This statement was part of my training in the Conscious Discipline program by Dr. Becky Bailey. It was pointed out to us that if you focus on the negative, if you frequently nag, berate, point out the negative behaviors in your classroom or your own kids, those are the behaviors you will see more often. Though this wasn’t discussed I think there are two reasons for this: the first being when you are focused on one thing that is what you actually notice, you don’t notice other things, the second reason I think it works this way is that when kids see others getting attention for negative behaviors they may begin to act out to get attention themselves. Not every child will do this but some will. I’ve seen it year after year a student desperately wants attention and they try to get it any way they can which includes acting out in class.
Conversely if you focus on the positive behaviors you see, compliment students for doing good things, have students recognize each other for random acts of kindness you create a positive environment and what you will see/notice is more positive behavior. Those students who are seeking attention will see that doing kind things, being respectful, following directions are the way to get that attention.
So keep this saying in mind at home or in the classroom: