If you want your children to improve, let them overhear the nice things you say about them to others. ~Haim Ginott
This is so true. When I was 15 years old I remember overhearing my mother while she was speaking to someone else. I remember her saying ” Tommy always makes his bed”. The funny thing was, I immediately thought, no I don’t. I had actually had a good week in which I made my bed but rarely did on other occasions. Well the next morning came and I was running late for school and was about to leave my room with an unmade bed. Suddenly the words”Tommy always makes his bed” popped into my head. I immediately reminded myself that this statement was not true. As I took another step toward leaving, the thought kept pestering me as my mind was engaged in a mental war. I finally conceded that to just go ahead and make my bed was far less painful than to continue with my mental debate. This process went on for a few days before the new me took over. Now I always made my bed and did so without missing a day. I did not want to scar a perfect record now. This “thing” whatever took place amazed me. I did not want to let my mothers perception of me down. My mother had this image of me that I wanted to uphold. I know now how important the power of praise really is. I also know how this could work in the reverse. Had my mom told us that we were pigs and uncapable of doing anything right, I might have believed that. After all, she is my mother and I do trust her. I think too often we as parents forget this important truth. We get caught up with recognizing the negative things we don’t like in our kids and we forget to praise them. I like what Zig Ziglar used to say. He said, sometimes you have to just catch someone in the act of doing something right, then praise them. My mom caught me in the act of doing something right and then she praised me. Make it a point to praise your kids and even let them overhear you praising them. You will be amazed at how much they respect what you think of them.