Focus on the positive and less on the negative behaviour!
Remember the behaviour is a symptom anyway right? (If you missed this point, you may want to go back and listen to the free tele seminar and learn of the Number 1 BIGGEST mistake all parents make and how to avoid it).
Focusing on the positive is important for a number of reasons;
- it increases your happiness (research has shown that it is possible to become happier regardless of your circumstances or temperament)
- it improves your health
- it improves the behaviour of your children or any other person you’re in relation with.
Yes, that’s right…
By you seeking the positive in the other person you influence their behaviour.
Think about this for a minute…
If you experience the positive attention of anyone in your circle of family, friends or collegues, do you not automatically aim to keep that attention?
Even if it’s just a smile… don’t you smile back when you feel good?
We do it automatically… we meet the other person’s positive vibe by raising our own energy to match it even if we are feeling down. If that person remains positive and in positive regard of us, we automatically feel better and act more positively.
However when we focus on the negative in our children and partner we encourage more of that behaviour.
Now I want to add a couple of caveats here…
1) If your child or partner’s behaviour is having a negative affect on you, then by all means be real about it! Speak up… tell them what’s happening for you… and please use an I statement!
2) If your child or partner’s behaviour is pleasing to you and you want to tell them how proud you are of them… hold that in please! … here’s why:
What we want to encourage is positive behaviour but not at the expense of them needing you to validate them. If we notice, and aim to notice, positive things about our family members, then it’s great to tell them that you are grateful and appreciative if they have done something that helps you out. If they achieve something they should be proud of, then allow them to feel that pride, by not owning it.
When we say “I’m proud of you” that implies that they did something to make you happy instead of something they did that makes them happy. You’ve taken it away from them and given it to yourself. (See my previous post – Make me proud baby).
Instead try saying;
Let’s teach them how to validate themselves! That way they don’t need to seek approval from anyone else! That’s what self esteem is all about.
Another big reason to focus on the positive is the way our unconscious brains are wired to automatically seek out, what we focus on, in everything we do. For example, if you were thinking of buying a particular model of car suddenly you would see that car on the road everywhere you go. That’s your unconscious showing you what you want.
Unfortunately your unconscious doesn’t know the difference between right and wrong or good and bad, so when you expect your children to behave negatively, (you expect it and you’re focused on picking them up for it) you will see it all the time. You need to change the picture…
Give the brain some new images to work with.
Focus on the positive and you’ll get more positive.
You’ll also get the added bonus of improved health because your stress will go down!
Work out right now, one person who you need to improve the relationship with. It could be your child, your partner, your work colleague, your brother/sister, mother, father or friend.
- Start identifying their strengths.
- Savour the good times you have experienced with them (replay them in your mind).
- Share those memories with others to build the experience.
- Take mental photographs or make a mental movie of positive experiences with them (even if this is in the future) it sets the experience up for success.
If you struggle seeing the positive in your child or partner then can I suggest you get some help as being stuck in a negative view can severely damage your relationships!
OK onto step 4… (coming next week)