"Killer whale trainers know that when you don't pay a lot of attention to what the animals do wrong but instead give a lot of attention to what they do right, they do the right thing more often."
As a parent, it seems I could learn a lot from a killer whale trainer.
Reasons I often focus on the negative
1. I don't engage unless I need to...I'm quick to notice the negative behaviors my kids exhibit. I always notice when they've done wrong...when they miss the mark.
2. I haven't defined the positive....only the negative. I am super intentional when it comes to what I don't want my children to do. Not quite so intentional when it comes to the positives. If I don't know what qualifies as a "bulls eye" how will I know when they've it it? I will only know when they miss.
How to change your approach from negative to positive:
1. Define the positives: if I were to sit and list behaviors I hoped to see in my kids this week, it would be easy to spot them when they happened because I would be watching for them. I would be able to highlight the behavior.
2. Become intentional: making it a goal each day to point out two good things per kid is tough sometimes, but it allows me to focus on my ability to respond rather than react to things...which is always a better parenting approach.