Lately I've been working on being more positive with my kids. I'm not necessarily negative, but I am a perfectionist. And I tend to demand perfection from my kids as well. I also want them to grow up as confident individuals, so I've been making a concerted effort to note the positives in all they do, so they don't grow up thinking that they cannot please me.
For example, the other day I asked Bryn to feed the cat - a relatively simple chore for a 3 year old, and one that I ask her to do often. Well, on this particular day, she figured that if she fed the cat a lot, she would need to do it less often. So, I walked into the mud room and saw this:
(I'm not sure why she included a dryer sheet) My initial reaction was to scold her for dumping an entire bag of cat food into the dish. But (remembering my goal to notice the positives) I told her what a great job she did. She had definitely fed the cat as I had asked her to do. I did remind her that next time, maybe we should try to only give the cat what can fit in the bowl. I think her strategy worked - it was a week ago, and the cat hasn't needed food since.
I've also been trying to teach G to wipe herself after going #2. She's going to be in kindergarten in the fall, and its time she learned to take care of things herself (besides, it is also my goal to only have one bum to be in charge of). Yesterday, I was in the yard doing some spring cleaning outside, when she sheepishly came to me asking for help. She had attempted to wipe herself, only had been a bit too concerned with getting herself clean: she had used the entire roll of toilet paper, and clogged the toilet.
Again, wanting to be upset with her for making such a mess, I instead thanked her for taking care of herself. I then told her that perhaps next time she could try and use a bit less paper. (I decided not to use that pic - you'll just have to use your imagination)