The Power of Positivity in Education
Communication is the most powerful virtue that humans possess but with it, we find a double-edged sword. It is well known that the language and behaviors that little ones show the world are, by and large, a reflection of their role models (parents and educators).
That is why it is necessary to tip the scales of education towards positivity with the intention of encouraging motivated, full, optimistic, and independent minds in our little ones.
We begin by applying the principle ”Positive education = positive mind”
- Become a life explorer: Plant the curiosity bug in your child and let them make mistake after mistake, but always motivate them to be someone who looks for their own answers and solutions.
- Have faith in them: Autonomy must prevail within a healthy education. A good strategy is to establish a list of tasks together that your child can do on their own or with your help, such as basic hygiene, getting dressed, putting their backpack together, and setting and clearing the table. But remember that these tasks should always adapt to their level of maturity.
- Reinforce each little step: By reinforcing each one of their efforts and achievements you will help their insecurities fade. They need to hear things like ”I’m so proud of you!”, ”You did your best!”, ”You’re so special!”
- Show them the value of things: This gives a touch of positivity to everything you do, avoid giving gifts and instead reward the effort and good habits. Furthermore, if we reward with gifts that go beyond material things we will be helping them to have an anti-consumerist mindset, away from ”I have” or ”I need.”
- Speak from the heart. Sometimes we forget that being human is emotional and we end up monitoring our speech, and our life in general, from a rational place rather than sentimental. Talk about emotions, how you feel, and how things affect you.
- Keep the peace by setting limits and rules. Little ones must learn that not everything is acceptable and there are rules of coexistence that we must learn and respect. A good strategy to encourage a behavior change is by using the ”sandwich technique.” It is a positive psychological technique that is very easy to implement and is based on constructive criticism. It has three steps:
- Give them praise through a short and sincere message.
- Request a behavior change. There should be three keywords: BUT (express your displeasure and the problem), WHEN (speak about concrete situations), ASK (for the change in behavior ”I would like it if you…”).
- Positive message.
- A sense of humor must reign. Start by smiling and having an enthusiasm for life that can be passed on to your child. Use friendly, optimistic language, and phrases of positivity. Share fun moments through games, videos, monologues, and jokes. Teach them to understand and learn from the world in a fun way, by learning to laugh at their mistakes and imperfections in order to grow as people.
In the words of Martin Seligman: “Life inflicts the same setbacks and tragedies on the optimist as on the pessimist, but the optimist weathers them better.”