Warning: count(): Parameter must be an array or an object that implements Countable in /home/www/robinbooth.co.za/libraries/cms/application/cms.php on line 464
Displaying items by tag: summative praise
  • 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.

Published in Praise

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.  

Thanks Maths.
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.

Published in Praise
%AM, %02 %441 %2012 %11:%Apr

I had my anger: it didn't have me.

As I mentioned in the workshop last week, I have found each segment of the course to be very dense and loaded with food for thought. It has had a significant impact for me in rethinking how I communicate with my children and more specifically what I communicate to them.

Last week I chose to look for more appropriate ways to praise Jenny as often what I had been saying and doing previously left her feeling frustrated. As occasions presented themselves, I described things clearly for her and gave her recognition by choosing specific words, that even if she did not understand them, she then asked me what they meant.

During these times of more cognitive praise Jenny was far more interested in what I had to say and would actually stop what she was doing to listen to what I was saying. My general shift in language in the home has contributed to Jenny's awareness of language and how it can work for her.

One evening while I was tying up her hair for bath, she told me specifically how she is a 'problem-solver' and a 'listener'. In both cases she gave me examples of how she fulfills these roles in school. This week has again been empowering. The most remarkable change for me is that I'm finding it far easier to remain calm even when angry.

Using the skill of 'having my anger and not being my anger' has helped me to work through difficult issues with the children. By clearly stating upfront where my boundary lay with certain situations the children were able to respond and not feel intimidated by my anger.

We have all been much happier and finding it easier to look for alternative solutions and then engaging them to diffuse difficult situations. Thank you for your insights and I look forward to this week's session.

Published in Guidance

Although I'm not getting everything right all the time I've definitely felt an increasing shift in my handling of situations at home and an increase in flow in the house.  It's amazing how having the awareness just allows for a gap, a pause before one reacts in a negative way and there have been many times when I've used acknowledgement, description, single words, expression of my feeling and it's really eased the situation.  Above all it's helped me feel like I have resources and that's really empowering!
This week I was focusing on summatvie praise.  After your suggestion of conveying the things we value about our children I had an opportunity to combine all of these. 

One night the girls didn't want to bath and it was getting late.  I knew the longer I left it the more tired they'd be and the harder to get them into the bath.  At this point I gave into the old reward system.  I put two small piles of jelly tots on either side of the far side of the bath (so they'd have to get in to get them).  Then I asked them if they'd like to go on a treasure hunt in the bathroom. 

The fantasy part of this immediately had them excited and they rushed off to see what was there and got in the bath without a problem.  Now I still  had to get them out because it was really late and they had school the next day.  I was thinking of how important it was to tell them all the things I value about them and decided I'd write them both a letter. 

I told them if they washed and got out quickly they could come and get some more treasure from me.  They proceeded to try guess what it was, more sweets, a book, a toy etc.  I said no to all but insisted it was still treasure.  While they were washing I wrote them each a letter that went something like this.  
'Dear Janet, Hi! This is Mommy. I Love you! You are such a wonderful, energetic, intelligent, happy, beautiful, funny, kind, compassionate, healthy, strong, graceful, creative and very special person.  Love you so much always.  Mom.  PS.  You have changed my life for the better and I've been so happy to have you in it.  I've learnt so much from you, like how to laugh, be kind, have fun and not worry about the small things.  Thank-you.  
Mary’s one differed only with various qualities unique to her.  When I gave them these they were excited to get a letter (in an envelope and marked special delivery) but disappointed it wasn't some the kind of 'treasure' they imagined. 

I said "Ah, but this IS treasure, the best kind, because you will have this all your life to remember when things aren't so go good'.  Then I read them each their letter.  Janet wanted to know why they were similar but not exactly the same and I said because you are both unique, different but there are many wonderful things you share. 

She was happy with that and then wanted to go and stick it above her wall which is where she's put all the certificates she's earned at school.  Mary did the same and we went to bed feeling happy.  Maybe it was all a bit much all in one go but I hope we'll be able to revisit that letter when things aren't feeling so good, as a reminder of all the things I love about them.  

Thanks again for all the tools!  You cannot imagine what a difference it makes to our lives.

Published in Praise

With Johanna enjoying her evening bath she requested I sit with her and have a conversation about the day. We shared our individual highlights and I then decided to consciously acknowledge her for the ease with which she is saying good-bye to me in the mornings before school.

Ruth: ‘’I think that it is really great that you are saying good-bye to me before school so easily and happily AND that you are finding your own place on the mat without teacher support’’.

Johanna (big smile): ‘’I know, thanks.’’

Our conversation then continued for a while before I communicated that it was time to get out the bath.

Ruth: ‘’I have put your pyjamas on the heater and they will be warm now. Would you like to get dressed next to the heater or next to the fire?"

Johanna: ‘’Great job mom’’.

Ruth (puzzled expression)

Johanna: ‘’Great job mom for putting my pyjamas on the heater.Rreally mom, I mean it and I want to get dressed next to the heater please’’.

Now it was my turn for a big smile!

Published in Praise
%AM, %02 %430 %2012 %11:%Apr

How my praise is now changing her life!

I have had to practice this more on Johanna than Emily as my child has gone back to her Mum.  I do not have a specific list of examples I wish to relate as I have found that acknowledgement and praise presents itself more often than I thought.  Often for many little actions. 

I have had to practice very hard at using more effective words in the act of recognition.  I have been teaching Johanna to put her hand up when she coughs.  When she started observing this request I told her what a polite little girl she was.  So I think in terms of my growth, my style is changing and I am beginning to break some daft ways. 

Oh another one!  Emily is very skilled at making tiny little models out of crazy clay.  When I acknowledge what she shows me I am now using “how dexterous you are”.  She did not know what this word meant but, she does now.  So this exercise of using meaningful words to describe an action worthy of praise or recognition is more specific and actually teaches the child more about her own skills and what the skill or action is in language. 

Perhaps children may learn quicker through this form of praise what it is we are trying to teach them.  How can we expect them to be “polite” if they can’t associate actions that make one polite?

Published in Praise

I have been really making a conscious effort to acknowledge my girls this week. One day when I needed to take Lucy to an appointment straight after school I asked Belinda if she would stay home with Zuki, our Domestic.

Belinda doesn’t really like being left behind and usually kicks up a bit of a fuss but she agreed in the end. I fully expected her to fall asleep but when we got back she was wide awake and had been playing happily for a couple of hours on her own.

I especially thanked her for playing so nicely while we were out and told her that I thought that was really patient of her. She said: ‘Okay, mom’, but it seemed like she was quite chuffed. What has been interesting is that in the days since then if I have to quickly pop out she has been a lot more accommodating and instead of a whole long discussion, she just says, ‘okay, but don’t be too long!’.

Published in Praise