Step Teach Positive Appropriate Alternatives

Negative kids often say so many critical comments that positive ones are temporarily misplaced, forgotten, or even lost.

Sometimes kids don't feel comfortable saying positive com ments because they haven't practiced them enough. Don't overlook that you might actually have to teach or reteach your kid how to be positive:

• Teach encouraging words. Start by explaining to your kid that one of the easiest ways to make the world a kinder place is by saying encouraging, caring words.You might ask, "What are words you say or you hear others say that make people smile and feel good?"Then make a poster of ideas and display it. Here are a few to get you started: "Tell me what I can do.""I enjoyed that.""Hope you feel better." "Do you need anything?""Are you all right?"

• Institute the Two Positive Rule. Launch a strategy called the Two Positive Rule: the child must say at least two positive comments during a specified time period.You might begin in the safety of home by challenging your family every night for a week: "Everyone must say at least two positive comments before they leave the dinner table."

• Say positive comments. Encourage your kid when his friend comes over: "Remember to tell your friend at least two positive comments before he leaves." Finally, when your kid leaves your house, gently remind him of the rule: "Remember to say two positive comments today."

• Practice positive attitudes. Continue finding practice opportunities for your kid to use the rule until positive comments become a natural part of his daily speech replacing negative ones.

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