The Golden Ratio. And we’re not talking about peanut butter and jelly. Positive to negative interactions. Every interaction, every statement, every tone makes an enormous impact on your child.
6:1. 6 positive interactions to every 1 negative interaction.
It seems like a lot. And after practice and awareness, you will be surprised how easy it can be and you will catch on.
It helps to rewire your child’s brain. It models how you would like your child to interact with their world. It may even seem like over-kill some days, but it will strengthen your relationship with your child more than you will ever realize. Kids learn scripts that they repeat to themselves, which typically come from what they hear. Parents’ words are often the scripts that play over in their heads. Imagine the impact your words can have if you are constantly speaking life and positive messages to your child.
We utilize this technique in the workplace often. When we use the sandwich method to give a critique (still not talking about peanut butter and jelly)- giving a compliment, giving constructive criticism, and ending with a positive statement. We use this to help the other person learn while recognizing their efforts. We need to do the same to strengthen the parent-child relationship.
What can a positive interaction look like?
A hug. Eye contact paired with a smile. Positive tone of voice. Affirmations. Congratulations. Please. Thank yous. Verbal compliments. High-five. Tickle fights.
Have fun with this! You can be as creative as you want. As long as you mean what you are saying (kids can smell insincerity a mile away!).
Things to look out for?
Unintentional negative interactions. Sarcasm. Backhanded compliments. Joking about insecurities. Laughing when your child is being serious.
The power of positive messages is so important for your child. Not only does your positive interactions help to form their positive messages, narrative and self image, there is also research supporting the positive impact of positive energy. There is ample research that supports the power of negative versus positive energy and how it can even change water molecules. Such as cooked rice receiving negative energy and statements becoming moldy significantly faster than cooked rice receiving positive energy and statements. As humans, up to 60% of our body is comprised of water-now imagine the impact YOU can make on your child if you fill that with positive energy?
Now are you expected to be perfect? No way. Are you going to make mistakes? Heck yes. And, you have the power and opportunity to repair and make it right by trying again. You got this! Keep rocking being a parent in relation to your child:)
Written by Michele Flynn, MA, LPC, BCN
Michele Flynn, M.A. is a Licensed Professional Counselor and is Board Certified in Neurofeedback. She has a variety of experience and/or training in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, Motivational Interviewing, and Play Therapy.
Her passion is working with individuals and families to overcome difficult seasons, barriers, life circumstances, and diagnoses, such as anxiety, depression, ADHD, autism spectrum disorder, “difficult behaviors”, as well as other mental health diagnoses. Her ultimate goal in each session is to provide a safe and supportive environment to help clients feel respected while working and growing toward their full potential.