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In this life we can not always do great things. But we can do small things with great love.." :) Mother Teresa

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“I pray because I can't help myself. I pray because I'm helpless. I pray because the need flows out of me all the time- waking and sleeping. It doesn't change God- it changes me.”
― C. S. Lewis


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Friday, July 15, 2011

Catching GOOD Behavior

I have not posted much about this before, but figured now is as good a time as any. :)
When the boys were little, I used to WAIT to see them doing something good, such as: sharing, listening, obeying, making their bed, putting clothes away, doing a good job on a chore, etc.... and then I'd say something to them about it.  "Mama's really happy that you listened the first time!"  "Mama noticed what a great job you did on the dishes!" etc.
I am not talking about empty flattery.... or rewarding for nothing.... but just a recognition that somebody is making an effort.  It really is encouraging to them.
Many times our children's efforts are looked over and then we draw attention heavily to the unwanted behaviors.
I don't want the rocking chair to be used ONLY for direction, but also for spontaneous times and  closeness.

Today, I found the girlies doing all sorts of good things. They cleaned up, and Erika did laundry without being asked.  Alli and Sarah were playing really nicely together. Anna was sorting out clothing that was "acceptable vs. not acceptable" from the new bag of clothing we received today. :)
LOVE hand me downs!

They also had a really great time at Vacation Bible School.....
So, "Here is to Catching Good Behavior!" :)

Keep up the good work girlies! :)


Diana said...


Unfortunately, I've learned through the school of hard knocks that deep seated shame and recognition of good behavior do NOT mix. My little darlings sabotage it every time. Very sad, very frustrating.

Anonymous said...

Did they all nap? I know after I ate lunch and got home I showered and went STRAIGHT to bed and took a wonderful three hour nap!

Christie M said...

No naps today, not even me!

Annie said...

I was discussing this with our counselor last week, and for some kids Diana is right - compliments on good behavior actually create more stress and fear lest the next thing that will be noticed is the BAD behavior - so all it takes is a twist on the verbage: NOT: You were very kind to your sister when she was crying. BUT: You are a sensitive and compassionate person. NOT: I like the way you cleaned your room. BUT: You are sure a hard worker!

I've really seen a difference. When I compliment something Anastasia does she argues with me, or snaps back. When I comment on a character trait it (I hope) sinks in - at least she is quiet!

I am really BAD at this, honestly, because of years as a teacher noticing and complimenting good classwork and behavior, which for most kids does result in more of it!

Christie M said...

Annie that also works well for the negative side of things too.
"That behavior is disrespectful" instead of "You are disrespectful". One addresses the behavior, the other defines the person.

Christie M said...

That was especially true of Anna when she was little. I distinctly remember her realizing she had obeyed in the grocery store by holding onto the cart, and she removed her hand as soon as I said something. LOL
I think the shame comes into play for sure and they tell themselves, "I'm not the kind of kid who obeys"....

It took a long time to work her through those behaviors. Once in a great while, they show up again and thankfully don't last long. But at this age, I think she can actually see it and understand it, AND most importantly DOESN'T WANT to be ruled by her old behaviors.
Both Mike and I actually have found Alli to be easier to parent than Anna was long ago, but I'd say we are much more practiced in BCLC technique and our views have shifted even more, in 8 years.

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