Glass half empty/Glass half full: Our outlook on life affects us as individuals. It is the inner tape that plays over and over inside our own heads. Do these thoughts eventually dictate who we are?
I am sure that our inner voice develops early in life. This being said, it is so easy to catch someone doing something you do not approve of. Shouldn’t it be easier to find someone also doing "good"? We as human beings need to feel validated – appreciated. If we feel that we are not we are not apt to stick around for long. If we do our feelings become alienated and we start to resent the person or persons of whom we feel are taking us for granted and/or not appreciating who we truly are. Even as Christians, we can appreciate that God loves us unconditionally and in spite of ourselves. in contrast, people are human and more likely to judge you without first looking at the skeletons inside of their own closets. Children and young or pre-adults especially need to feel that they are not being judged. Feeling unconditionally loved is crucial to the healthy development of a child. Everyone needs a safe place – especially children. As hard as it may be not to judge them inwardly, we should guard our tongues so that we don’t judge them outwardly.
What can we do to help them to feel loved and just as importantly, to feel validated? It is quite simple really. We have to catch them doing something good and say something about it.
EXAMPLES: You loaded the dishwasher – thanks (even though she spilled water all over the kitchen floor doing so)!
Thank you for remembering to turn off the television (Not suggesting in a sarcastic tone even though you ask every night and he always forgets).
You are up early – thank you for picking me up (forget about last week when your husband forgot to pick you up in the snow storm).
Thank you for taking the garbage out (I know you are thinking that it’s the least you could do).
You were really nice to your sister today (eventually they will get along especially if you do not outwardly favor one over the other).
Of course there will always be good report cards and award assemblies but it is important not to wait for these to show your appreciation. Praise is like music to the ears and we all know that music soothes the beast.
Start early in your child’s life and do it often – CATCH THEM DOING SOMETHNG GOOD AND CALL THEM ON THAT. Who knows - you could be raising the future president or even if you are not, you could be raising a really great kid and a really good human being.