18 May, 2020

Surviving Families Under Covid-19 Lockdown #7

This week's post focuses on the importance of praise for children to grow and develop and also on praise as a means to build relationships and modify behaviour. 

The video was part of research about how we as humans are selective in what we pay attention to. It highlights how we can sometimes be so focused on one thing that we completely fail to see what else is happening in the same scenario.


In terms of our relationships - if we are looking for or expect bad or challenging behaviour from people in our lives we are more likely to notice this and not the times when they are kind, supportive or are doing what is expected. If we don’t notice the good things that are happening we can find ourselves in a spiral of negativity and blame. This cycle only serves to create more blame and build resentment.

  • Look for what has gone well
    • Instead of looking for what has gone wrong, pay attention to what has gone well
    • Let the other person know that you have seen what they have done well

It is natural for performance or behavior to vary over time, some days will be better than others. Something outstanding will inevitably be followed by something not as good. This is called regression towards the mean - the idea that it is the long term trend over time that is more important than the instant response.

When we think about this in families it is easy to see how a child could do something brilliantly and receive praise, but then as parents or carers we are then disappointed when the next task is not as good. This is not a result of the praise building complacency in the child but instead shows us the natural fluctuations in human performance.

Try to take a long term view and remember:

  • Praise builds relationships and confidence to try again
  • Criticism builds negativity and a reluctance to try again

Imagine trying a new activity for the first time, be this baking a cake, trying a new sport, fixing a shelf, learning to drive. If the coach/teacher continues to tell you that you are not good enough you will become demotivated and give up quickly. While praise will encourage you to keep trying. Your performance may fluctuate with each attempt, but over time and with encouragement,  it is likely to improve.

This is the same for children and improving there behavior, it takes time, encouragement and patience.


Gloucestershire Family Information Service


If you are finding it really difficult to resolve issues in the family then you can call the Gloucestershire Family Information Service  who offer a FREE, impartial and confidential service to families and are available Mon – Fri, 9am – 8pm and on Saturdays 10am – 6pm.
Here's how to contact them:

  • Call FREE on 0800 542 02 02. If they can’t answer straight away, leave a message and they will call you back
  • Email at familyinfo@gloucestershire.gov.uk  and they will respond to you the same working day
  • Find them on Facebook and leave them a message


Worried about violence and abuse at home?

If you are worried about your own or other's safety in the home you can call:

24-hour National Domestic Violence Helpline 0808 2000 247

or 999 if you are in immediate danger.
If it isn't safe to speak wait for the prompts and dial 55 when asked by the operator.




Smileys from this source.
Cover pic from this source.


Coronavirus update for YST services

At Gloucestershire Youth Support Team our priority is the safety and well being of the young people we work with and the staff that work so hard to support them.

As the national lock down restrictions are lifting, we are now returning to more face to face delivery, including some group work and events. We will be continuing to deliver virtual contact. Please be assured that we are ensuring that precautions to keep people safe are maintained in all spaces.

We know these are uncertain times and some people are experiencing heightened concerns. If you are worried please speak to your contact within the YST or contact us at info.glos@prospects.co.uk.

We look forward to seeing you soon.

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