Awarding good behavior with a special night
As a parent sometimes I feel like I'm too often negative, having to correct our children's misbehavior. So lately I've been trying to be more deliberately encouraging of my children in their unique personalities and strengths. I've also been trying to foster a deeper sense of our family as a team where we can all encourage each other. In light of these goals, Saturday night we had our first monthly Awards Night.
The way it works is that my husband and I make a point of noticing the good things our kids do throughout the month. We especially look for any consistent themes or patterns that we want to encourage and recognize with an award. Then I make the paper awards with markers and stickers. They could be as simple or fancy as desired. This month I was short on time, so the awards may be nicer next month.
On the evening of Awards Night we gathered in the living room and I presented the awards. My daughter received the Compassion to Animals Award, my 6-year-old son received the Thoughtful Gift-Giving Award, and my youngest son received the Good Manners Award. I intentionally avoided the use of superlatives in the awards in order to prevent boasting as well as to keep the options open for others to excel in those areas. Thus, no one can argue they are â€śthe bestâ€ť whatever.
I had told each child ahead of time to be prepared to say a few words as they received their award. So they came up in front of the family, received their award, and said their thank-yous.
Overall, our first Awards Night was short and sweet, and the kids seemed to appreciate being recognized for their good behaviors in a special way. And I appreciated the reminder of just how special each of them truly is.