Why it's important to focus on the positives
It's easy to focus on all the little things that go wrong in the day - the school run never quite goes to plan, they've misplaced something again, you're always running a bit late, your words have fallen on deaf ears one too many times...
But at the end of the day it can leave you both feeling drained and negative. This way of thinking isn't always the smoothest path to success - here are a few ways positive thinking can make kids progress faster than nagging will.
Even the smallest achievement is just that - a small step in the right direction, and the better they feel about it, the more they'll want to do it. Even if has taken some nagging for them to get there. Something like, "thank you for brushing your teeth without me asking tonight!" is a great example of an action that might be taken for granted because it's taken nightly battles and reminders, but finally they've got it - and it shouldn't go unnoticed.
Champion their personality
We might not realise we're doing it - but it's easy to put them down when they're rushing around the house getting under our feet with their constant questions, need to show us everything and urgency for our attention just as we need to do something. Instead, let them know that you love their energy and enthusiasm - and if the timing is right, ask them to channel it into an activity they can help you with.
Cut down on the 'no's'
This might take practice, but telling your child 'no' wears thin over time. They stop listening, and you grow tired of repeating yourself. They hear it at school from their friends and teachers, and then when they get home. The simplest alternative is to explain what you really mean by 'no' - is it that what they want to do might harm them or their siblings, spoil their appetite, overload their screen time for the day? In which case - let them know. If they're doing something incorrectly - show them how to do it right. Are they playing with something that isn't a toy? Switch it with one of their toys.
Let them laugh at themselves
It's important that they learn to make mistakes and laugh about it - we all make them, and it's a life lesson they need so why not start early! So instead of berating them for getting something wrong, assess the situation and let out a laugh to signal that they're not in trouble, that it was just a silly mistake we can laugh off and learn from.
What are your tips for focusing on encouragement and appreciation? Join our IQ Cards Facebook community, we'd love to hear your advice.