Over the course of my parenting journey I’ve become really good at something, and I’ve noticed that many other parents are equally skilled in this particular area, too.
I’m great at pointing out the flaws in my children. I’m really good at catching them doing something wrong, coming up short or not living up to the values we’ve agreed upon as a family (and by “we’ve agreed upon” I mostly mean the values that I told them were important).
And here’s what being so good at catching my children being so far from good has taught me: They don’t like it. It’s demoralizing. They are usually already painfully aware of their short-comings long before I point them out.
If you can relate, I’d like to make a simple recommendation; pivot. Switch your focus. Mindfully move away from focusing on your child’s failures to emphasizing their successes. It’s a game changer. I promise.
The truth of the matter is your child does a LOT of stuff right, but since them doing things right doesn’t cause pain and disruption in your family rhythm, it’s easy to overlook. The “Right” often gets overshadowed by the “Wrong”.
Here’s my challenge for you this week: Catch your child doing something right one time every day and share what you noticed with him/her. Once a day. Seven days in a row.
- “I noticed that you took the trash out without being reminded…thank you!”
- “I just wanted you to know that I overheard the way you tried to cheer your sister up…I know she didn’t respond in the moment, but your kindness means a ton to her.”
- “Hold the phone! You got a C+ on your math test? Way to go! I know you studied like crazy for it and it’s exciting to see your hard work pay off!”
May we all become as adept at catching our kids doing the right stuff as we are at catching them getting it wrong.