Sunday, September 25, 2011


Sometimes I feel like when I talk to my kids about their behavior, it's always to talk about the things they have done wrong. When I saw this post on 71 Toes, I knew I wanted to make up our own awards that we could hand out once a week. On their bedroom door, we have each child's name and then a space below where they can display the award for the next week until they're awarded again. We usually hand them out at Family Home Evening, which we have every Monday night. When we announce the awards we try to talk about a specific thing the child did to earn that award. I'm hoping that this will help reinforce good behavior. We tried to create awards that would encourage the specific behaviors that we struggle with or that are especially important to us as parents. Here are the awards we've come up with for now.

Cheerful Charlie: This goes to a child who has made good efforts at being cheerful and helping our home to be a happy place.

Busy Bee: This is for someone who has been especially helpful around the house, doing their chores, etc.

Self Starter: This is awarded for doing good things without having to be asked.

Fleet Foot: For quick obedience.

Brilliant Bookworm: (Should have been Brainy Bookworm, but I didn't think of that until recently.) For doing their daily reading cheerfully and consistently.

Choose the Right Champion: For making the right choice even though it's sometimes hard. I'm hoping this will prompt the kids to talk more about their days at school.

Reverent & Respectful: For showing the right respect and reverence at church, but also for family prayer, scripture study, etc.

These pictures are from a good week when all the awards were given out, but this past week, only two awards were given. We want them to be genuinely earned, so if that behavior wasn't displayed, the award will not be given. We may add more over time as we want to encourage other behaviors, but for now, these work. I don't know that I've seen a significant change in behavior, but it encourages me to praise more. Throughout the week, I use these terms to identify good choices. If someone gets to the table quickly for dinner, I say, "Good job, Fleet Foot." If someone is speaking kindly and obeying happily, I'll say, "Thank you for being such a Cheerful Charlie." I have a piece of notebook paper taped up inside the pantry door where I can jot down examples of the kids' good behavior, so that I will remember specific examples on the night we give out the awards.

Most importantly, I think it's good for the kids to see what an artistic virtuoso their mother is. The exquisite quality of these awards is sure to be inspirational, don't you think? I mean, that bee looks like it's about to flit right off the page. Many years of notebook doodling are finally paying off.


Marji Crummett said...

What A fabulous idea! We also struggle with positive reinforcement but I notice when we do better at recognizing the good things the kids do does help their behavior. In our house we are trying to Bee happy and have talked about certain behaviors/characteristics we all want to do better had and use a clip chart system as a gauge. I even have a clip.

Kate said...

Ah, Hil. How you make me laugh. Aside from the amazing and realistic artwork, I love the idea of reinforcing positive behavior. It's something I've been thinking a lot about recently and love your idea of the awards. Thanks for sharing!

Porter Family said...

When I came across that picture, I actually swatted near my face, it seemed like the bee was coming straight at me!!!!! You're good, Hillary. :)

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