Saturday, November 17, 2007

*Words of Affirmation*

Have you been put through the same School of Thought as me? The one that tells you to catch your kids doing things well, and affirm them for it?
I have observed other parents making these remarks to their children. "Honey, you did such a good job cleaning your room today!"
I have seen teachers doing it, too. "Billy, I really like it when you raise your hand when you have a question."
I think these words of affirmation are a great idea. Since I want to do everything I can to shape my kids' behavior, and since I would rather they remember me saying kind words than yelling, I try to bring these words forth as much as possible. (Granted, some days it is much easier than others!)
Well, this morning Matthew gave them right back to me.

We were getting ready to go to my mil's house to celebrate the "Hossink Thanksgiving." The kids always look forward to this particular celebration because the Hossinks are a very big family and we rent a school gymnasium where the whole family gathers for a feast, the Saturday before Thanksgiving. There are basketballs to shoot, scooters to ride, and bars on the walls to climb. My kids have been counting down to this day for at least a month now.
So this morning Matthew got his suit case out of his closet and was gathering things to pack. I was baking apple pies in the kitchen so he brought all his things in there for me to check out - to make sure he wasn't forgetting anything.
It all looked good to me and I said, "Matthew, you're doing a great job packing your stuff to go to Grandma's house."
He looked over it once more and said, "Oh! I need underwear!"
"You're right, Matthew! You're so smart!"
And off he ran to get some undies.
When he got back I got his fiber tablets out of the cabinet and sat them in his suit case. I said, "They fit perfectly right there, don't they?" and I turned around to work on the pies some more. After a minute, Matthew laid the container of tablets on its side and said, "I am going to lay them down like this, because if I swing my suit case around they might fall over anyway. But, Mommy, it was good that you noticed they fit perfectly in my suitcase!"
Matthew had such an encouraging tone in his voice when he affirmed me for noticing how well the container fit, and the smile that went along with it was priceless.

Yep, this is a moment I need to store in my memory banks for the next time he grunts at me and stomps away when I tell him it's time to clean up!

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kreed said...

I sometimes feel like a real dork doing the affirmation thing, but it obviously does permeate those kid brains! I sometimes get words of affirmation back from Bryn - it always just cracks me up!

Rachel said...

Since starting to blog this is the first time I've been away as long as I have. It looks like I have some catch up reading to do on your blog. I've missed being a part of it. I'll read them all later. Thank goodness God never takes breaks from us, huh?

freetofly said...

They really Do hear us! & they really DO care what we say! How good to see the early fruit!

Renee's Ramblings said...

What a great affirmation that they really do hear what we're saying! Just wanted to stop by and say 'Hi'. Hope you all have a blessed Thanksgiving!!