I am a huge fan of positive thoughts and positive vibes and if you know me, than you know this to be very very true. It is so very easy to let our heads lead us to negative self-talk and we can let ourselves get down in the dumps, we don’t need help from anyone else. I wanted to take a minute to talk about Positive reinforcement and then follow it up with the importance of structure for the little people in our lives. When we are little this is when we are finding our identities and building our self-esteem and figuring out who we are. We learn how to dress, how to match our clothes, how to get ready in the morning , how to do our chores, learn that we need to go to school, and how to be responsible for ourselves, for our pets, and eventually for others. These are all very important lessons. If we as adults are constantly speaking in negative tones or punishing kids rather than building them up, how are we helping them? Of course there are consequences and of course we need to teach the concept of consequences, but we also need to teach the concept of rewards. If you go to work, you get a paycheck. If you work harder and faster, you get bonuses, earn promotions, and get ahead in life. Why should we not teach our children this part of life in addition to teaching them that if they do not follow thru on their responsibilities, they will not reach their goals (not earn their paychecks i.e., play time).
Positive reinforcement is defined as the process of encouraging or establishing a pattern of behavior by offering reward when the behavior is exhibited. Rather than saying “If you don’t do “this”, than “this” will happen. It is just as easier and a positive approach to say; “If you complete “this”, “this” will happen. It is the exact same approach but rather than enforcing a fearful or negative approach to a child, you encourage a child to work hard to gain reward. During their work process, they are happier and eager to please rather than scared and unfocused on the task at hand.
It is not always easy to take the higher road and be cheerful and positive. We all get frustrated and at the end of the day we have all lost out temper. I think the take away is to remember we are trying to raise little people to big people who will in turn one day contribute to society. Looking around in today’s society, there is a lot of negativity. If we can contribute to the little people of today by enlightening them in a more positive manner to make this world a better place. By helping hem to make good choices, to make calmer choices, to think things through and not always rule with an iron fist than we have all done our jobs.
When we were children, we did not have to worry about kids bringing guns to school, we were able to play outside safely and ride our bikes without helmets, drink from a garden hose without worry. We ate dinner together as a family, we watched Saturday morning cartoons, went on family trips together. If you are a single mom, blended family, large family or mixed family of all ages, it doesn’t matter. Love each other and do you very best. You are each other’s biggest cheerleaders. Be a team.