Saturday, July 30, 2011

Sweet Talk Jar - rewarding kids

Love to hear sweet talking kids!  Sweet words of encouragement that build each other up - nothing better to build family bonds and build self-confidence.  Now I don't mean saying words like "please" and "thank-you"; those words are expected of all team members at our house.  I'm also not referring to when one of my blue-eyed sweetie-pies says "I love you mommy; can I have a cookie?"  Nope.  I'm referring to those moments when I catch my kids encouraging each other out of love, and not because they want something.  When they say something sweet, and aren't expecting anything in return.  For example, when I caught my oldest boy, Aidan, helping his youngest brother put on his shoes.  I overheard him say, "I used to have trouble too - need some help buddy?"  Loved it, and wanted to acknowledge and reward him for his encouraging words/actions.  I don't believe that my kids need rewards for every good deed they do, or word they speak, but, BUT, the reality is that in life we often are rewarded for these things.  Why not learn that at an early age?  And, my kids are rowdy, wild, and a heck of a lot of fun - but they get themselves in all sorts of trouble.  So, I really, really (I mean REALLY) try to catch them doing good.  And when I do, sometimes I reward them with encouraging words, and sometimes I bring out the SWEET TALK JAR. 

Oh yes, the SWEET TALK JAR! 
I started this easy reward jar one year ago,
and it has been a sweet deal.  
I bought the biggest jar of jelly beans I could find at Sam's Club,
but I've seen this size at Walmart and Target too.

I kept it simple and decorated the lid with vinyl stickers
I made with my Cricut, but you could just buy letter stickers, or
just write the words with a marker. 
When I catch my kids using sweet words of encouragement
to each other, they get one jelly bean.
Simple, and so far hasn't caused any extra cavities.
(maybe they aren't sweet talking enough?)

We've been through about four jars of jelly beans since
we started this reward system...and all I have to do
is buy a new jar and put the "sweet talk" lid on it.
I peel off the jar label so my kids can see all the flavors.

Sweet Talk jar

Don't these just look yummy?
Sometimes mom needs a reward for all the times
she bites her tongue, and chooses sweet words too!

Waiting for a sweet reward:

Two of my sweet talkers -
don't they just exude sweetness?
Like I said...gotta catch
'em doing good!

"Pleasant words are like a honeycomb,
sweetness to the soul and health to the bones."
(Proverbs 16:24)

"Whoever guards his mouth and tongue
keeps his soul from troubles."
(Proverbs 21:23)

Easier said than done, and daily I feel challenged to
always speak pleasant and sweet words...but I try, and try, and try.
Because I do believe that guarding our words protects our souls from troubles.


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