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It is easy to get things off balance. You want your child to be responsible so you become angry with him every time he isn't. You want him to remember to do his chores on his own, so you raise your voice when he doesn't do them. You keep pushing for him to write out the message for the phone calls he answers so you get a bit miffed when he doesn't.
Check it out. Are you unhappy a lot of the time with what your child is doing? Are you telling him over and over to do things differently? Is there just too much negativity in your household?
Pay attention to your own behavior and see if you are saying as much positive to him as negative. Are you telling him you are happy that he has done positive things? When was the last time you just gave him a big hug and told him how proud you are of something he has done? When was the last time he overheard you telling somebody on the phone something you were proud that he has done?
Balancing positives and negatives in your response to your child and to all the other people around you is important. It really is just a matter of putting on the right glasses so you can see that there is a lot you should be very happy with if you just take the time to find it.
Besides, you are much more likely to get more positive behavior if that is what you focus on.
Cynthia Martin is the founder of the First Teacher program and now director of Parenting Matters Foundation. The foundation publishes newsletters for parents, caregivers and grandparents. Reach Martin at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 681-2250.