The Golden Ratio. And we’re not talking about peanut butter and jelly. We’re talking about positive to negative interactions. Every interaction – Every statement – Every tone – makes an enormous impact on your child.
6:1. 6 positive interactions to every 1 negative interaction. It seems like a lot. And after practice and awareness, you will be surprised by how easy it can be and how easily you will catch on. It not only helps to rewire your child’s brain, it also models how you would like your child to interact with their world. It may even seem like over-kill some days, AND it will absolutely strengthen your relationship with your child more than you will ever realize.
Kids learn scripts that they repeat to themselves over and over in their heads – conscious and unconscious – which typically come from statements they have heard or been told by their world, adults, and peers. Parents’ words are often the scripts that will re-play over and over on a loop. Imagine the impact your words would have if you are constantly lifting them up and speaking life and positive messages into your child’s world.
While this technique may seem difficult, it is actually one we utilize with other adults, especially in the workplace. Have you heard of, used, or recognize the ‘sandwich method’
(still not talking about peanut butter and jelly) it’s often used to give a critique – giving a compliment, giving constructive criticism, and ending with a positive statement/compliment. We use this to help the other person learn while recognizing their efforts and strengthening the professional relationship. We need to do the same to strengthen the parent-child relationship.
What can a positive interaction look like? A hug. Eye contact paired with a smile. Positive tone of voice. Affirmations. Congratulations. Please. Thank yous. Verbal compliments. High-fives. Tickle fights. Have fun with this! You can be as creative as you want. As long as you are authentic and truly mean and believe what you are saying (kids can smell insincerity a mile away!)
Things to look out for? Unintentional negative interactions. Sarcasm. Backhanded compliments. Joking about known insecurities. Laughing when your child is being serious – no matter how cute their comments may be.
This ratio is not just effective in building your relationship with your child – but building relationships with your spouse, loved ones, and friends as well. It allows for space to not only build relationship, but to give grace when needed and to grow. Could you imagine the impact receiving 6 positive interactions to every 1 negative interaction throughout your work week or weekend?
The power of positive messages is so important. Not only do your positive interactions and statements help to form their positive messages, narrative, and self image, but there is also research supporting the positive impact of positive energy. There is ample research that supports the power of negative versus positive energy and how it can even change water molecules. One experiment showed cooked rice which received negative energy and statements becoming moldy significantly faster than cooked rice receiving positive energy and statements. As humans, up to 60% of our body is comprised of water-now imagine the impact YOU can make on your child and loved ones if you fill them with positive energy?
It will absolutely take some practice to utilize this 6:1 ratio – and just like any habit, it is possible. Now are you expected to be perfect? No way. Are you going to make mistakes? Heck yes. And, you have the power and opportunity to repair and make it right by trying again. Remember: You got this! Keep rocking being a parent in relation to your child:)
The information contained herein is not therapeutic advice nor a substitute for therapy. It should not be used to diagnose or treat any mental health problem. If you are located within the United States and you need emergency assistance please call 911 or go to your nearest emergency room. If you are located within Colorado you may also call the Colorado Crisis Line at 844-493-TALK (8255).