Having somehow successfully negotiated the troubling years of being parents, and then jumping unprepared into the role of grandparents, we slowly began to realise one very simple but profound truth: Communication was what made it all work. And in particular, when we look back over the years, we realise just how important positive communication and reinforcement was to each of our children and grandchildren growing up.
We had learned very early on to focus on the bad behaviour being exhibited and never on the child. We understood how important our tone of voice was when speaking to them, never screaming or having an emotional shouting match with them. We knew that we needed to be consistent in what we said and did, so we could model good behaviour to them. And we always tried to provide positive feedback instead of criticism.
It wasnt always easy, and sometimes it wasn’t successful, but in the long term we can definitely say that it did make a difference in their behaviour, and how they treated us and each other. They also learned that they could try and fail and not be punished or put down. They could take on new challenges and succeed in ways never thought of.
Some of the most powerful words we ever spoke to our children and grandchildren included:
- you make us very proud
- we love you and we will never stop loving you
- you have done a great job, just as we knew you would
- thanks for sharing what happened at school, I really enjoyed our talk
- that was very brave of you, we are so glad you tried it.
Very simple statements, but far better than abusing or criticising them by saying things like:
- you are such an idiot, why do you always do that
- you are such a baby, I hate it when you do that
- you are a horrible child, I wish I had never had you
- if you do that again you will wish you had never been born
- I hate you, do you hear me!
Now honestly, which set of statements would you as a child prefer to hear? Learn to communicate well with your child and speak positively to them, and they will love you all the more for it in years to come.
Living each adventure,
Christine and Trevor
Empowering people to live a healthy, active, authentic and fulfilling life.
Adelaide, South Australia.
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DISCLAIMER: This article is written for informational purposes only and is based on Christine and Trevor’s own life experiences. No food featured on this site should ever be consumed or handled if known or suspected allergies exist. Nothing featured here should be taken as medical, professional or legal advice. It is always recommended that you consult the appropriate professional before changing any routine or adopting any new procedure.