By Joey and Carla Link
March 8, 2023
It is easy for parents to focus on the negative side of parenting. Being negative in our parenting is when we continuously point out what our children are doing wrong such as:
“Why can’t you get ready on time?”
“When are you going to do what I tell you to do?”
“Stop hitting your sister!”
While we cannot completely avoid being negative in our parenting, we can’t overlook the many things we can do that affect the behavior of our kids in a positive way.
We need to learn to ELEVATE THE GOOD. To elevate means to raise someone or something to a higher level. So if you are focusing on elevating the good, you are looking for positive ways to encourage your kids to behave on a higher level, meaning doing what is right.
So how do you do this? Point your children in the direction you want them to go.
Instead of saying, “Stop hitting your brother!” try, “Tell me one way you can be nice to your brother.” After you get that answer, say, “Are you willing to do that now?”
Pointing them to the good, allows you to get into the habit of saying the opposite of the negative. Here’s some examples:
- Instead of, “Stop running in the house!” Try, “Please walk in the house, you can run outside.
- Instead of, “Why can’t you do what I asked you to do?” Try, “I asked you to vacuum the family room. When will get that done?
- Instead of, “We are late again, why can’t you get your stuff done on time?” Try, “Make a list of all the things you need to do to get ready to leave the house in the morning.”
Asking questions throws the ball of ownership into your kids’ court instead of it remaining in yours.
Write down the negative things you said to each of your kids this past week. Re-word each statement in a positive way. Parents often have to teach themselves to elevate the good in their children.
The second part of positive parenting is to GIVE ENCOURAGEMENT.
Praise and encouragement are far better motivators to get your kids to do what they are supposed to do rather than consequences and critical words. When you praise your child, you are showing him honor and your approval for something he/she did.
When you encourage your child, you are giving him courage to do something he needs to do and encouragement cheers him/her on towards the goal. To encourage someone is to give him hope.
Praise is for an accomplishment, encouragement is to be given along the way.
The Bible tells us,
“Therefore encourage one another and build each other up.”
I Thessalonians 5:11
Elevate the good and encourage your children when they take the initiative to do the right thing. Pick one of these and get to work on it. Flip your calendar to the beginning of next month and write down the other one and figure out a way to work on it. The only way to be consistent when working on things is to work on one thing at a time.
If you focus on positive ways to get your kids attention, you will reap huge benefits!