Life, Love, and Passports

Posts tagged “rewards

Stamp of approval

Last night my two older girls took part in their schools production of Oliver. Of course I’m using the terms took part rather loosely as every pupil was involved. Although their classes had just a song to sing it became apparent after last nights performance that they required a pat on the back after asking ‘ Do you think it sounded good?’ ‘Did you find that funny?’ The one thing I have learnt in recent years is that you only get one chance to have a first reaction. Needless to say they got a big well done and I meant it.

Praise and approval are a pivotal part of growing up and life in general. There are those of us who thrive on praise and get little accomplished unless we’re constantly complimented. Some of us think praise is unnecessary especially since what we’re accomplishing is considered a duty. Hard work and outstanding efforts should be rewarded not just as lip service but sincerely.

I really struggle with the concept of managing praise! Is it possible to over praise? Surely not every completed task deserves praise just those that are exceptional. Do children require more positive reinforcement than adults? Perhaps the child within all of us needs to be praised.
Note to self: Must praise more! Sincerity is key!

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It’s good to be green

Sorry if you thought this post is about reducing, reusing and recycling.
It’s good to be green just happens to be one of the many catch phrases at my daughters school. Up until now my sweet little five year old had avoided a change of colour on the behaviour chart then yesterday it happened and her little world was turned upside down. She was turned yellow for moving a plant she was asked not to touch. It didn’t surprise me that she did after all it’s her trademark to touch and alter anything she can in my house anyway.

She was distraught and didn’t care that she’d get a chance to start over the next day. Standing at that classroom door and comforting a sobbing little person made me realise how simple life is when you’re a child well most children anyway. I knew I had to offer her some words of comfort so I explained to her in front of her teacher that it always hurts when you stray from the straight and narrow the first time and then eventually it becomes a way of life just pushing those boundaries. Yellow today…red tomorrow. I’m glad her teacher thought it was funny!

Today she was back to her winning ways and I was glad not to greet a child who looked like a blowfish on the verge of tears. It got me thinking about the necessity of such a behaviour monitoring system. I just figure if a child behaves that should be the accepted way and if they misbehave they should be reprimanded and the oversight left in the moment. That’s what happened in the distant past when I was at school. It seems these days that rewards are given out far too easily and it doesn’t take much to achieve them.

Whatever my thoughts about such rewards I somehow feel long will they continue. In the meanwhile my job is to teach my girls how to cope when they fall short of expected standards and to realise that it’s not the end of the world.


Bright sparks

My girls are at the age where their personalities are as different as their shoe sizes. I think it’s a pity that people wish to compare kids at every opportunity. Children should be complimented when they’ve done well and encouraged to do better when they haven’t. Over praised kids who live for constant affirmation even when their efforts don’t warrant a reward have my sympathy. When I was at school my parents had only two responses ‘well done and keep it up’ or ‘pull up your socks’. There were no promises of gifts and rewards for good reports because your only task was to go to school and do well.

I’d love to time travel to my toddler days and just observe the conversations of moms in that era I wonder if this incessant comparing of children’s achievements was the order of the day. I suspect there were other important needs at hand.
There is nothing better than praising your child for a job well done but there always seems to be a grandstanding mom in the wings who wishes to inform you that their offspring is bigger, better and brighter. Sorry mom it’s not always about your child he/she is not my yardstick!

I’m a great fan of social networking sites but I initially had an issue with parents constantly announcing their child’s every achievement. After sharing my annoyance with my husband he really shifted my thinking by informing me I am not the achievement police and I was stunned to realise that I had been guilty of the very thing that annoys me – deciding what is worthy of praise especially when it’s not my child. These days I share in parent’s joy more readily because being proud of your child should be celebrated by those who call themselves your friends.

Being a parent is the most difficult job I’ve ever done and it’s far from over. There is no way of knowing what challenges you will face. Each day is filled with opportunities for making memories that our children will carry with them for the rest of their lives. So whether your child is a bright spark or a flickering flame they are all special and need to be celebrated and not just for their achievements after all there is so much more to life!


She ain’t heavy

In a previous blog I spoke about my feelings regarding my weight and how it wasn’t a cause for concern.  I also said the day I become unhappy is the day I would take action. After some serious soul-searching the time has come to say goodbye to the heavy part of me. It is action time!

In my attempt to shed at least fifteen kilograms I have some serious sacrifices to make. That sacrifice does not include my morning coffee with full cream milk. Having done an inventory of all the guilty parties. Here is a list of the got to go crew – chocolates, fizzy drinks, Ben and Jerry’s ice-cream to name a few.

Today was the first day of  my mammoth journey but if I have a fraction of the enthusiasm along the way I should achieve my goal. I just cannot stop short of the prize. Perhaps I should find a little something to reward myself with at the end.

I am sure the road ahead is long but I feel up to the challenge!