This week, I thought I’d share an adorable video with you that a friend posted on Facebook. I’ll let the video speak for itself. However, I noticed that, these days, when you ask someone how it’s going, they tend to respond with all the negative and the drama going on their lives. “Well, with this economy…Glad to have a job…There are no jobs…I’m just hanging in there…etc.” With the media focused intently on reminding us daily of what’s going wrong, it’s easy to jump on the bandwagon and focus on all the negative in the world and in our personal lives. Unfortunately, putting ourselves in that state of mind and spirit also depletes us of valuable energy we could be using to do the footwork necessary to propel ourselves and our families forward. Turn off the negativity channel and focus on what’s going right.
I know whenever I used to do therapy with families, they would come in listing all the reasons why their child was driving them nuts (hence my book, “Parenting Infants and Toddlers Without Going Nuts!”). When I would interupt to ask what they loved about their child or what their child did that was absolutely amazing, they would stop for a second and look at me as though I were nuts! After all, they were here to complain about their misbehaving, not-listening, tantruming, irritating child. But as I waited for an answer, a miracle would happen. Parents would search their minds and memories and come up with some of the most amazing positive affirmations about their child. And the real miracle, was that their face would immediately change to smiling, glowing, and beaming. We were talking about the same child, but just exploring a different side. Those of you who have read my book or get the e-zine (if you don’t, you can sign up for the free e-zine at www.10MinuteParenting.com) know that I’m a huge proponent of catching your child being good and praising the behavior that you see.
Positively reinforcing behaviors that you like ensures that you’ll see those behaviors more often. In the process, you’re building your child’s self-esteem in being sure that they can do positive things and empowering them to make more positive choices more often.
I still tell parents that, if all you do is focus on positive relationship-building activities with your child and add some praise for positive behavior, 75% of all your behavior issues will magically disappear. It’s true.
I love this video because little Jessica has obviously been around some positive parents and has internalized the fact that she, ‘can do anything good!’ Not only that, but she has learned and is practicing the importance of focusing on what you like about your life, what’s going right, and what you what you appreciate. I love that she names her family members, her environment, and even things about herself–like her hair and her pajamas. With an attitude like that, it’s easy to see why she’s so happy. How amazing would it be to take turns at home, with each family member sharing their affirmations for the day or week? Pretty amazing, I think. With all that energy and focus, you’ll be able to take on life’s challenges with greater ease and better results.
Thank you to Jessica’s dad, David, for his permission to share this wonderful video with you.
Until next time,
Maria M. Marinakis, Ed.M.. LADC
other blog: www.AdventuresInJumping.wordpress.com