A counselor friend of mine mentioned that children need ten positive comments to every command. Not just every negative comment, but every command. Like those things parents say a hundred times a day: "Get your clothes on," "Brush your teeth," and "Eat your broccoli." I can't say I live up to the 10 to 1 ratio, but knowing this has made me much more conscious of looking for opportunities to praise my boys more frequently throughout the day. I'm saying things like: "Good job sharing your toys." "That was so nice of you to help your brother get his shoes on." "I really appreciate you clearing your dishes off the table." "You two are playing so nicely together." "You did a great job using your inside voice and not touching things in the store."
Since I've been doing that, I've seen my kids behave better, particularly my independent-minded 4-year-old. I'm even enjoying a side-benefit I didn't expect.
Yesterday I had to brake quickly to avoid running a red light. I had just set my water bottle down, so it was perched somewhat precariously in the cup holder. The items in the passenger seat went flying to the floor, but my water bottle wavered and stayed upright. Owen said, "Good job in not spilling your water." Then at the next light, when I stepped on the brakes much more slowly and smoothly, he said, "Good job stopping, Mom."
Learning German with Felix and Franzi - A few weeks ago the kids and I discovered a new-to-us resource for our German studies. The Goethe Institute has a set of comprehensive and quite entertaini...
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