When I started working at Bellefaire Jewish Children’s Bureau as a facilitator for Faber and Mazlish’s “How To Talk So Kids Will Listen Workshop,” I loved all the skills that I taught to parents. But there was one piece of the parenting puzzle that captured my imagination…all too often we label children, we treat them as their label and finally children become their label. I think we all want to change this! Positive parenting simply means that we treat our children with respect, gently encouraging them through their struggles without ever resorting to shame or criticism.
For example, anyone working with children has fallen into the trap of labeling children and placing them into pronceived roles. Somehow it gives us a sense of control over kids, to have them figured out. “She is the stubborn one.” “He is so bossy.” “That one is so slow.” He will always be disorganized.”
Could parents and even teachers really have that much control over a child’s behavior and actions? It rings true. The fact is everyone has positive and negative traits. If we only focus on the negative, even in a joking way, we reinforce the negative behavior and it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Here is one simple thing that that has helped me to reinforce positive behavior in that “disorganized”, “babyish”, “messy” child or any child labeled negatively. I also try to find a positive label, a euphemism, i.e., “goes with the flow ” or “free thinker” instead of negative words such as “disorganized.” I want you to start thinking of your child or student in that way. This simple exercise can magically change how we view and treat a child and then ultimately how this child behaves. It might even change a child’s life.
Sample Scripts for Positive Parenting
That is why the next time your child is defiant – try to see that they are courageous.
When you look at your child’s messy room instead of seeing a slob appreciate the disorder as a sign of creativity.
How about your wild, high energy child. Can you envision him as an athlete?
Don’t get frustrated with your picky eater. Think of her as a future gourmet chef.
How about your shy child? View him or her as thoughtful, inner-directed and observant, a future researcher.
Do you think of your child as a “big mouth” because she is constantly talking and letting you know her opinion? Think of her as expressive, friendly, a future orator.
Is your child always fighting for what is hers? Perhaps she will always work to seek justice in our world.
What about your daydreamer…can you imagine them as a visionary or inventor?
Parenting Simply wants to help you succeed at positive parenting. And as our free gift to you, we have created 8 Sample Scripts for Positive Parenting to help you remember to view your child or student in positive ways. You can hang this in your home, your kitchen, your office or your classroom.