognition for even the smallest of accomplishment as your child learns new skills and practices the old ones. Focus on the process not the specific task. For instance, “You are doing a better job with putting the bed covers on straight. Why do you think it is important to have the same amount of sheet on each side of the bed?”
You certainly are not going to compliment your child on every little thing he does right (even though statistics show he does 19 right to every 1 unacceptable act) but you are hopefully going to toss out encouragement words and phrases here and there on the days journey.
Positive Feedback Can Change Habits and Lives
Looking for something positive to give feedback on can change the attitude of the recipient. Positive encouragement has such great motivating power. It should be honest and sincere or the child will think it is worthless and phony.
Encouragement focuses on the effort and progress made. Praise tends to focus on the finished product and only offered after the job is done. Encouraging and positive feedback inspire children with hope and faith that they will improve.
We want our children to believe that the positive power behind them is always greater than the problem in front of them.
In gratitude for the important work you do.
Judy Helm Wright aka Auntie Artichoke, family relationship author and speaker
PS: Be sure to check out http://www.ResponsibleChildren.com You will be glad you did.