You’ve probably heard that we want to praise our kids five times for every one time we correct or criticize them. This helps to build their self-concept. Frankly, that can be really difficult to do, especially because we are not aware of the many times a day that we say something our kids hear as a criticism. In their world, it’s all about “them”, and they can’t really help but to take things personally!
So how do you come closer to the 5:1 ratio? Catch your kid being good. Acknowledge anything you can, thank them for everything you see them do right. You can do this even if what they are doing is their job and they are expected to do it! Don’t you like to be told you’re doing a good job? It’s amazing how far you can get with a simple, “thanks for taking out the trash,” or “that was a nice way of responding to your little brother.” More than likely, you won’t over do it. It’s not easy to put a dent in all of those unconscious criticisms they hear daily. But it’s definitely worth a try.