This lesson comes from my latest online course and covers my favourite skill and the one I use each and every day without any risk of over doing it.
- Describe what you see or hear without judging it as good or bad.
- Share what your favourite part is.
In any situation you will always have one 'part' that you prefer to another. Therefore by using this skill you will never be lying, or be inauthentic. And you don't even have to know what you are praising.
Describing your favourite part is the skill most used by parents as there is no risk of overpraising or 'fake' praising.
Children on holiday, extended family cramped into your house, patience decreasing and tensions mounting?
The holiday season has its risks: The statistics show increased divorce and suicide rates! Now this may not be due to parenting challenges but there is no doubt that this period of time has its parenting downs as well as highs.
So here are my top 3 skills for managing the lows, and building up the highs, so you can move from Survive to Thrive over the holiday season.
- Describing what you see to get cooperation
- Giving yourself time to think so you respond intelligently opposed to reacting with threats
- Building them up and increasing the feeling of love and connectedness.
I want to show you the praise skills in live action, on children, at school in a class.
And watch their faces as their smiles beam from ear to ear.
You can also do this, consciously and intelligently by learning these skills!
- Do you also experience praising your children at times and they just don't believe you?
- Are you making the same mistake as this parent in the way she is praising?
- Do you know how to avoid the most common mistake when praising your children?
This video clip shares how to avoid making those same mistakes.
- Struggling to get your chlid's room tidy, and then kept that way?
- Want to know how to inspire them to step up to doing their chores and helping out in the house?
- Do you know how to make them do things they may not like doing?
In this video clip taken from the online session on Descriptive Praise, Kim shares her story on how she did it.
Summative praise is the most powerful skill to boost self esteem and change behaviour in one single statement.
My two boys were playing tennis for the first time and the youngest was being a really bad loser. As I was watching, I saw my eldest son relax and allow Phil to win.
Afterwards when Phil had beaten Matthew, he started to show off and I could see Matthew starting to feel angry and wanting to retaliate. I walked over to Matthew said quietly, “I saw what happened on the court - it takes a big person to do what you did to keep the peace”. He immediately smiled and was his old self again and the moment passed.
Philip, my younger child, started seeing a girlfriend during the holidays. They went to the movies a couple of times as well as to lunch. I was a little concerned that my older son, Matthew, would tease Philip about Tara and try to embarrass him. Much to my surprise he didn't.
I mentioned this at the workshop and Robin asked me whether I'd let Matthew know that I had noticed his behaviour. I decided to write him a note, praising him, which I did. I've just gone and got the note out of his box where he keeps special things - he still has it 3-4 months later.
Dear Matthew. Since Tuesday - Philip and Tara’s date - I've been thinking a lot about how well you handled this 'new situation'. I wanted to tell you that I noticed how you gave Phil the opportunity to be with Tara without interfering. I have also noticed that since the date has happened, you've once again not intruded on his friendship with her. You've behaved in a very understanding and mature way and I wanted you to know that I've noticed your behaviour and I've been feeling very proud of your maturity. It can be tough growing into a young man. This is certainly an excellent beginning.
love Mom xxxx
This note had a profound effect on Matthew - he suddenly became more sure of himself - not in a cocky way - but in a quietly confident way. He acknowledged the note with a smile and we have never discussed it, but it was one of the most positive interactions I've had with him.
The social skill of taking turns is one that takes time, patience and many long faces to develop. On this day, we had our play-dough table nestled up against the wall and only two seats for the children to sit at.
After about ½ an hour, some children came up to me complaining that they wanted a turn at the table. I asked them if they had spoken to the other two at the table and they said that they had. I thought that it was that time again to start developing sharing skills.
“Okay guys, we have two children playing dough and another two who would like to play. What shall we do?”
Both parties voiced that they each wanted to play. We were heading towards a system of time allocation when another child (5yrs old) who was standing nearby piped up and said.
“I have a good idea. Why don’t they move the table away from the wall and put another two chairs on the other side, then all four children can sit at the table?”
My mouth hung open for a while till I said, “That sounds like a good idea. What do you all think?” The children agreed and they organised themselves.
As I was walking away from the table I mentioned to the idea-giver, “Ashwyn, that was a good idea. You thought a lot about how they could solve their problem. Now they can all play together.”
He responded, “I know, I have lots of good ideas. And I have lots more at home.”
During one of our workshops on Supporting Independence, we were brainstorming the qualities we would like to instill in our children. After going through all obvious ones of independence, tolerance, respect, caring etc, a father put in as an after thought, “I would like my children to feel sexy in the sense of them feeling good about themselves.”
We all chuckled at this and wondered how we could develop this sense in our children. A week later a mother came in with this story:
“My child was diagnosed with global developmental delay. At four she had the mentality of a two year old and at eight years old I still treat her like a four year old. I resent the fact that my daughter “expects” me to dress her.
Just recently I decided to get up earlier. I put out 2 sets of clothes and told Tasneem to choose one and then sat watching her while she proceeded to dress herself.
Okay, so the pants weren’t on straight, the buttons not 100%, but Tasneem was so obviously proud of her achievement, that I found myself being naturally encouraging, regardless of the time factor.
Soon I gave her the option of choosing her own clothes from the cupboard. I was sitting in the living room when in she walked, stood in front of my family and myself and said, “Look at me everyone. I’m sexy.”
In my pre-school class I constantly get children coming to ask me to do things for them. I have found the skill of respecting their struggle really helpful and it seems to give them courage to continue finding an alternate way. Take for example….
Megan: “Robin, I can’t make this heart.”
Robin: “Mmm, it can be quite tricky cutting out along those lines. It looks like those lines are really small. Maybe we can make a plan. What can we do to make those lines easier to see?”
Megan: “Maybe we can draw them again, with a big crayon.”
After having completed the heart and having regained self-confidence and pride, Ryan comes to complain about the same problem.
Robin: “It looks like these hearts are difficult to cut out. Megan came up with a good plan. Perhaps you can ask her to show you her plan.”
With that Ryan asks Megan for her idea and Megan beams with pride as she shows Ryan her idea and how it worked. Through this situation Megan has learnt that she has good ideas and that the children can help each other in solving problems. As the teacher I shifted the responsibility back to the children and they grow from the experience.