We are wired to notice the negative because it is crucial to our survival but it means that as parents (or colleagues or bosses) we are alerted to the behaviour we don’t want and often overlook what is going well.

If we give attention to the negative, children will take that rather than no attention at all. If I don’t get noticed for being kind to my brother but do get noticed when I take his toy…

Practice noticing what is going well, look for opportunities to praise, and play it back describing what you see. I noticed that you put your cup in the sink. I appreciated you were ready to leave at the time we agreed. When you spend time helping your sister it makes me so proud.

It’s a small thing with a huge impact on family life and life in general.

*These words were produced for our Advent Calendar in December 2020.