Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Positive Parenting

  I posted on this when I first started blogging and I decided to add to it a bit and re-post because it really sums up our parenting.  I wrote it on a day I was having an incredibly lovely day because of my tricks "parenting techniques" and had to share...

  I recently heard Michelle Duggar (mom  of 19) say she tries to praise her kids as often as she can and her husband added that it multiplies the praise by the number of people in the room.  So to praise your kids in front of others just makes the praise all the bigger and better!  I also know through experience that praise works so much better than punishment. 

   A few years ago I created our Blessing Chart.  On this chart I made a section for each child and did a little grid to check off.  Then, on the grid I put some of the things they love to do but we don't always have time to do or don't want to do all the time.  For example: staying up late with Mom and Dad, a date with Mom and Dad, painting Hannah's finger nails, taking a walk with Mom, gaming with Dad... on and on it goes.  When I catch them doing something above and beyond I'll give them a "blessing mark".  Each thing has 10 boxes to check before they earn it (this prevents the problem of getting the blessing but being a bad time to get the reward, we can prepare when we see they're one or two away).  Date with Mom and Dad takes 20 and that equals a dinner OR movie out or a dvd and dinner in (depending on the budget and time).

Here are the rules for getting a blessing mark-
#1 You can't ask for one yourself.  If you feel your being missed you can bring it up but you can't just run around doing tasks and asking for a blessing.  You have to be "caught" being good.
#2 You can ALWAYS tell Mom and Dad when your sibling does something to bless you and they WILL get a blessing mark for sure!
#3 After you earned a reward you can't repeat that same one until you've done all the others (this prevents them going for the date night over and over until were broke!)
#4 Mom and Dad can limit the blessing marks :0)  Some days they'll get on a roll and be overly fantastic all day!  We'll praise and encourage them but the goal is not to fill all 10 in a day or two.

  I made the chart on the computer and just hang it in the kitchen cupboard so it's easy to mark.  We sometimes forget about it for awhile and then when I notice things heading south in behavior or attitude we'll start using it again.  I reprint it whenever I feel like it and that opens already done rewards back up again.

   To add to the Blessing Chart we also try to repeat any compliment we get about our kids to them and congratulate them. We often throw out high fives and tell them,"We fooled em' again!" if someone comments on how perfect they are.  If we go away we tell them specifically what we expect before we get out of the car and praise them when they do well. For example every other Sunday we go to church without Dad because he's working and I say the same thing before we get out, "How many kids are there?" They answer, "5".  "How many Moms?" "1!" "What does that mean??"  They all answer in a jumble of voices, "Stay close to Mom, help carry bags, help with Addison and Hannah, be respectful."  So then if I'm left with 3 bags and the baby to haul out to the car I can say, "Uh, guys... what's wrong with this picture?"  But my hope is I can say, "You guys are awesome!!  Thank you so much for helping!  You made church a blessing for me today!  I'm so glad we went!  I wouldn't be able to do it without you. You are a delight to my soul." 

  It helps that Paul is great with this too.  Sometimes he needs a gentle nagging reminder but usually does well.  During the Lego Robotics competition this fall and for many days following it he would tell the boys, "Have I mentioned how proud I am of you?"  The fun part was he'd say it about 7 million times and they'd keep saying, "Daaaaad!! Stop!"  BUT they'd say it with the hugest grins on their faces. It's feeding them.  It's joining our hearts.  They want to please us and the Lord and we want to help them.  We do not want to be a stumbling block to them by pointing out everything they did wrong. Now don't get me wrong, there are times for discipline and consequences for sure, but you'll find the more praise you give the less discipline you'll need to give as well.

  When you praise your kids the whole atmosphere of your house will be different.  I find myself walking around thinking that they truly are a delight to my soul!

Psalm 127:3 Children are a gift from the LORD; they are a reward from him.

Proverbs 29:17 Correct thy son, and he shall give thee rest; yea, he shall give delight unto thy soul.


Holly said...

I love this, and we have a similar chart. : ) And that bird post was hilarious!

Wallers said...

Thanks for sharing this. I needed that!

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