“You made your letters so well BUT your “j” is backwards.”
“Wow! You cleaned up your room, BUT you forgot under the bed!”
“I really liked the casserole BUT it would be better if you cooked it a little longer.”
Compliments are so wonderful to receive! Don’t they feel so good? When praise comes your way, and you start to smile in response, it is amazing how fast your bubble can be burst when the word “but” comes along. Doesn’t it just wreck things?
Homeschooling and/or parenting can make us feel responsible to make every moment a teaching moment. However, praise and teaching really don’t belong in the same paragraph. It works so much better to make a mental note of needed correction, and save it until a different time. A more receptive time. And particularly not in the same time frame as a compliment. Who wants their party crashed with criticism tacked on the end?
If you have this tendency, how about taking the challenge I’m working on? Try just for today to ban the word “but” from your vocabulary. Don’t say it! Keep your compliments clean from correction. Just speak them, and let their sunshine make the recipient feel delighted! And if you are worried you’ll forget to give some much needed instruction, jot it down and save it for another day. Don’t let your praise end with a “bee sting”. Try it and see how much bigger your family’s smiles are!