If you want to see true behavior change, one of your tactics should be to must praise what you want to see repeated.
So encourage each other and build each other up, just as you are already doing. 1 Thessalonians 5:11
Christians tend to apply this verse a lot to their encouragement of one another. But have you ever thought about applying it to your children? This concept could result in long-term behavior change.
I was listening to a podcast this morning and I heard something that should not only change the way you parent, it should also bring about the behaviors that you desperately want to see in your kids.
The statement was: Praise the behaviors that you want to see repeated.
Sounds simple enough, right? But the honest truth is that many of you have a very hard time living this out. Your first instinct in trying to influence your child’s behavior is to point out what was done wrong and what needs improvement, and then to leave it at that.
But what if you tried a difference approach?
What if you were on the lookout for when your child does something right and then praised that behavior?
I’m not saying you should never offer suggestions or corrections to your child, but what if that approach became secondary? What if your first tactic was to look for what is being done right and praise it?
Homes that always focus on what was not done right crush spirits and breed a stifling atmosphere.
But parents who look for the positive first, and praise it, will motivate others to continue that good behavior. There is a proper time and way to follow up with constructive criticism. But it does not have to be the first line of defense.
Keep in mind that this is not a quick fix. You must make praising the behavior you want to see a lifestyle.
Start practicing that approach this week and you just may see the beginnings of a change you’ve been waiting on for a long time.