You may have seen this little fridge reminder list we put together around New Year's. We'd like to take a moment to talk a little bit about why we chose these particular areas to focus on. Today we'll take the first More/Less pair.
MORE PRAISE FOR WANTED BEHAVIOR
It is scientifically proven that the behaviors that get the most positive attention will be repeated. It's part of how our brains are wired. We're not talking about exaggerating or over-dramatizing, we're talking about NOTICING and SHOWING APPRECIATION for the things your kids are doing right.
"Thanks for taking your dishes to the sink after dinner, that really helps me."
"I noticed you put your shoes on and got into the car the first time I asked. Thanks!"
It has also been researched that it takes 9 positive comments to equal the emotional weight of 1 negative remark. That shouldn't really surprise any of us. What comment do you remember most vividly from high school? We rest our case.
The easiest and most helpful way to reduce the criticism in your home is to check your expectations. Are they appropriate for your child's age and development? Are you expecting your child to perform a task like you would? Are you worried about being embarrassed?
Something to try: Take one day and make a list of every criticism you offer to your children. Not redirection, we are just talking about negative feedback. After you tuck everyone in at night, revisit your list. Was it helpful? Was it necessary? Was it you managing your own frustration? And my favorite part, did you offer 9x that amount of positive feedback?
Uhhhhhhh. That was my response to my list, too.