What I am about to write about now applies to all people. Special-needs children, typical kids, and people you meet.
We have a tendency to form opinions of people very quickly. We “size up” strangers before giving them a chance, we bemoan a child’s misbehavior: “Oh, what a terror he is today!”
Once that opinion has been formed, you are likely to try to fit any new information about that person into your pre-existing mindset.
For example, lets say that there are two political candidates. You want “A”, and have decided that “B” is a no-good-doer. If the two of them do the same identical action, one which can be interpreted either positively, or negatively, you will surely say that “A” was acting with the positive motive, and “B” with the negative one.
Now let’s take this into our home. Your child, who we will call Chaim, did something that displeased you. You are beginning to suspect that he is on a bad-behavior “rampage”. If he does almost anything, you are likely to interpret it in a negative fashion. Even if he asks you if you need some help, you are likely to attribute negative underlying motives for his cooperation. (“He’s helping in order to ask me later for….”)
On the other hand, if we will decide to view Chaim with positive eyesight, even misdemeanors can be “excused”. (“So what if he knocked the vase over. He’s tired, it was surely an accident”)
So, if we can convince ourselves to make that first evaluation a pleasurable, positive one, we are likely to reap benefits three-fold:
12) We think we have a good child
2) We will get into fewer arguments
3) When the child sees that you are giving him the benefit of the doubt, he is likely to reciprocate, and actually act better.
One good thought equals three good outcomes.