Wednesday, February 25, 2009

"I am So Happy with MYSELF!"


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.

16 comments:

Are You Serious! said...

♥ That's great! I need to try that for sure! I get so tired of harping on my kids to get crap done! Drives me crazy! Tomorrow is clean up their room day so grandma has a place to sleep w/out tripping over all their crap strung from the door to each wall! :)

Mamarazzi said...

i forgot about good old Fred Jones. thanks for the reminder!

S is such a doll. isn't it great when they know they are fabulous and have done a job well?!?

you are such an awesome mom!

Michelle said...

I often find myself biting my tongue when praising my boys because I'm so tempted to follow it with "but..." Usually I stop myself there because I know it's important to stay positive. I never know how to tell them there's more. This is great advice.

devri said...

That is great.. great job mom and daughter!

Lisa Loo said...

The whole "but" thing is a constant battle for me!! I love how your daughter has learned this technique so young--I didn't get it till I was 40!! Cute pic!

tdljld said...

Thanks for the great tip. I find it interesting how often the wording we choose use has such a big impact on those we are speaking to, especially little kids.

Jen said...

Thanks for the tips! ANd that's too cute about your daughter. Job well done!

vsalono said...

Excellent reminder! And something that is SO NEEDED at my house. (Cleaning bedrooms.) It is a constant, never-ending battle..... My room included. I like the positive reminders about the "next step".

Cecily R said...

Can you come and say those things to ME? My room is a sty. :)

GREAT post SHM!

Tiffany said...

You always have the best tips! I love coming to you blog and seeing whats new.

KATE said...

Gotta love a clean kids room, and even better that she did it herself!

Mother Goose said...

hooray for her! and thank you for that wonderful link and leaving me a comment on my blog! I appreciate you so much.

I have been keeping my head above water. I hate not having much time to blog and return the comment love! one day, I will.

Nikki said...

I am definitely going to try that positive discpline technique!

I think it's awesome that she feels so great about herself. That's an important feeling. She deserves it.

crystal said...

I HAD THAT SAME SEMINAR WITH FRED JONES!!!!!! Did you practice "magazine face" with him???? That was a great seminar.

I'd forgotten the "next step" technique. So many of my effective techniques from my teaching days do NOT get utilized in my mothering. Why is that? Hmmm. I'll have to go ponder. I sense a blog post coming.

Anyway. I think it's funny that I totally know who Fred Jones is. I even remember what he looks like.

crystal said...

You amaze me...you & your skillful mothering. You just seem so cognizant of what you're doing. I just fly by the seat of my pants and seem to spend most of the day REACTING instead of navigating.

Can I come be your intern?

Jules said...

One child i can just ask to clean their room and they know what to do.. the other I have to use the method you mentioned. Thanks for the tips!

Fishful thinking looks great! Definitely what I need. I recently read an article citing the different studies that show that patients who had optimistism classes during cancer treatments had more successful treatments and less side effects.. also that optimistic people don't stay sick as long or get sick as often as negative nellys. I was wondering where I could take these classes and here you go providing me a link to get started. :)

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