A new school year has begun and with it the challenges of getting our children/students to cooperate with us. This month try to focus on Positive Intent: Turning Resistance into Cooperation. Below are some short excerpts from Becky Bailey's book Easy to Love, Difficult to Discipline and some helpful language for us to practice.
"When you attribute negaive intent to others, you subtly attack them. Your attempt to make them feel bad about themselves and their choices is a form of assault. You actually implant a feeling of danger in others every time you try to make them feel bad, wrong, or responsible for your upset, and this sense of being in danger usually creates conflict, as the other person becomes defensive, not cooperative. The conflict mounts if you proceed with your own agenda without inspiring the other person to cooperate. When you learn to attribute positive intent to other people, you possess a powerful skill. It is the skill you need to transform opposition into cooperation."
"When you attribute negative intent to your children, you also do the following:
*You attempt to make your child feel bad for his actions.
*You focus his attention on what he is doing that is wrong or not good enough. Remember the Power of Attention: What you focus on, you get more of.
*You imply that he is deliberately making your life more difficult.
*You highlight character flaws that he, in turn, incorporates into his self-concept."
Try to attribute positive intent to your children's actions.
Step 1: State the child positive motives. Example: You wanted to get your brother's attention.
Step 2: Describe your child's actions WITHOUT judgement. Example: You hit your brother.
Step 3: State the limit and why it is needed. Example: You may not hit. Hitting hurts.
Step 4: Tell your child what is acceptable. Example: When you want your brother's attention, say his name. Do it now.
Step 5: Praise and encourage your child WITHOUT judgement. You used your brother's name instead of hitting. Way to go!