Monday, May 04, 2015

My Catch Phrase

Mikey - 12 Years Old
When my three teenagers were children, it was so easy to spend most of my time telling them what they were doing wrong. Having three kids within three years meant they were always up to something. Because I didn’t want to focus on the negatives, I came up a phrase to help me look for positives – because that’s who I want them to become.
"Catch them doing something right and tell on them!"
We all want to be noticed. We repeat actions that get us attention. That’s human nature. We become the ‘me’ that gets noticed. Catching (and praising) your kids for doing the right thing is very powerful. It can change an attitude for life!
You could catch them smiling, sharing, playing, creating, listening, sleeping, eating, or any positive action you want to see more of in your child. Let them know you saw what they did and that they are awesome!
"Catch them doing something right and tell on them!"
Once you’ve caught them doing something right, make it a priority to ‘tell on them’. This takes careful consistent effort as a parent.
When kids do something wrong, it usually makes a good story. So we tell it – to family, friends, teachers, even strangers! It lets others share the parenting journey with us.
Hearing a story about yourself forms identity as much as what actually happens to you. A story about you is attention given to you. So every story reinforces the behaviour in the story. Each time you hear a story about yourself, it becomes more and more ‘who you are.’
Choose carefully the stories you tell about your kids – especially in front of them. Ask, “Is this story about who I want them to become?” We become the stories we hear and tell about ourselves. Choose the positive stories and tell them often. Then watch you children shine!

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For more parenting pondering,
see the "Parently" section of this blog.

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