Catch them Doing it Right
Many parents tell us that they remember the many times when they got into trouble as children and were disciplined to change behavior. Real behavior change happens when we, as parents, catch our children doing things right and praise them. This process is very intentional and will bring greater results in transferring important values and instilling good behavior around the home and in public.
Here are three intentional ways at the table you can praise your children when they are doing things right and give them evidence of what good behavior looks like.
What is an example of a job well done?
TIP: This is where you can point someone out at the table that has completed a task or met an expectation. After you have asked the question, praise the one who has met the expectation. As a reward, you can tell them they don’t have to do dishes tonight.
What does the word kindness mean and what would it look like if someone was being kind?
TIP: If any of your children have modeled a word that you are defining at the table (such as kindness, gentleness, peace, patience, self-control) praise the one who is doing it right. This will instill further positive behavior and will motivate others to act more like the evidence of what the positive looks like.
Can you tell me about someone you know or someone you have read about that put others first before themselves? What did they do or how did they do it?
TIP: Be prepared to say something like, well, I saw someone putting others first as well and that person is right here at our table. Tell them what you saw and how it made you feel. Praise them and even go as far as to go over and hug them. It will feel good to you all.
One day we watched our 11-year-old son open the door for a mom with two young children in a stroller. We watched as the two exchanged a few words and as the mom smiled, she was obviously grateful for the help.
A few minutes later when others had gathered around, we told the group what we saw and how it made us feel to witness our 11-year-old help someone in need. As a result of the praise we gave our son, he opens the door for people everywhere he goes.
Being intentional in catching your children doing things right will instill positive behavior and important values that will last a lifetime for each of your kids.