I wrote a post two years ago about Big J being “caught being good” at preschool and I’m still a big fan of this concept.
I think I spend WAY too much time as a parent catching my children doing something wrong and correcting or disciplining as necessary.
It is exhausting and discouraging to be focused on the “bad” and “wrong.”
Of course, we want to make sure that our children do not travel down the wrong path. Correction and discipline have their place in every family.
Maybe it would be less exhausting and exasperating for everyone if our mindset was more the encouraging way of “catching them doing good!”
I think this can work with children of every age – it’s just a matter of finding what works for your family!
The first key is to watch for your children doing unsolicited good works or regular chores or tasks with a an exceptionally good attitude. This shouldn’t be something they expect to be rewarded for ahead of time. The surprise element is what makes this so fun for all of you!
Next, find a small, age-appropriate reward that fits your child. Big J’s preschool teacher used little certificates. A small treat is a great option. Older kids could be rewarded with extra screen time. Even a few words of praise may be a gift to your kiddo! You know your children best, so tailor the rewards to them!
And this can be encouraged throughout the whole family! Tell your spouse when you really appreciate something they have done! Have the kids tell their siblings when they really like something they have done.
Just imagine the family bonds being made and strengthened when everyone is noticing the positive in one another!
Family Tie #20: Start catching everyone “doing good” in your family! Decide with your spouse on rewards for these special moments and stock up on them. No need to tell the kids your plan – just keep your eyes and ears open for chances to praise them!
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