Monday, March 7, 2011

Praise Mail

We've started a new tradition at our house called "Praise Mail." I once heard that praise is much more meaningful if given publicly. So several weeks ago, when we had some specific things that had warranted praise, I brought out this little mailbox. The kids were truly delighted with the special delivery.

Sometimes the praise mail has been an acknowlegement of simple things like making a bed or keeping a room clean. And I must admit that the establishment of praise mail had partly selfish motives. Sure, I want my kids to feel good about themselves, but I also hoped that the public praise would encourage the continuation of good behavior.

Other times praise mail delivers a compliment for bigger accomplishments. Like when Alyssa is the bar champion two meets in a row!

At the Hop--home meet--2/23/11

Rose City Challenge--Portland--3/5/11

Or when she sets a new school record for sit-ups...359!

Caleb got praise mail for braving a scout campout in record cold temperatures. While the local news was suggesting that people bring in their pets, we sent our 12-year-old out in the frigid (below zero) temperatures to camp for the night! I didn't sleep a wink but he came home in good spirits with all toes still attached.

Jon was praised for giving a great talk in ward conference last week. I'm going to put one in tonight for saving our girls from drowning in the hotel pool over the weekend. Thank goodness for his quick reaction. Things can go from fun to frantic so fast!

Natalie's been praised for becoming such a good reader and for being a nice friend.

Sometimes there's a lot of mail and other times just one, or even none. But that little red flag that alerts the family of an impending delivery is always exciting. So each night before family prayer, we open the mailbox to read its contents. (And we sing the Blue's Clues mail song, too. That was Jon's contribution to the tradition. I thought it was dorky but the kids love it!)

Once I even put in an item of praise for myself. :) We all need a little praise mail every now and then, right?


Sarah said...

Your creativity never ceases to amaze me! What a great tradition and I'm sure there is lots of praise to go around in your family!

Erin said...

Super cute! Helps me to be excited for when my girls get bigger and not just fearful.

And uh, daughters almost drowing?!?!?

Sara said...

What a cute idea! I just might have to steal this idea of yours also!

Jen said...

Great idea! Glad Alyssa did so well at her meet! Scary about the almost drowning part..

Chad said...

Love Praise mail!

SuburbiaMom said...

Wonderful idea--and cute mailbox, too!

Mom said...

"Praise Mail...makes me wanna wag my tail!" Gotta love it.

farmerette said...

This is an awesome idea and I'm totally stealing it!