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The Third Secret To Safe Kids

May 21, 2008
There are five secrets to keeping your child safer today immediately. The first two secrets, confidence and empowerment, set the foundation for kids that can keep themselves safe when Mom and Dad are not around.

The third secret to keeping your child safe for an entire lifetime of safety is, "Catch Them Being Good."

When your child makes a bad choice, it's important for you to stay calm about it. Yes, this is easier said then done. However, it is critical in your child's ability to keep themselves safe, that you learn to take their mistakes in stride.

We want you to spend more time and energy catching your child being good.

A subtle prodding towards better choices is more effective than highlighting, in a big emotional way, any bad choice they make for themselves. If you have to highlight negative behavior, be very careful in saying, "That was a bad choice," rather than "You are bad." Take care to say, "You can make better choices," instead of saying, "How stupid!" Things like, "You're a great kid but that choice could have been better," keeps your child's image of themselves solid and highlights the choice only, not them, as being bad. Your child is good, the choice is bad.

Building confidence, building a solid self image in your child, builds safety. Capitalize on this and highlight the good things they do more often than the bad things. As a matter of fact, focus on highlighting as many good things as you can rather than making a big deal about the bad things they may do.

When you highlight the negative aspects of your child's behavior, studies have shown that you actually undermine their self esteem and ability to try new things. You kick in the fear factor of failure and start down a path you may not be able to reverse.

We call it, "Catch Them Being Good."

We think positive reinforcement is a much stronger teaching tool and technique for child safety than negative reinforcement. Praise your child when you see them doing good behaviors. Lavish the praise and adulation onto them when they do really great things.

This is also positive mentoring. This is channeling your child into learning how to make good, solid and positive choices for themselves. It builds and fosters that ever-so-critical confidence in themselves.

It is easier to notice the bad behavior. We are tuned by society to notice the negative and bad things people do. It is very easy to notice the bad things your child does. It is a focus of many parents, naturally. Reverse the trend and make your focal point the things your child does well. Positive reinforcement will teach your child to repeat those behaviors you want and make it easier for you to
guide them into those good choices.
About the Author
Joyce Jackson is a child safety expert, #1 bestselling author, consultant, speaker and trainer. For her extensive website and information see Keeping Kids Safe.
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