I previously mentioned our Monday night tradition called family home evening. My parents were remarkably good at keeping this tradition growing up. There was, however, one family home evening that I particularly looked forward to. We called this the “special family home evening”. We always held it’s near the end of the school year, and it was a chance to recognize the accomplishments of each member of the family during the past school year.
Beforehand, my parents would type up a little something describing the accomplishments of each one of us. While they read, we had to try to guess who this was talking about. They started with vague clues, but moved on to more specific details and it was usually apparent by the end who this was. We gave the person around of applause and that person received a gift of some sort. We repeated the process until everyone has been recognized.
Though it was nice to get a present, it was even better to know that my parents recognized what I was doing. I was trying hard in school, trying to do good extracurricular activities and making progress in things like Boy Scouts. It was nice to hear that our parents were proud of us and it always encouraged me to try to do even better the next year.
Our children need our praise and our approval much more than they need to be constantly corrected about everything. They work out many of the details on their own, and they will remember whether or not they felt safe and approved of.