The well-known blogger Tatyana Ivanko, in the course of raising and preparing her daughter for school, came up with a fundamentally new method of teaching, which she called the method «green pen». Tatyana taught her daughter to write using copybooks. Usually in such a situation, the parent underlines the incorrectly written letters with red paste, so that the child subsequently corrects them. Tatyana, however, did everything exactly the opposite — she took green ink and began to underline those letters with which the girl did an excellent job. The child really liked the new method, the daughter began to ask which letter turned out best, after which she was very happy with her achievements.
Why is this needed?
Sometimes we don’t even think about how accustomed we are to thinking in terms of errors. If 19 out of 20 tasks are correctly completed, then attention is focused on the one that, for some reason, could not be completed. All this sometimes leads to all sorts of perfectionism, neuroses and high expectations instead of the ability to pay attention to the positive aspects and enjoy the successful little things.
Whether we like it or not, the subconscious reacts very sensitively to seemingly the most insignificant situations, forming a personality out of this quality. Agree, you would not want your child to grow up nervous and always dissatisfied with both himself and other people, looking for only flaws everywhere. To prevent this from happening, just the “green pen” method is needed.
How to apply?
Of course, the situation with underlining the right points instead of mistakes in writing is the most striking example, but this method can be applied to all other situations in education. In a broad sense, the green pen method means that the emphasis should be on the success of the child, and not on his failures. Sometimes it can be difficult to do this — for example, you are faced with the fact that your son ruined your favorite carpet by spilling paint on it. Instead of scolding the kid, ask him what the idea was. Most likely, you will get a logical (from his point of view) answer about what exactly he was going to draw on the carpet. The temptation to yell at a child for damaging property is great, but take your time — it would be much more appropriate to say that you appreciate his unconventional approach to drawing, but it is better to practice creativity using colored pencils and paper.
Unconditional praise — is it good?
After hearing about this technique for the first time, it seems to many that the main task is to endlessly praise the child for everything he does. Is it so? Not really. The task is precisely in constructive praise, that is, in really finding what exactly the child is good at. There is not much point in thoughtless praise, because this will only ensure that the child gets used to being praised for everything without reference to reality, and will not be able to assess where he is really progressing. We have already written about how to properly praise a child.
Work on mistakes
Another question that is often asked to the methodology is whether it is worth doing work on mistakes, explaining to the child how to fix what he did not succeed. Of course, it is worth it, because emphasizing the pluses does not mean completely ignoring the minuses — this is just a different approach to them. Say, in a situation where a child spilled paint on a carpet, ask him if he would be happy with such a piece of furniture on an ongoing basis, and then take him to the store to buy a new carpet so that he understands that there are consequences behind every action. The child must learn to understand the relationship of cause and effect and not be afraid of mistakes, but to know how to correct them and how to work in the future in such a way as to make them as few as possible.