My emails are read by around 2000 people a week, and of course, I love getting positive feedback. Once in a while I get a negative email; there is always someone who doesn’t like what I said or doesn’t like the point that I’m trying to make. But I can deal with the critique because I get enough positivity to balance it out.
When baby Moshe was placed in a basket in the Nile river, his older sister Miriam stood on the side of the river for about 20 minutes, waiting and watching to see what would happen to him. Many years later when she was struck with tzaraas (leprosy), the entire Jewish nation waited for her for seven full days.
I did the math. 20 minutes times 500 is about seven days. She was rewarded by a ratio of 500 to 1.
Would children be happier If we would reward them 500 times for something they did right before we give them one consequence?
Would they have higher self-esteem if we complimented them 500 times before we gave them one critique?
Would they behave better if we focused, and put more energy on the positive over the negative?
Would they have a higher self-image if we gave them 500 smiles before we gave them 1 stern look?
What happens is, because we love our children, and because we want them to do better, we’re always looking out for things they’re doing wrong and trying to teach them how to do it right.
Remember, the ratio needs to be 500:1.