“Kindness is a willingness to full-heartedly celebrate someone else's successes.” --- Karyn Hall Ph.D.
As parents we often correct our children. We see it as providing them with life lessons to carry forward. Little instructions on how to behave. How to look. How to interact.
We spend a lot of time correcting. Instructing. Questioning.
Put your toys away. Wash your hands. Set the table. Put your dishes in the dishwasher. Have you done your homework? Get up. Brush your teeth. Get dressed. Where’s your school bag. Did you pack up your homework? What about your soccer gear?
The hits just keep coming. No wonder kids feel like they’re the low man on the totem pole and constantly being bossed around.
Then comes the real negativity.
Think about how many times a day you show displeasure with your kids. Your toys aren’t put away. There are still some left out. There are some under the bed. Your hands are still dirty. Your teeth look like they haven’t been brushed. There’s toothpaste on the side of your mouth. It’s cold out, where’s your sweater?
You didn’t finish your homework, did you?
Every day, in every home, in every town or city, families just like yours have plenty of opportunities to create and express displeasure about chores not done well, not done on time, or not done at all.
And that’s generally how we handle the situation. By expressing displeasure.
Now, stop and reflect on how you’d feel if you never heard anything positive from your boss.
If you never heard anything but commands and complaints? Day in, day out, commands and complaints. You’d probably feel resentful and depressed. Maybe even belittled, worthless.
The same is true for children, particularly when their days are probably even busier than adults with chores and homework and activities before and after school.
What if your child is met with a smile, a hug or a pat on the back? Good morning, sleepyhead. Thank you for getting up on time. I’m so glad you brushed your teeth this morning. You make me so happy when you’re all organized and ready for school. I love how you finished your homework, got yourself all dressed and ready for breakfast.
Positive interaction and reinforcement gets kids feeling calm, as well as more accomplished. Genuine praise and positive feedback loops create a great atmosphere at home and reward you with self-confident kids with a positive self-image.
Be generous with positive feedback, genuine compliments, gratitude for their support and good behavior. Hugs and a pat on the shoulder will do wonders. Remember. It’s all right to clap for accomplishments big or small, and yell “Well done! Bravo!” every once in a while.
The transformation in your home with smooth, pleasant and mutually supportive communication will be a wonderful investment in your family’s overall well-being.
Your kids will benefit greatly. And so will you.
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