Monday, January 05, 2009

THE POWER OF AFFIRMATION

FOCUS ON THE FAMILY

 

From TODAY, Voices

Monday January 5, 2009

 

By Dr James Dobson

 

Given a choice between a compliment and a criticism, who wouldn’t choose a compliment? Unfortunately though, some parents forget this when they talk to their children.

 

Psychologist Abraham Maslow once said, “It takes nine affirming comments to make up for each critical comment we give to our children.” It’s true that all normal human beings respond to praise. In fact, we crave affirmation so much that we’re likely to do almost anything to receive it. This is especially true of children. As someone said, “Whoever gives your kids praise and attention has power over them.”

 

If you don’t affirm your children, I can assure you that someone else will. And that could be a drug dealer, a gang member, or anyone else who could harm them. Many people with lifestyles contrary to your own are willing to praise your kids to get what they want from them. This, in fact, is the technique routinely used by pedophiles to abuse lonely children. But giving your kids affirmation, encouragement and attention is one way to keep them on your team.

 

Take a strategy from the popular book “The One Minute Manager”. It says, “Catch your employees doing something right.” Well, why not catch your children doing something good and reward them for it? You might be surprised by the positive effect it will have. 

 

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