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Today I thought I’d just do a little tip that I have found incredibly helpful over the years. I don’t always remember it, but when I do put it into practice it does have a magical effect on things that really matter to us as parents:

  • Connection

  • Communication

  • Culture

  • Confidence

It’s called

Catch them doing something good

I’m not going to take credit for it. Back in my day we were greatly encouraged by a chap called Rob Parsons. I daresay he got it from someone else, but I’ll be ever grateful that he passed it on to us.

When our children are small, we encourage naturally, it’s part of their development, we inherently know that. They only need to roll over or take a few steps and we’re passing out gold medals, putting it on Instagram.

Then as they get a little older, we can be great encouragers when something is obvious, but what about when it’s something we take for granted?

Here’s an interesting fact. Our children need to hear NINE positive affirmations to counteract each negative one,

That’s a lot.

So we need to hardwire ourselves to be encouragers about just about everything So that when we need to stand back or reprimand, it comes in a sea of positives. They are trusting of our voice and know that we back them.

Some of you will be better at this than others, but even the most positive person in the world needs a prompt to keep coming up with the goods, it just isn’t natural to notice all the good details when life is so busy.

  • Thank you for being quiet whilst I was taking that phone call

  • Your room looks lovely

  • I like the way you’ve made your bed

  • You remembered your water bottle

  • That was kind

  • Thank you for saying that

  • I missed you today

  • I like the way you’ve put those colours together, they suit you

And remember, general affirmations don’t go very deep:

  • You’re great

  • You’re the best

  • I think you’re fab i

Nice, but they don't affirm a choice. They don't hit the spot

I really appreciated you being so joyful whilst we were both clearing the kitchen.

Little aside here, I don’t refer to them as helping me clean the kitchen, coz it’s everyone’s mess and everyone’s food. But them coming to the task with a joyful attitude is much appreciated.

  • Thank you for thinking about such-and-such I would have forgotten.

  • I like the way your hair looks today

  • Thanks for sharing about your day, I love hearing how it’s gone.

With teenagers, it might be more of a stretch, but compliments are there if you look for them.

Make sure it’s authentic.,

It connects

It builds a culture.

I found mine started affirming me.

I particularly remember being applauded after having a wee one day, but that’s not what I really mean. They are incredibly encouraging when there’s a small win. It’s a culture

It is flowers on our relationship bridge.

Whilst we’re on the topic. Set the culture among you and your partner. Your kids will notice. Your partner will certainly notice.

We had the brilliant marriage counsellor, Margy Wakefield on the podcast last year and she said if there was one thing she would encourage couples to do, it would be simply to affirm each other every day for one small thing.

When was the last time you thanked your partner for something that was simply expected?

Complimented him or her for something?

We get used to churning our way through life. But here’s an interesting thing. We’ve counselled a number of couples through difficult times, and I've noticed particularly with men who had had an affair, they’ll say,

"I found someone who thought I was great."

It’s so simple

and So sad that

it's not articulated more.

Try weaving it in.

Let me know how it goes

It will invade your family culture

You’ll reap what you sow


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