Please click here for last weeks post
To be honest I thought I praised Little Man loads so didn’t really see what the big fuss was about. However, I think a lot of parents, without even realising it, make a big fuss when a child does something negative. It is very easy to let the good times slip by, especially when the child is being quiet. Frankly, and I hope it’s not just me, when there is a quiet moment I just silently give thanks and use it as a chance to get on with housework or whatever needs doing. When I look at it this way I can totally understand that, from a child’s point of view, this would encourage more negative behaviour when wanting attention.
An interesting point made in this weeks class was that, during our lifetime, our self esteem drops. Life, unfortunately, contains a series of knock backs and these can erode our positivity and the way we see ourselves. Looking at things this way it is easy to see the importance of praising our children as much as possible. This will give them a higher self esteem and give them less to fall, so to speak.
I think the problem is that, as adults, we have such high standards for our children that we forget that they are only little and that it is our job to encourage them in all they can do. There are things that we may think are no big deal but for the child it is the most wonderful achievement ever. I guess the point is we need to praise children for what is great for them and not just for us.
Another important thing that was pointed out in this weeks session is that toddlers are so small and the same can be said for their memory. When praising it is important to ‘catch them in the act’. An example of this would be whilst they are eating nicely to say ‘you are eating so nicely right now’. It sounds a bit silly but I am more than willing to give this a bash!
Our task was to concentrate on praise, the more the better! What surprised me was the immediate effect this had. It appears that Little Man adores praise, it is simply wonderful to see. His whole face lights up and he claps along with me. I have found that if he is not doing what I want I simply start doing it myself and congratulate my good work. He very quickly gets jealous and wants a share of the congratulations! It has got to the point where he now congratulates himself when doing something good, which I love to see.
Carrying on in the vein of being positive I managed to catch myself being negative before I acted on it!! Little Man was eating his food, I came over and was just about to nag him for not eating his carrots when I had a ‘hang on here’ moment. OK so he hadn’t eaten his carrots and yes this really irritated me but he had pretty much eaten everything else. Instead of nagging him (which would have lead to food being thrown on the floor in frustration) I praised him for eating so well. OK so he never did touch those blooming carrots but I resolved to keep offering new carrots and that at some point he would try them.
At the end of this week I have found that Little Man is happier to play on his own as praising him every five minutes or so seems to keep him on track. His tantrums have greatly declined and when they do occur they are much shorter in duration. Woohoo!