In your role as a parent or child care provider, one of the most important gifts you can provide small children is maintaining a positive attitude as you interact with them on a daily basis. Because attitudes are caught and not taught, your attitude and moods can impact the overall atmosphere in your home or child care setting.
Everyone has the capacity to remain positive during almost every situation; however, because our attitude is constantly bombarded by negative factors, an overall tune-up may be required at times. As you work with small children and other adults, you might often find yourself stressed, tired, and simply overwhelmed. When your attitude sags because of these factors, it can impact how you approach and interact with others, which in turn escalates their response and your potential stress.
There are a number of ways you can positively touch people on a daily basis and improve your relationships with them. The following 10 techniques can be applied as you work with both children and adults. These simple shifts in thinking and behavior are sure to have an impact:
- Begin each day by setting an intention. It’s important to note that an intention isn’t a goal to achieve, but a way of being. You might want to bring creativity to your work, be more open-ended in challenging situations, or prioritize a healthy habit. Think it, say it out loud, or write it down before starting your day.
- Talk to people. Begin each interaction with a cheerful greeting. Children are very responsive when you show happiness to see them each morning.
- Allow time for laughter. Finding humor, even in the most challenging situations, can alleviate stress and shift a declining mood dramatically.
- Call people by name. The sweetest music to anyone’s ear is the sound of their own name.
- Be helpful. Offer support to other adults working with small children.
- Be genuinely interested in people. Ask children to tell you about their activities, interests, and loves.
- Be generous with praise and cautious with criticism. Praise in public and critique in private – even small children can be embarrassed in front of their peers.
- Spend time with positive people. Moods are contagious. Strive to be around those with an upbeat attitude.
- Start each day with a new slate. Don’t bring in arguments or controversy from the previous day. If a child struggled with behavior issues yesterday, don’t assume the behavior will carry over to today. Some space and a good night’s sleep – for both of you – might have made a big difference.
- Be alert to giving service. What counts most in life is what we do for others. Working with small children provides many opportunities to give your talents and love. At the end of the day, you’ll feel good about knowing you were needed!
How do you practice positivity? Please post your ideas or thoughts below.