I have been blessed to be very busy the past few weeks. We are eagerly awaiting the arrival of our son any minute now. The birth of a child is an amazing process, as many of you know. I still find it almost unbelievable I will be holding him in just a few hours. The most excited person in the house is our 27-month-old Madison. I talk to her every night about how exciting it will be to have a brother - what she will teach him to do - how important her role is as mommy has the baby and we bring him home - how great a big sister she will be – how proud we are of her and how much we love her.
Ever since I read the classic How to Win Friends and Influence People, the strategy of "giving people a fine reputation to live up to" has fascinated me. I believe that people will rise up to the expectations you set for them. And consequently, people will fall to the level you "crush" them to by using consistently finding fault and dwelling on the negative.
One strategy that has worked very well with Madison you can try with your kids. Creating rituals at bed time are very important as you know – dinner, play, tickle attack, bubble bath, brush the teeth, read or tell them special stories/dance and sing their favorite songs, rub their head and back etc.
Since she was very young I recap her entire day and ask her questions about what happened. We would look at all the fun things she/we did, how well she performed and behaved, what she learned today – new tasks or words, phrases and concepts, recently we began going over any "time-outs" she had and why they happened, and finally what she had to look forward to tomorrow and how well she will do. I do my best to use the best words, volume, tonality, pacing, facial expressions, touch, and physiology to make it compelling. Adding in the senses of smell, taste, temperature etc. helps too. We believe this ritual has made getting her to bed much easier and has planted seeds deep within her that grow a little more each day. We will strive to live up to the positive expectations that people have of us, especially those closest to us.
Chip Eichelberger is an author and motivational speaker...learn more at GetSwitchedOn.com.