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Heart of  the Texas Triangle                                         7
        Catch Them Doing It Right

                                                            -Reggie Joiner

        Several years ago, our team was   didn’t do, then you run the risk of    •   I can tell how hard you
      asked to design a program to help   creating an inflated ego like Gaston   worked... (It will encourage
      public schools teach kids character.   in Beauty and the Beast.   them to develop responsibility)
      One of  the tools we provided was a   ESTABLISH A PATTERN  •   I bet one day you will...
      “Value-able” card to award a child   I know a mom who used dinnertime   (It will encourage them to find
      with free ice cream when they did   once a week to tell her kids something   hope.)
      something that demonstrated respect,   positive she had noticed in them that   •   I like hanging out with you
      responsibility, or kindness. We gave   week. One of  her sons secretly told   because... (It will encourage
      out enough cards, so teachers could   me it was his favorite time of  the   them to value relationship.)
      catch every kid doing something   week. That’s because most of  us crave   •   You have helped me learn...
      right at least once a month. But at   affirmation at some level. Sometimes    (It will encourage them to show
      the end of  the first month, 90% of    it helps to establish routine times   respect.)
      the cards had not been given out.   when you know you will have a   •   You can add your own, but here’s
      We realized that a lot of  teachers,   consistent opportunity to affirm your   the point:
      much like many parents, were so   kids. That doesn’t mean it has to feel
      programmed to correct kids’ behavior   routine. It just means you will create a   Start being intentional and
      that they had never learned how to   rhythm for complimenting your kids   use words over time to affect the
      pro-actively acknowledge positive   to make sure that it actually happens   direction of  your kid’s future.
      behavior. So, the next month, we   frequently.               Author: Reggie Joiner is the Founder &   Submitted by: Drew Allen, Student
      included a few tips to help teachers                          CEO of Orange. His mission in life is   Pastor at FBC Mexia.
      look for specific ways to catch kids   STRETCH YOUR VOCABULARY   to partner parents & churches in an
      doing it right. These Value-able cards   Words are more powerful than    effort to better lead their children.
      became one of  the most used tools   most people imagine. So, what we
      in the character education program.   say to our kids over time really does
      Teachers loved giving them and kids   matter. If  you are not a verbal person,
      loved getting them. Here are a few of    try using a starter phrase. The right
      the tips that we have learned working   phrase can keep you from getting
      with teachers and parents who want   stuck and never saying anything at all.
      to help kids know how to reinforce   Hallmark has built an entire industry
      positive behaviors.          around the idea.

      BE SPECIFIC                    Here are a few phrases to get you
        It’s easy to say something general to   started. Just add a personal or specific
      a kid like, “you have a great attitude”   sentence and practice motivating
      or “you’re a good student.” But when a   and encouraging your kids to keep
      compliment is too general, it doesn’t   moving in a positive direction. Put
      mean as much. Kids want to know   these somewhere (like on your phone
      you care enough about them to notice   or computer) where you will see them
      specific things they do. So, take the   and use one of  them each day of  the
      time to point out something that is   week.
      definitive, especially if  you hope they
      will repeat it.              •   You have really improved ...(It
                                       will encourage them to keep
      ACKNOWLEDGE EFFORT               growing.)
        Look for ways to praise kids for   •   I love the way you... (It will
      improving in an area or because they   encourage them to celebrate
      worked hard at something. When you   their uniqueness.)
      encourage effort or determination,   •   I noticed how you... (It will
      you are helping them build a strong   encourage them to demonstrate
      work ethic. Don’t just compliment   character.)
      for compliment sake. When you   •   Thank you for...  (It will
      compliment your kids for just being   encourage them to express
      “great” kids or for things they really   gratitude.)
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