I recently wrote about a great experience I had with our 10 year-old. A few months ago he decided to “be more mature.” He’s always been a nice kid with a kind heart and good intentions. He’s always done well in school and played well with friends. The “more mature” quest came in response to a smoothing out of some edges of silliness that brought him some attention he didn’t want.
Initially, he asked if he could get some upgraded technology in exchange for the impending maturity growth spurt. If he showed us that he could handle it, would we get him an iPhone? A laptop? Access to new video games? We told him we’d think about it and he went right to work.
Day after day, week after week, he demonstrated that he was more than capable. Then one day we got the first note from his teacher. The note was a glowing review of how he’d stepped up in class. He was being his best self at home and at school, in front of us and away from us. The kid was not only demonstrating maturity, but integrity, too.
He even shifted away from the tech reward and eventually told us that it didn’t matter anymore, because doing the right things and being his best self, simply “feels good.” It’s been a great time of growth and a wondrous transformation for us to watch, and to be a part of. Our part has been celebrating.
We’ve now received multiple notes from his teacher over the past several months. Each time we get a note, we celebrate. We don’t celebrate with cookies or cakes, and we haven’t celebrated with upgrades to technology, but with hugs, words of praise, listening hearts, smiles and gratitude.
Turns out, celebration is really powerful and really positive. It feels good to be acknowledged, valued and validated. When we mention how proud we are of him, how impressed we are by him, and how incredible he’s been doing, he lights up. Doing good and being recognized for doing good, feels good.
We all respond well to positive feedback and praise, and we all have things about us that can be celebrated. We can look for and focus on moments of achievement in our children and in one another to fuel positive progress and well-being. As we continue seeking comfort, joy and balance during these unique and challenging days, we can be using celebration as a tool.
Pats on the back, kind notes of recognition, hugs, high fives and messages of awareness and pride all go a long way. Genuine celebrations feel good for those being celebrating and for those doing the celebrating. Let’s continue to put celebration at the core of how we take care of our kids and how we strengthen partnerships with one another. Look for opportunities and take the time…celebrations pay social, emotional and fulfillment dividends along the way!
Thanks for reading…in it together for the kids!
Live. Love. Listen. Learn. Lead.