Do It Yourself - Spring 2017

Plant a Good Seed

Springtime is a welcomed time of year -- days are longer, weather is warmer and flowers are starting to sprout and bloom. When planting a seed there is an expectation that with attention and care it will grow into something bigger and better than a tiny seed. With water, sunshine, and sometimes some pruning, bulbs grow into colorful flowers and seeds become beautiful blooms, plants, fruits, or vegetables.

So what if we told you, you could plant a seed in your child to help them blossom? You can plant seeds of positive feedback with your children and watch them grow. When you give positive feedback to others, you are encouraging them to continue to display the specific behavior you observed. If you are grateful that your child woke up and got dressed all by himself, you would want to point that behavior out and give him positive feedback with the hope of that behavior occurring again.

Here’s how to best plant the seed of positive feedback:

  • Describe the situation → name exactly when and where the positive behavior occurred
  • Describe the behavior → tell the child exactly what she did that you want to praise her for
  • Describe the effect → let the child know what happened as a result of the positive behavior – be specific

Using the example from before about a child getting dressed on their own, one way to give positive feedback correctly would be: “This morning when you were upstairs in your room after breakfast and you picked out an outfit to wear all on your own and got dressed it gave me more time to finish packing your lunch. I really needed that. Thank you so much.” In this example the situation is this morning when you were upstairs in your room, the behavior is you picked out an outfit to wear all on your own and got dressed, and the effect is I had more time to pack your lunch.

If you practice sowing seeds of positive feedback with your children on a regular basis you are able to help them display types of behaviors you want to see and can be proud of. As we approach springtime don’t forget to plant those positive seeds and watch your children grow!