It can be very easy to slip into a negative pattern of looking at our children’s behavior and to spend our days barking out what needs to happen:
“Please put your shoes away!”
“How many times do I have to ask you to take your plate up to the counter when you are done eating?”
“Get ready now!”
“Brush your teeth!”
and the list goes on.
More critically, sometimes we also approach our children with the “BUT’s” of life:
“Well, you did a pretty good job, but…”
“I was pleased with what happened, but..”
“It was a decent grade, but I know next time…”
Sometimes what we don’t say also sounds criticizing to the child and the messages they “hear” are I’m not athletic, I’m not smart, I’m not like my older brother, I’m not cute like the baby, I never do things right.
If we want to hold onto our children, and if we know that connection is the first and foremost basis of discipline, then take my Gimme 5 challenge!
5 times a day, say these words to your children:
“I like when you……”
“I appreciate when you…”
“You are (smart, funny, caring, loyal, helpful, kind, etc!)
Hug, kiss, pat your child on the back , put your arm around them– 5 times a day!
For tiny children under the age of 6, it is not so much about your words but your overall demeanor and attitude: they don’t always need the words a child ages 6 and above need, but they do need sunny smiles, warm hugs, singing, and you saying short and positive phrases that confirm just how wonderful they are.
Because they really are!
Try five a day; it can take the most challenging child and the most challenging discipline season and turn it around.
I can’t wait to hear your results!