I saw this post on Facebook. And I had some food for thought.
It was shared by one of my best friends and before I even read the entire post, I knew what it was about.
“Don’t punish the behavior you wish to see” it said and moments from my childhood came flooding in.
The post talks about how parents, guardians, or just people in general, consistently tend to make kids feel bad for doing something that they should be doing already or that would be good for them if they did it more.
And I think this is so important.
And I know some adults could be rolling their eyes right now. Saying “Justice, you don’t have kids, you have no idea what you’re talking about.” But the fact of the matter is, I do know what I’m talking about. And so do so many other kids my age and even younger. We have lived through it. We have felt the feelings that come along with that snarky tone and comment all the time. It’s degrading. It’s negative. It’s toxic.
You shouldn’t be snarkily making comments to your kids all the time if they finally decide to come out of their room and join you for dinner. You shouldn’t berate them constantly if they can’t seem to do something right and then still do it even if they do that thing right.
Now I don’t know much about parenting. The only thing I can go off of is my almost 10 years of nannying and babysitting. But what I’ve learned in that short time is the best way to “parent” is through encouragement.
I cannot COUNT the times where when I used encouragement with the many children I’ve nannied, things just get done faster. Not only that, we have more fun doing those things and I tend to see that behavior more.
If you think about it, this can be used for adults too. Encouraging your friends when they finally cut the negative parts out of their life. Voicing your support when they do something to better themselves.
And I know this doesn’t cover every situation. I know life is murky.
But a blanket statement? I can’t wait to parent through encouragement. And I think all parents and guardians, future and now, should work on parenting through encouragement too. You never know how much positivity could happen within your home. (Or don’t. It’s your life. I’m just saying.)
Drink Water. Stay Weird.