When you walk into your child’s room, what is the first thing you see? The mess? Most parents do. As humans, we have a negativity bias which is our tendency not only to register negative stimuli more readily but also to dwell on it. It’s easy to STAY with this perception and to only see one side in relation to certain behaviors.
This week we are working with practicing focusing on the “other” side. Remember, the negative is there so you are not working to ignore it, just giving equal time to the positive. The way to change the brain’s negativity bias requires training your brain towards the other side. You work to actively attune to the positive you see at the same time as the negative. Shifting your focus from the negative (remember it is still there) to the positive equilibrates the brain, seeing the truth in the moment. Science claims that for the other side to get into your long-term memory you need to hold it in your field of attention for at least 10-20 seconds.
This week, seeing your child on their computer notice your negative perceptions and then consciously turn your focus towards finding a positive of their being on the computer. Hold this in your focus for 10-20 seconds.
My child is smiling and full of energy as he plays games on his computer…hold it…hold it….hold it….. Phew, you can do this. Remember, you don’t have to let go of the negative side….You KNOW that one well and it comes a lot easier than focusing on the positive especially with computer use.
Seeing what your child is actually doing instead of focusing and believing they are ONLY doing the negative sends a message to your child that they are a whole human being experiencing positive and negative. If you focus only on the negative your child is hearing over and over they have a deficit which becomes their internal self-talk. The more balanced you see a situation the less emotionally charged you’ll be when supporting your child in learning skill sets that will support their growth.
Next time you walk into their room, of course, you’ll see the mess, and yet shift your focus to the beauty that is hidden in the middle of the mess. Keep your attention there….hold it…hold it…hold it…You got it.