Monday, December 12, 2011

Notice the Negative but avoid Negative Thinking

"He stomps on the floor."
"She resists doing one simple chore!"
"He cries when he can’t have a toy."
"She's moody."

You’re not responsible for every random thought that pops in your head, only ones you entertain. To think, “That child is rude” may enter your mind and probably do little harm. Maybe she is being rude or selfish. You might have made an accurate observation of childhood behavior. But adding more to your observation, “And she’s such a BRAT,” or “I CAN'T that kid!” starts a cycle of negative thinking that impairs your skillful response.

To notice the floor is filthy may be a factual observation. To add, “Why is everyone here so lazy?” begins a negative thinking cycle interfering with your relationships and performance. Sweeping the floor clean is to take corrective action.

Likewise, noticing a child’s behavior is a certain way, is not negative thinking. But do you stew on that assessment? Do you label the child based on behavior? Do you harbor an attitude against her? Or do you stop your thought there and positively confront and correct the inappropriate behavior?

As a childcare professional or parent, it’s critical to know the distinction between a negative thought and negative thinking. You control your thinking. Don't let it control you and how you discipline.

The Birth to Five Book: Confident Childrearing Right from the Start is available online or get signed copies by mailing me $12 per book (U.S. orders only) at: P.O. Box 1302 | Mount Vernon, OH 43050.
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©Copyright 2011, Brenda Nixon.

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