No Negative Words, Only Positive

positive words, negative parenting, negative parenting and their effects


Do you focus on the positive in your adolescent?

Do you affirm them for what they are doing well?

How about showing appreciation and gratitude?

Are your words kind and positive?

This week, I want to challenge you (and me) to take one whole day and pay attention to how many times we say something positive versus how many times we say something negative. Then, let’s commit to not saying one critical comment to our tween or teen. Not only are we to reframe from anything negative, we should look for opportunities to appreciate and praise the positive in our kids.

If you find this challenging, you’re not alone. Talking to moms like myself, I believe we are prone to focus on the negative more than the positive due to the duty (and weight) we feel to raise responsible adults. So, what do we often do? We correct them all the time for fear that we will fail them in some way.

Studies have shown that for every negative comment we need five positives! If we do the math, this means we need to be challenging ourselves to say 80% positive comments to our 20% negative. Furthermore, a recent Harvard study showed it was the positive feedback (not the negative) that motivated people to improve their specific activity and to continue doing it well with more vigor and determination.

negative parentingAffirming our kids will motivate them far more than any nagging and negative feedback ever will.

With a little bit of self-awareness and a commitment to notice and affirm the positive, we can foster a better relationship with our kids and motivate them in powerful ways.

Let’s be aware of our impatience, facial expressions, temptation to nag, or need to bark orders.

There is a wellspring of positive in our kids—even though we may have a disgruntled, moody adolescent! Let’s keep watch for what they are doing well!

And one last thing, let’s be careful not only to affirm their accomplishments, but to see their heart and affirm that too!

As always, I would love to hear how it goes and welcome any reactions or thoughts you have.

Questions: How are you doing affirming the positive in your teen? How do you show appreciation and affirm your tween or teen?

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