What You Say Is
What They Do!!
Unfortunately, it’s an idiosyncrasy of psychology nature that we have a tendency to recall the negatives in life a lot longer than we remember the positives. The specialized name for this phenomenon is the “Zeigarnik Effect.” Simply stated, it means that we not just recall negative emotions and encounters longer than positive ones, but we likewise feel a more prominent effect from negative messages than we do from positive ones.
If you want a child to have a more positive attitude, you should reliably highlight positives and abstain from presenting pessimism. How? It’s a psychological trick, and it has more to do with what you say than what what you do.
Here are some examples. Consider how often you have said things like this to your child:
“Take this glass of milk, and don’t spill it.”
“Don’t slam the door.”
“Study hard so you don’t fail the test.”
After saying such things, have you noticed that the glass spills, the door slams, and the student fails? You may think your child is being deliberately disobedient, but if your child is fairly young, there may be something else going on entirely.
Keeping in mind the end goal to rationally process your commands, young children follow in their heads the situation you have exhibited to them, right down to the negative ending you warned against. The child who is told not to spill the glass of milk must focus on the milk spilling.Keep in mind that children do not have the mental faculties to take in what you have said without first “seeing” your statement in their minds; learn to state your commands or warnings positively and ward off those negative results.
For instance, look at the phrases above reworded to create a positive mental picture in the child’s mind rather than a negative one.
“Take this milk and hold it with both hands.”
“Close the door gently.”
“Study hard, and you’ll do well on the test.”
Obviously, teaching children clear negative outcomes is valuable in a few occasions. For example, when explaining safety issues, such as electrical outlets and their dangers, the need of looking both ways when crossing the street, the physical damage and consequences of ignoring your advice should be clearly outlined.
What’s the psychological trick?
Make a conscious effort to present positive, helpful reminders to your child. The messages you send to your children influence their activities.
Use this trick with your colleagues too. Some of us still haven’t developed adequate mental abilities to abstain from carrying on negative suggestions, and some of us simply prefer “prescription” to “proscription.”