TOOL NUMBER 2:
Describe the effect on others
We all want our kids to be good citizens. We’d like to encourage their efforts to help others. But we need to beware the temptation to judge their character. So stick with description: instead of ‘You’re a good girl,’ you can say, ‘You carried that grocery bag all the way to the kitchen. That was a big help to me’. Instead of ‘You’re the best big brother,’ you can say ‘She loves it when you make those funny sounds, I see a big smile on her face’. Instead of ‘Good boy, I knew you could be nice to the cat if you tried’, you can say ‘I hear Sparky purring, she likes that gentle petting’.