Last week, someone told me that children hear at least ten negatives to one positive. “Rubbish,” I thought. Then I thought about some of the people I hear dealing with their children in the supermarket or in other public places and I thought “Ok, maybe some, but not my kids.” I know something about the power of language and I try to be as positive as I can when talking to and about my children (I did the same when I was teaching). I also know that I don’t get it right all the time. But I thought that it wouldn’t hurt to double my efforts.
Consequently, every time I was tempted to start a sentence with “No”, or “Don’t”, I tried to twist it around. “Don’t climb on the table”, became “Stay on the floor please” and “Don’t run” became “walk”. WIth some things it was easy, with others I found myself tripping on my words. Crossing the road on the way to school, I changed my usual, “Don’t go” to “Stand still”, but I have to say, I couldn’t find a positive for “I’ve asked you fifty three times to put on your coat and shoes and you still haven’t done it. It’s now half past eight and you are going to be late for school, so will you PLEASE put Buzz Lightyear down before I throw him out of the window to see if he can really fly.” (Actually, before you think I’m cruel, I was only tempted to add the Buzz Lightyear bit.)
I would say that, although our household is a very positive place for the most part, there were far more negatives than positives – add that to what they hear outside the house and maybe, just maybe, it does add up to ten negatives to every positive. How sad.
But who am I to talk? Because of the positive nature of teachingexpertise this month, I have been trying to maintain a positive attitude in my blog. And I’ve found it really hard. It is far easier to criticise than it is to praise (especially if talking about anything political). Some days, I have found it really hard to find topics for my blog. Doesn’t say much for me really, does it?