Sunday, May 30, 2010

Catch them Doing Something Right

The faster way to improved behaviour
There is a principle that is called ‘Catching your children doing something right’. As mothers, fathers, step-parents – even as employers – we’re used to catching people doing something wrong and criticizing them for it.

But the faster and more effective way to improved behaviour is to catch them doing something right and encourage them in it. Many of us, even as adults, are crushed by the constant pointing out of where we go wrong. This is a great tragedy – when the ear never hears praise, the heart loses the will to try.

When you get the hang of catching people doing something right, you can often find the opportunity to encourage – even when it’s not that easy.

The elderly grandmother went to watch her grandson at the school Sports Day. Tom didn’t get into the final of the 100 metres or the 200 metres, and he was unplaced in the longer races as well. In fact, the only event in which he looked remotely comfortable was the egg and spoon race, but even then he came last. As Tom and his grandmother walked away together, the little boy’s head was down until she put her arm around him and whispered, “You were the only one whose egg didn’t fall off the spoon.”

That young boy never did make it as a sportsman, but against the odds he did achieve great things in other areas of his life. I’m not surprised…

… It’s hard to fail with a grandmother like that.

Read the rest, by Rob Parsons, here.

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