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.
- Watch this video and follow the instructions.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.