Sunday, January 10, 2010

Parenting Tip #21 The Jelly Bean Principle

My young teenage son was enamored with a particular baseball player and had ordered a baseball cap with the player’s number on it. The hat was to be delivered by UPS so every day Aaron looked out the front room window to see if the UPS truck was pulling up to our house. After a couple of days of watching he commented, “Wow, I didn’t know there were so many UPS trucks that drove through our neighborhood.”

I immediately took advantage of this teaching opportunity and told him about the Jelly Bean Principle which is, you notice what you are focusing on. If you have a bowl of jelly beans put in front of you and someone says, “Look, this bowl has lots of red jelly beans in it”, then suddenly you notice that there DO seem to be lots of red jelly beans compared to any other color. But if you say, “Look at all the yellow jelly beans in this bowl,” then yellow seems to be the predominant color.

What are you looking for and focusing on with your children? Do you notice how disobedient they always are, or how messy they make the house? Do you see how your husband always throws his socks on the floor and how no one ever thanks you for the things you do?

Here’s the challenge: focus on the good your children do. Catch them in the act of doing something kind or obeying you and compliment them on it. Notice those things your husband does to help and tell him how you appreciate him helping. If you continue to focus on the good, and show appreciation for what your family does, soon your children will become the model children you have always wanted –just kidding. The Jelly Bean Principle won’t make your children into “model children”, but it will make a happy home as everyone looks for the good in others.

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