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Don’t Be Stingy with the Gold Stars!

The deepest principle in human nature

is the craving to be appreciated.

~William James

One of the best pieces of parenting advice

I ever learned essentially stated that you

don’t want to wait for your child to do

something wrong and try to correct it…

you want to catch them doing something

right and acknowledge the Hell out of it!

The simple brilliance of this idea is that

catching someone doing something right

and rewarding it is not only more effective

than punishing bad behavior, it allows for

one of the more pleasant of all human

interactions : genuine appreciation.

When Was Your Last “Atta Boy or Atta Girl?”

Everyone loves to be seen, heard,

acknowledged, and appreciated when

they are working hard and doing the

right thing.

It’s sad that this rarely happens.

When was the last time someone said

to you, “Hey, I just want to thank you for

how hard you worked today.  It means a

lot to me.”  Or “Hey, you need to know

that you’re doing a great job parenting,

running this household, managing our

finances, keeping our yard up, helping

with my parents, loving me.”

When Was the Last Time You Gave One?

Appreciation is one of the supreme

motivators for human beings.

So when was the last time you gave an

“Atta Boy or “Atta Girl?

When was the last time you told your kid

that you were proud of them for hanging

in there with their homework?  For not

quitting the team when it got hard?

For brushing their teeth without needing

to be reminded? For being a cool kid?

When was the last time you told your

partner how much you appreciated

what they did today to make your day

easier, better, more manageable?

When was the last time you told your

co-worker, supervisor, or employee

how much it means to you that they

have your back and help you out?

Don’t Wait for a Hallmark Holiday!

It’s more meaningful and effective when your

words of appreciation come at non-Hallmark

holidays.  Don’t wait for graduations, retirements,

Administrative Staff Appreciation Day, or your

wedding anniversary to let the good stuff roll.

The compliment you get on the way out the door

from work means more than when it’s given in

front of everyone at the staff holiday party.

And if your partner surprised you tonight

with a “I really appreciate you for working

so hard to make our family/life/home so good,”

don’t tell me you wouldn’t get all warm inside.

Don’t Be Stingy with the Gold Stars

Let the “Catch “Em Doing Something Good” philosophy

extend outward to ALL your interactions.  You can

catch everyone from your waitress to the bagger

at the grocery store doing something right…

and don’t be stingy with the gold stars!

Let them know you appreciate how they put the

bread on top so it doesn’t get smashed.

Because don’t you really appreciate that?  🙂

 

 

 

 

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