As parents, we love and adore our kids. We want them to grow up to be healthy, happy and responsible adults. To that end, we instruct, challenge, direct our children ALL. Day. Long. The hard part is, kids don’t understand this. Or the nuances between tone, instructions and direction. Our brains are geared to remember and reinforce the bad stuff. Put simply, which is better to remember: a pretty sunset or a snake about to bite you? So kids tend to only focus on the negative, leaving them feeling sad, lacking and incapable at times.
In order to better help and connect with our children, we need to remember to balance our negative feedback with positive feedback. The ratio of 5:1 means 5 positive things for every one negative. If we focus more on positive feedback, seeing the good in our kids, it will increase their self worth, sense of competence and connection with you. How do you as an adult feel when someone acknowledges something you have done well? It tends to make us focus on that sense of accomplishment or skill, it’s something we remember and even use to remind us later when we are struggling. So, for today, take two minutes and remember to focus not only on the negative and redirections for your kids (or yourself), give the positive feedback and see if that can help you and your family have a better day.