Tuesday, 9 June 2015

Good wins, every time

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Good and kind always wins.

That's at least the message that we're trying to send to our kids.

So, shiny jewels (or, glass beads really) are now the ultimate reward. A reward for any time that we catch them doing good, kind, loving things.  A reward for any time that we catch them encouraging people, loving people, listening, showing respect, being polite, or sharing. A reward for being the types of people who we are hopefully helping them to be. Because in the end, if we have raised loving, caring human beings, then I feel like we have made it. We have done our job. We have succeeded. Because little people are still learning a lot. They will make mistakes, have bad days, have bad moments, use the wrong tone of voice, say the wrong words, get angry, test the boundaries and test our patience--everything that us as adults also do sometimes. Because we're all just human.

So we came up with a little way to encourage them--to praise them, to celebrate them and to focus on all of the great things that they do. Because, I may not have all of the answers that I'm looking for as a mom--but the one thing that I do know is that whenever we praise children for the good things that they do, they want to do it more...then it begins to become something that they think about more often, then it becomes habit, and as the years go by, eventually it becomes just who they are.

So jewels have been dropped into their special jars one by one as we have watched little people go above and beyond what we expect of them...and the excitement of filling up their entire jar full of jewels meant that they had something even more exciting to look forward to...one-on-one time.

They knew that once they filled up their entire jar full of jewels, they got to choose either mommy or daddy to take them somewhere special. Their choice. One-on-one time. All of the attention on that one child. Something special that I know that they won't ever forget.

So as Sunday rolled around, the last jewel was dropped into Mya's jar and it was officially full--so we all did the happy dance, gave out high-fives and hugs and had the very serious discussion about where we would be going and who she wanted to go with.

So with ice cream being the request and mommy being the one to take her, Mya and I said our goodbyes to the rest of the family and we snuck out for our special time together. Just her and I. Just one little girl who told her Papa that "Mommy is taking me out to get ice cream to celebrate ME...because I got so many jewels!"...which made me realize just how special she felt.

And special she certainly did feel. 

Because good and kind wins, every time. 

And ice cream proves it. 

Because as she sat there, thrilled...completely thrilled with her big melting ice cream cone out in the sunshine, she looked at me and said "Mommy, I'm going to save my ice cream and take it home, because I want to share it with Carter". 

So I of course tried to hold back my tears as I watched her staring at her special delicious prize that she was so happy about, wanting instead to make sure that her brother felt happy too.

And although Carter is only a few jewels away from being able to pick his special time with either mom or dad too, he's not quite there yet. Because, having a two year old means that you learn very quickly that two year olds need a lot of extra encouragement...a lot of extra praise, and a lot of boundaries being set---because being two is not always easy (on anyone).

So instead of bringing home a melted ice cream cone for her brother, we headed out to the store and I let her pick out a special treat of her choice to share with Carter, because "sharing is caring, right mom?", she said.

And I nodded as my own words came out of her little mouth, and I realized that all of the times that I said those words over and over again, thinking that they were going unheard..well, it turns out I was wrong.

So she picked a bag of licorice, and held it the whole way home until she walked into the front door and excitedly ripped that bag open and handed out piece after piece to all of us.

Because, sharing is caring, right mom?

Then we all headed outside on a sugar high and spent the rest of the afternoon encouraging Carter on his bike--because this little two year old can now officially ride a two-wheeler. No training wheels. Just the wind at his back and some nervous parents watching as he speeds off like a pro.

High-fives from his big sister...

and mom and baby cheering him on from the sidelines after weeks of me running around every day on that court holding his shirt as he wobbled and fell...and then got up again to keep trying...

because he is our determined little two year old who we love and adore...even when he shows us why being two is not always easy.

Can't wait to see where this little guy decides to go on his special day when that last jewel is dropped into his jar. And on those days when a four year old and two year old are having bad days, I'll remember that good always wins--always. We just have to keep going.

Erica xo

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