Aug 27, 2010

Gleaned from newsletters from and articles at

Years ago Harvard professor William James said The deepest principle in human nature is the craving to be appreciated.  From infancy right through old age, in our own ways, we're all asking the same questions:
Does anyone love me?
Am I special to someone?
Am I appreciated? 
It's a shame that so many children grow up without getting affirmative answers to those questions.

Someone explained that kids often misbehave because they want attention, and parents often use their strongest emotions and their LOUDEST words when they're angry, which doesn't solve the problem at hand and can actually reinforce the kids' bad behavior.

So take the concept to the opposite extreme. When one of your kids brings home a good report card or does something nice for someone else, yell at the top of your lungs, "Good job!" or, "That's fantastic!" As you might imagine it sometimes shocks the kids, but when they realize what is happening, that Dad is actually affirming and appreciating them, they definitely feel the love. Would something like that work for you?

Remember that your words have great power with your children. You can bet they'll remember many of your statements for years to come; their whole outlook on life could be shaped, for better or for worse, by something you say. And even in everyday life, your children will respond much better to positive words than they will to criticism, preaching at them, or nagging them to do what you want. Instead, whenever possible, use words intentionally to bless and to build up, whether you yell those positive words, whisper them, or simply speak them as a normal part of the day.

● Ask your children, Do I yell at you sometimes?   How does it make you feel?

● Strive to give your children at least one sincere compliment every day. It will require you to think, plan, observe, notice, and initiate.

● For every negative or corrective comment you make to your child, give them six or seven positive, affirming words of praise and blessing.

● When you need to correct your child, find a way to do it without shaming or belittling them. Don't say anything until you can keep your voice down and maintain a calm tone.

● Instead of reminding your child about what they did wrong or what they shouldn't do, try telling them what you want them to do. Instead of "Stop fighting with your brother," try, "What's a solution that both of you can live with?"

Keep up the good work!

Aug 25, 2010

What makes the difference between a Nation that is truly great and one that is merely rich and powerful? It is the simple things that make the difference. Honesty, knowing right from wrong, openness, self-respect, and the courage of conviction. -- David L Boren