Jasper is a fun-loving almost two-year-old. He enjoys laughing at his own jokes and causing “just enough” trouble. This often lands him in sticky situations, and as parents, we are forever working on finding ways to re-direct his behavior without telling him “no.”
When I started teaching in Hudson, I was introduced to the power of positive psychology and its impact on behavior through The Responsive Classroom technique. I studied and explored this theory beyond the introductory class and became increasingly interested in using this strategy as a teacher and as a parent. Here’s a quick breakdown of the theory:
1. Convey a strong belief in children’s ability to make decisions
2. Use direct language– this means instead of saying “Could you wait your turn?” we say “Its time to listen” or.. instead of saying “We’ve talked about this many times. Do not climb on Mommy” we say “Butts on the couch. Come sit next to me.”
3. Reinforce positive behaviors
It has taken me years to be confident in implementing these practices. It seems that as adults, we are wired to tell children “no.” I have witnessed the success and immediate impact of this strategy; Patrick and I are committed to becoming better at it.
Jasper wants to please us, and he knows where the rules and boundaries are. As he grows, we want him to know what we expect him to do instead of thinking about all of the things that he has done wrong or is not allowed to do. There are truckloads of research and best-selling books about the power of positive psychology. This theory is our way of integrating the power of the positive into our family’s lives.