One of the most important things you can do for your kids is help them increase their vocabulary and help them learn to think and say positive, uplifting, affirming things to themselves, to other family members and to their friends. This can be taught and I can assure you that when you focus on this idea as a specific “project” and they catch on – you may start experiencing a bit more calm and peace in your home. Positive language counts….not just positive thinking. And it is WAY FUN!! (By the way this is an anti-bully approach. Positive thinking and speaking kids do not bully others, nor accept the bully actions of others. They are able to deflect, walk away and not take it personally when they are challenged by a bully.)
By introducing the word, “positive fun” to your kids, you are teaching them about not only what is in the here and now. But as we want to “stay connected” to our kids in their teen years and beyond, it would be a great idea NOW to instill this idea and help them train their thinking to be able to make positive choices. I have witnessed children raised in a “positive fun” environment be able to choose positive fun later in their teen years and as young adults and resist the “negative fun” world of ….do I dare even share it here? Well you know what we mean. Your imagination does not have to stretch too far to connect with the fears of the looming teen years.
Start saying “positive fun” to all family members in context. They may not know what you are talking about…but they will catch on.
Ask your kids what positive fun means to them and what they want to do this summer that is “positive fun.” Instill the idea.
Create a “Positive Fun Day” that involves some kind of learning. A singing or theatre class, a musical theatre play, learning a new sport like going to the rock gym, or go to the library, beach, or pool with a game plan of learning something new. Throw a “positive fun” party and see what they decide to create. Sounds corny I know but it works – start when they are young!
HAVE A “FUN” VISION FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY
Visioning is an art and a science. Having a goal, intention, burning desire can be translated into “Visioning” and you can get the whole family into it and teach your children this important skill. There are many ways to go about it, but here this summer, we can take on this indoor project on one of those infrequent rainy summer days in the Bay Area.
Our Stay Connected Challenge is not a behavior modification approach. It is based on my book, The Parent as Coach Approach which has underpinnings in the philosophy that every person is capable of taking responsibility for creating their life. Every person is resourceful, creative and whole and this applies to how we approach, treat and think about our kids. Therefore, we can and must teach our children how to think for themselves, learn critical thinking skills and to know in their heart they are valued and worthy. Introducing them to a Visioning process may take some time, but what you are installing into their thinking, is that they can take some responsibility for creating what they want and increasing their self-esteem.
Purchase a large bulletin board for the whole family to use. 3’ by 4’ should do it.
Create a conversation with them about “visualizing fun.” Then start getting all involved to make a WE CREATE FUN collage with images, words, drawings, how ever they want to do it! Help them visualize what is fun!
Hang it up where it can be modified over time as the family starts having FUN with the Fun Vision Board. Get as creative as you want and…have fun!
Focus on the word FUN in your home as a way of life.
Have the whole family create what is on the Fun Vision Board.
Diana Sterling is the author of The Parent as Coach Approach, 2008 White Oak Publishing. She is a Certified Family Coach and developer and instructor of Family Coach Training at Relationship Coaching Institute as well as wife, mother and step-mother. Visit www.dianasterling.com and get your FREE full copy of her ground-breaking work The Parent as Coach Approach in e-book form where these practical tools and many more are explained in detail on how your desire to create connected, loving kids as they become healthy teenagers and young adults.