Thursday, March 13, 2014

Positive Reinforcement of Character Traits Through Coloring Cards

How was that for a long post title?!

Before I explain, let me say I saw this idea on Pinterest (I know, right?), and I cannot find the original blog! I would love to find this blog again, to give credit to the author, and because I loved what I saw and wanted to keep reading! So, if you know what I'm talking about, please leave a comment! 

Ok, onward.

We like to do a lot of positive training around here. One new thing we've started is working on one speficic character trait at a time. I print off that word in an outline format, and each time an adult catches them doing it, they get to color one letter from the word. I've been just choosing whatever they are struggling with  most, and there is no set time frame, or prize at the end - we just do it until they're finished. It has actually been working rather well. They are excited about getting recognized for their actions in a good way, and so they keep on doing it.So far we have done kind and helpful, and right now are working on obedience. 

Some rules:
1. They must be caught doing it spontaneously, just because they love the other person, not because they are trying to color a letter, and not because they were told to or reminded to. 
2. We do not in any way use these to bribe or cajole - "Don't you want to get to color a letter? You'd better start being more kind!" They just either get it or they don't, and we don't mention it at all between. We didn't start this to add a wheedling to their lives, but rather to reward them when they are good. 
3. We don't compare progress between siblings, and we don't always let both kids color just because one kid was good. This is sometimes hard, since they are used to doing everything together, but they are quickly learning that it is ok.
4. We try to make it easy to succeed, being quick to recognize any small action that would count. Especially at this age (2/5) it needs to be attainable or they will get discouraged and just not care any more.

Note: You can make any font an outline in Microsoft Word. Just Insert a WordArt, choose the outline option, and while the box is open to edit the text, change the font to the one you want.

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