As I walked down the hallway this week, Taylor and Elysia sped past me going the opposite direction. “Ladies,” I said, “thanks for not running in the hall!” “You’re welcome!” they called back as they continued on their way – speed walking as before.
It’s important to catch kids doing the right thing – and then to comment on it. We raised our kids with the philosophy: the behavior that gets rewarded gets repeated. But you have to teach the desired behavior instead of focusing on the undesired behavior. It’s easier to teach what to do than what to not do. When I see kids running in the hall, I say, “Walk, please” instead of “No running!” I’ve also told them it’s okay to SPEED walk – a tip these two girls took to heart.
Our Life Skills class planted flower seeds this spring; last week they brought their baby plants into the classroom so they could take them home. When Dirk moved his from one side of the table to the other, he left a trail of dirt behind. Without prompting, he grabbed the trash can and brushed the dirt into it. When I thanked him for doing the right thing and not brushing it onto the floor, he grinned in appreciation.
Tell your kids what behavior you expect from them, and then when you catch them doing it – speak up!