to Reinforce the Positive and Encourage Achievement. First let me explain how we came to create the Star Book.
Throughout almost all of last term, Georgia, moaned and whined and made a fuss of going to school. She would be clingy and there were even daily tears. It was awful! For those of you whose children skip happily along to school, you’re really lucky… 🙂
It helped tremendously that I knew and trusted her teachers and their feedback was always taken positively, and it was great knowing that we were partners working together towards a common goal. However, it was still a challenge every morning.
Over the Christmas and New Year holiday, as a treat to myself, (I had been good :)) I read Jack Canfield’s The Success Principles. Now if you like me watched The Secret and liked it but never really got to the practise of ‘the secret’, Canfield’s book provides and almost step-by-step guide (an all very logical too) to achieving anything you set your mind to. One of the chapters in the book, suggests that you list every day, 5 achievements for the day (even if you did not accomplish things that you set out to do that day, if you reflect on your day, you will often find achievements each day) and to focus on goals for the next day.
So we thought, what a great way for Georgia, and especially for us, to focus on what we can achieve and to celebrate the successes each day, and that was how we came to create the Star Book.
In Georgia’s Star Book, we list 3 goals for each day, and every night when she gets into bed we discuss whether the goals have been achieved, and if they have we write a comment (Well done, or Great job) and we decide whether we need to repeat the goal the next day. We close each session by asking her what was the best part of the day and we write this down too. And for every day (it has been 2 weeks) that is a success (which day isn’t?) she has sticks a bright shiny golden star against the date. If you have time in the mornings, it helps to talk about goals for that day too.
Last week, the added bonus of getting to the end of the week was a Hello Kitty Nintendo DS game for a Star every day. I have noticed however that the highlight is really the Stars every day, and she hasn’t even asked for a prize this week! It’s an amazing way forward and something I would thoroughly recommend to all parents to do. It may take an extra 5 to 10 minutes of the sleep routine, and older kids may well be able to write their own successes and goals for each day but it is a great way to end the day.
If you’d like to try it out, this is what you need
a) A diary is ideal for this, but we couldn’t find one that we really liked so we just use a ring bound book that Georgia picked out.
b)It is essential to use positive language in your goals and always, always, ALWAYS focus on the positive. For example, instead of ‘Not cry at school’ Georgia’s goal every morning is ‘Bring a smile to school’.
c) Reward the day, whether it’s a star sticker and a favourite character sticker, it’s important to reward the day.
I’m in the process of designing a page layout for this, and will share the PDF when I’m done. Wouldn’t you like to just buy a Star Book off the shelf?
© 2011, Li-ling. All rights reserved.