Monday Motivational

Back to Basics!

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Becoming Brain Smart

"Only when you are willing and capable of permanently changing your own behavior can you begin to help children change theirs. To change yourself or help anyone else change, you must focus on what you WANT. Many people have tried to change their own behaviors without success. New Year's resolutions are great examples. 'I will stop smoking, eat less junk food, and spend less time at work' are common resolutions. Usually people keep these commitments for only a few weeks before backsliding. Why? The main reason for failing is we are trying to change behaviors, both in ourselves and in our children, by focusing on what we don't want...

Watch a toddler. If you say, 'Don't touch the lamp,' what does the child do? She will look at you, look at the lamp, point to it, touch it and then look back at you-usually with a big smile. Her brain heard 'touch the lamp,' so she looks at your proudly as if to say, 'Hey! I did it! I touched the lamp!' Imagine her confusion when you growl, 'What did I tell you?' and push her little hand away. No wonder we all need therapy!"

(Excerpt from Conscious Discipline by Dr. Becky A. Bailey)

I recently attended a conference that echoed this "brain smart" tip. The brain often fails to hear the "no" or "not" when giving a directive. Tell them what you want them TO do instead of what you want them NOT to do. Tell yourself what YOU want too! Does this sound a little familiar to you? It should! This is the basic premise behind our positive expectations. ROAR on!

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