Photo by Rachel Hadiashar
"Look Mom! Look at me!"
"Dad, watch me! Watch!"
It can be so sweet, and so uh ... repetitive.
But there is brain science behind our children's need for us to watch and celebrate all the little moments of everyday life with them.
Concsious Discipline teaches us that our children's brains are wired to need our feedback to grow.
Dan Siegel talks about the concept of dyadic regulation.
Our children are like little sponges that literally grow their brains off of our brains.
Have you ever thought to yourself, "they should know this by now?!"
Well, maybe not.
Car companies don't rent to people until they are 25 for a reason.
A young person's brain isn't fully developed until age 25.
So, plan on repeating yourself a whole bunch--and using Noticing Encouragement--
until then to grow healthy brains.
Noticing is the best way to connect those dots for the little people in your life.
Conscious Discipline says the highest quality Noticing is:
Using Noticing often, immediately after the behavior, action or event happens, and having it be free of any value judgment of good or bad (often the hardest part) is the BEST quality feedback you can give your children to wire them for pro-social behavior.
In Positive Discipline, we use these sentence starters to facilitate Noticing Encouragement:
"I see/ I notice/ I understand..."
Here's some examples of Noticing Encouragement:
"You put the blocks away," for a child who is cleaning up.
"It's Wednesday afternoon," for the teen who forgets every Wednesday to take out the garbage.
"You took the ball out of his hands," to build awareness about taking turns.
"You're talking very loudly to me," for a child who is upset and yelling.
"You used lots of purples and blues in your painting," for a child showing you a lovely picture.
Get the idea of Noticing Encouragement?
Noticing reflects back neutrally what you see, like a mirror or a movie playback.
Noticing helps children connect the dots of life so they can auto-correct their own behavior.
Noticing helps keep you calm, and buys you time to figure out what to do next.
One mom in my parenting community tried out Noticing Encouragement at home when her son was running through the house with a broom in the air. She simply said, "the broom is in the air near the lamp." He immediately auto-corrected and put the broom down.
Another parent wisely said, "We all want to be seen and heard."
How true is that.
Give Noticing Encouragement a try at home and let us know how it goes.
Hi friends, I write from the heart to tell my life story, and the story of those in my neighborhood called life. Research shows that our children's emotional & mental health is contingent upon us parents being able to tell our life story, or "coherent narrative." This is my coherent narrative, my life story in the making, with some of what I love in life too. My goal is to share my life in a way that is real, uplifting & positive- sometimes serious, sometimes fun. In my practice, I inspire parents to empowerment through reclaiming our life stories and learning respectful discipline. My work is my offering to our children- our future. Wishing you all a happy family!