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By Liann Smith (This blog, originally posted October 11, 2012, on the Impact Parenting website blog,  is reposted with permission.)

I was in Costco this weekend returning something. The lines were long but I had to get it done.

I was behind a dad and his two children. His son was about 7 and his daughter about 4 years old. As normal, one child was touching the other child. The dad responded with good boundaries and directions. BUT, here is what I also saw. He gave many commands but no praises. He never noticed when a command was followed. When dad said, “If you touch your sister again, all your treats will go away,” his son stopped bugging his sister and moved to play with the cart. Dad never noticed the positive behavior.

So my question to you is “Do you have anything good to say?”

It takes intention to notice the positive behavior. It hardly takes any effort on our part to notice the negative behavior, our children command us with negative. And we wonder why kids are always acting up.

Take 30 minutes today and be aware of how many times you correct or direct your child verses how much you notice the good behavior. Good parents do direct and correct, but great parents notice when their child behaves well.

When we notice the good stuff, we will get better behavior from our children. Best of all, we will have a closer relationship with them. Here is a quote that I have in my office:

“True obedience is a matter of love, which it makes voluntary not compelled by fear or force.” Dorothy Day, Peace Activist

Liann Smith is a certified Parent-Child Interaction Training / Therapy (PCIT) coach at Encompass, an independent facilitator of the Becoming a Love and Logic Parentcurricula and the founder of Impact Parenting. She completed a certificate in parenting coaching at the Parent Coaching Institute in collaboration with Seattle Pacific University. She has an undergraduate degree in child development and biblical studies. She also is the mother of three grown children. For more than 17 years, she has worked with hundreds of families with children as a church ministry director and teacher.

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