by Kelley Jilek
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 steps you can take to positively touch people on a daily basis and improve your relationships with them. The following ten techniques can be applied as you work with both children and adults. These simple ideas will touch them, and leave them feeling good about themselves and their day:
- Talk to people. There is nothing as nice as a cheerful greeting. Begin each day with a positive attitude. Children are very responsive when you show happiness to see them each morning.
- Smile! It takes 72 muscles to frown and only 14 to smile. Let people hear a smile in your voice as well.
- Call people by name. The sweetest music to anyone’s ear is the sound of his or her own name.
- Be friendly and helpful. If you would like to have friends, be friendly! Offer support to other adults working with small children.
- Be cordial. Speak and act as if anything you do is a real pleasure. Look for joy in daily routines and children’s habits.
- Be genuinely interested in people. You can like someone if you try. 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.
- Be considerate for the feelings of others. It will be appreciated. Look for ways to teach children to be considerate of each other’s feelings.
- Be thoughtful of the opinion of others. There are three sides to a controversy or disagreement: yours, the other person’s, and the right one!
- 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!
We want to hear how you keep your attitude positive. Please post your ideas or thoughts below about what works for you! ⇓