The Princess has been working so hard to clean her room. A friend came last weekend and got her started. Every day this week, she has been choosing a small part to work on and doing it in steps. Today she finished with her closet! Then she asked me to come and take away the pictures that she no longer wanted to display and declared the job FINISHED! She proudly exclaimed, "I am so HAPPY with MYSELF!"
I am so proud that she set this goal and worked on it in small, achievable increments. When the children were smaller I used a technique that I learned in a training on Fred Jones' Positive Classroom Discipline. Often we attempt to praise a child and say something like, "Wow! Your room looks great, but you forgot to vacuum." A comment like that completely deflates the person being "praised". It's the "but", "however", or "although" that negates the good done by the praise. Dr. Jones suggested that a better way is to recognize what has been done correctly and then help them to identify the next step. When the kids were little, and cleaning their rooms, it sounded like this, "Great! You put all the dirty clothes in your hamper! Next you need to pick up all the Barbie's and put them in their box. I'll be back to check on your progress in just a few minutes!" Try it! When they're a little older, you can have them identify the next step and begin to back off little by little. You and your children will love the technique.
Go Princess! Go Princess!
Did you go check out Fishfulthinking.com yet? They have awesome resources on teaching your children persistence and goal setting.