30 April 2012

Three Positive Things

So yesterday on the way home from church Big Sister got into her usual rut of contradicting almost everything we said (Me to Mr. Smiley: Thanks Dude! Big Sister: He's not a Dude!) and just all around being negative. When we got home T-Bone just sent her to her room for a while; we'd had enough. When she came out I told her she had to come up with three positive or complimenting things before she could come out for good. So went a thirty-ish minute exercise of her writing things and us helping her tweak them. She started out with

#1 I had a great time in [Primary] class.
#2 I love the books you bought me
#3 I love my new bed

While all of these were pretty decent we wanted her to step out of her comfort zone by writing more specific things and not thinking about herself as much. All of these things start with "I" and that's not displaying very unselfish thinking. So we sent her back in her room to fix #1 and #3. She added some more detail about her teacher to #1 and then changed #3 to The country fair was awesome.

Because these were moving in the right direction we took them. Then we had a conversation where we helped her understand how saying nice things about people and being positive can really change people's attitudes and make them feel better.

It was perfect timing because later my friend posted this on Facebook:

All I had to show her was the first 5 minutes so she could see the effect that positive uplifting words can have on people. It really clicked for her I think! All the rest of the day she was so happy! She was complimenting things and being so grateful. During dinner she kept saying how delicious the dinner was and it made the atmosphere so much better.

After the kids went to bed T-Bone said, "Did you see how much butt kissing Big Sister was doing today?" Of course I had. Then I said, "Yeah, but did you notice how happy our home was because of it? I don't care if it is butt kissing. There was no fighting, no frustration." It was one of the best afternoons we have had in a long time. 

From now on when I send Big Sister to her room for talking back or being contradictory--which lately has been a lot--I'm going to have her write three grateful or positive things down. I have a feeling this will help in improving he attitude and the feel of our home. I'm also going to be better at complimenting as well. I will write three nice things about her too. I think that's something all of us in our home can do better at. I'll let you know how it goes!

What have you done to make the atmosphere in your home more happy and positive? I would love more ideas!  By the way, you are amazing! I love your comments and input!


Mother of the Wild Boys said...

Love this! Thanks for the FHE idea for tonight. :)

Emily S. said...

We have a "Complaining Jar." I collect .25 cents when I feel like the complaining is excessive. I told them that a psychiatrist gets paid to listen to people's complaints and I'm going to need therapy from listening to all their complaining! I told them I was going to take myself out to ice cream with the money to make myself feel better. That's not necessarily working on the positive atmosphere, but it did make them aware of all the complaining that was going on. It works on and off.

Staceygirl said...

Paige has a bad habit of always wanting to be better than Kallie... and sometimes she seems to be mean for no reason. Recently when I put her in time out for that, I wouldn't let her out until she told Kallie three things that were great about her (Kallie). Since Paige is so competitive, I think it is a good lesson for her to have to basically eat her words and recognize the good things about her sister.

Anonymous said...

That's what my household needs--more butt-kissing!

I had the same idea as MOTWB - great FHE lesson. Unfortunately, I am not having the idea in time for last night's FHE. But next week, for sure.