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Catch 'em Being Good

Updated: Oct 26, 2023

When I am walking into a room, my eye usually first catches on what is going wrong in a room. Perhaps there is a used cup or a toy lying on the ground. Rarely does my eye first catch the beautiful plant flourishing near the window or the light pouring in from the sun. When I do remember to retrain my brain to look for the beauty, my whole energy shifts and my mood lifts. It is the same with approaching our children, tweens, and teens. Naturally, we will first see everything they are doing "wrong". Our first instinct is then to correct them and let them know what they should be doing or how they should be doing it instead. How effective has this practice proved to be for parents? As a teacher and as a parent, this method has not been proved effective for me and it also leaves me feeling drained.

Instead, I try to "catch" students and my own child being good! When I take a look at a group of students or my own child I first take a minute to notice what I want to correct and I make a mental note of that and then move on to finding what I want to compliment. In the classroom, I create raffle tickets that have the specific action I am complimenting such as "Act of Kindness" or "Perseverance" so that students know what I am complimenting. These raffle tickets have worked for me while I taught high school, middle school, and elementary school. Who does not like getting a compliment?

During distance learning, I have used "Catch Ya Being Good" bucks for my daughter. The whole process has helped keep our relationship more positive. It also helps keep her brain and my brain focused on what she is doing well - a habit I hope she keeps her whole life!

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