Reward Systems and Positive Encouragement

How we speak to ourselves is how we speak to our kids!

A lot of us are too hard on ourselves…. “I need to lose weight, I don’t have enough energy, I don’t get enough done during the day.” This negative self-talk starts to weigh in our minds and create lower self-esteem. When we don’t feel good about ourselves it is reflected in our relationships with others, including our children. Our fuses can be shorter, our tempers bigger and our patience level less and less. We all want our children to be happy, well guess what…. It starts with you! Modeling for your children what happiness looks like is hugely important; after all you are their very first teachers in the world. Children are very receptive and can sense changes in mood and demeanor, although they may not understand it, they will mimic it!

Do you notice your little one being hard on themselves and saying “I can’t do it” or getting frustrated easily when trying to complete a task? Try looking inward and asking yourself what you can do to better model for your child a positive attitude. Start small by making a big deal celebration out of a good grade or an accomplishment, embellish the positive. Consider this: instead of disciplining for the negative behaviours, what if we reward for positive behaviours? Which is more powerful and productive, positive or negative attention?

According to relationship researcher, John Gottman, a healthy relationship should have a ratio of 5 positive statements to 1 negative statement. How many of us go through our day with that ratio reversed? When you really stop and think, the thought can be quite alarming.

Parents and nannies alike can consider the above advice not only to help you feel better daily about yourself, but to model for the little ones how to have better self-esteem and the power of positivity. Remember: always speak to yourself in a positive language, the opinion that matters the most is your own.