All to often, we end up focusing on the things we don’t want small beings doing. “Don’t touch that” or “Stop yelling” or “Stop fidgeting so much” Any of these sound familiar? We go through the day telling small beings what not to do or telling them they did something wrong after it is done. It works, sort of. At the end of the day everyone is grumpy and exhausted and feels a bit worse for the wear. This is the approach filled with vinegar.
What would our days be like if we filled the day with honey. “Yes” or “That was great” or “Thank you” These could be more regular phrase our day with our small beings. It is about focusing on what is wanted and not talking as much about what we don’t.
It is about being proactive and using energy to set up success rather than correct after things go off track. When we head out the door, talk to small beings about what is happening and what the expectations are for this particular outing. Do we expect them to say hello to a doorman? Do we expect them to walk holding an adult’s hand? Do we expect them to talk with inside voices when at the destination? Whatever the expectations are, let them know ahead of time. When expectations for multiple outings are be the same, repeat them each time you go out. If we give them clear expectations, they are more likely to meet them.
If they meet the expectations, then we get to give praise and be happy and excited about a job well done! This small being will be set up for success, which makes it more likely to be met. This does require some energy and forethought, which we would be spending correcting this small being anyway.
If we leave and don’t tell them what the expectations are, it is much more likely that they won’t meet them. They may not say hi to the doorman. They may not hold your hand while walking down the street. They may not talk at the appropriate volume when at the destination. Then we end up spending energy correcting behavior and talking about what was done wrong.
Either way, we are spending energy. It may take some work to create a shift in your perspective as the big being. In my opinion, it is certainly worth that effort! It is up to you if you expend positive energy and set clear expectations or negative energy correcting and redirecting after undesirable behaviors occur.