I recently wrote about how focusing on your child’s feelings rather than what they’re upset about helps you grow their ability to solve their own problems over time. Today I’ll be sharing about how this builds in your child the one thing they need to be ready to take that control over on their own.
A sense of self-worth, self-respect, a positive self-concept all give our children the confidence to choose positive behaviors when they have been engaging in undesirable behaviors in the past. Change cannot happen without it. With January over, think about the recent goals you may have set for yourself. If you did not believe you could reach them, would you have set them at all?
The same goes for behavior change in children, but the catalyst for change is in the relationship. Children respond to the therapist or parent’s faith in their ability to change and this supports their tip-toes in the right direction. In my vlog this week, I likened the growth of children/teens to that of growing a plant.
This week notice what your child CAN do in a neutral time. Pro Tip: DO NOT use this time to ask them why they can’t do it all the time, or when you’re rushing out the door. JUST NOTICE that they are able to do it.
Praise their effort (“you worked hard to get your shoes on when it’s time to go”… or “it was hard to put down your cell and pack your bag so that we can be on time”). Keep your evaluation (“why can’t you do this every time we’re rushing out the door?”) to yourself. Parents often think it stresses the importance of the child’s consistency to this task, but it actually undermines the importance you’re placing on their ability to comply.
Try this out this week and see if you notice an improvement over the course of the month on one behavior you are trying to tackle.
For those of you who would like to learn more about using this positive behavior change strategy more effectively, click to apply to the ONLINE parent group starting this Friday 2/16/18! Registration closes Wednesday at 10PM!
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