Do not underestimate the power of a well-placed “Thank you!” when it comes to parenting your child. You might be surprised how much of an effect a genuine and heartfelt nod of appreciation can have on your child. As long as you don’t abuse it, remembering to say thanks and show appreciation when your child does something he or she is supposed to do—can go a long way in making the fluke turn into habit.
We parents spend so much time telling our children what we want them to do, what they should and shouldn’t do, and what we would really prefer that they do—we might not notice when they actually do something as we’d like. If we only notice room for improvement and NOT the things they are doing well, our kids might decide “What’s the bother? She never notices when I do anything good anyway!” Who wants to be harped at all the time?
Noticing when our children remember to pick up their shoes, do the dishes, take out the trash, hang up a wet towel, etc. are all worth our notice. I know it may seem so trivial that it doesn’t warrant a “thank you” but think of it this way—is it so trivial that you don’t notice when they DON’T do it? Chances are, if you are anything like me, you notice all those things when they don’t get done, but might be tempted to take them for granted when they do.
Instead, say “thank you”—let your child know that you notice and appreciate when he does something well or thoughtful. You might find that your simple words of thanks and praise when he does do what is expected carry more of a wallop than all the nagging and requesting you do when the child does NOT do what you’d like.