Real parents share their journey: Leslee
We’re delighted to share with you some real parents journey of learning the skills and thankful for their honest struggles and triumphs in learning the skill. The following journey is Leslee’s. Isn’t her family cute?
I wish I could apply all these lessons all at once, but, to be realistic my husband and I are choosing one lesson to do every couple of weeks till we’ve done them all. We aren’t horrible parents, but we aren’t perfect either. I thought by starting with Effective Praise it would be a great positive way to kick things off.
We have three busy but sweet boys. They may look a lot alike but each are so different in personality. Effective Praise has been an eye opener to just how different each boy reacts to being praised, and just how differently we have to word things for each one and while still using the steps for Effective Praise.
We started the week off by creating our FUZZY JAR to add fuzzies to as we praised each other. The boys started calling the Fuzzy Jar the “Be Nice Jar” by the end of the week. The activity of decorating and creating the jar gave me a great time to practice praising and wording my praises in different ways in a positive situation. Hoping the practice would flood over to when I was upset or frustrated at my kids. It did help.
Here are the 3 different ways Effective Praise has helped me and my 3 different children:
My oldest is 7. Since he was a baby he was always very logical. If something was explained or reason was given he was completely content with it, or not content with it. For example, if I dropped him off at a sitter and told him I’d be back to pick him up, he would get upset if his Dad picked him up instead because that wasn’t the plan. My husband and I talked this week about how praising effectively will work best for him. We decided that being very specific and explaining how he got to his praised was important. For instance, last night I was helping him with his reading homework, it was a timed reading to determine words read per minute. I told my son that he is such a good reader and I was proud of how well he was doing. My husband then piped in that “He was doing so good at practicing his reading that he was getting really good.” This helped my son know that being good doesn’t just happen all the time, we have to practice things to be good at them. Praising his efforts and hard work will mean more to this child because he logically connects that practice and hard work means that he will get better at things he wants to be good at. Since my oldest is the big brother to my other two boys, giving him praise has also played a big role in trying not to get mad at my son for trying to help. Sometimes he will pick the baby up to move him or bring him to me and the baby gets upset so I instinctively yell at my oldest for causing the melt down, when in reality he was just trying to help. Praising more instead of getting upset will take more practice on my part.
My second oldest will be 4 this summer. Unlike his brother, he’s not as logical. He is the sweetest, with a very tender heart, and yet he is stubborn and set in his ways. If he gets caught doing anything wrong he will fight you that he “didn’t do it” even if you have proof or even saw him do it. The one thing I learned this week with him is, he just needs time and I need to be at his level. Literally. On his level. Taking him in my lap, or crouching down to meet him eye to eye was a game changer. Words don’t mean much to him unless you are eye to eye. Praising this boy and finding the good makes him want to be more helpful and he knows that we will have fun together and that I care because I’m on his level and will listen to him.
My one year old is currently in the phase of so much learning. My husband and I laughed as he would beam from ear to ear when we would say “yay” or “Good Job!” for the little things he was doing. He also started to obey as we said “oh no” or “stop” to keep him safe. We were able to teach him so many things this week by taking the time and praising the little things with him.
We still have a ways to go to making this positive way of parenting a consistent and permanent part of parenting in our home. We have loved the change of attitude we have already had in just a week of trying this method out. We are more positive in our words and actions in more aspects of our lives then just to our children. Thank you Smarter Parenting for the resources to making our home a happier one.