Friday, May 22, 2009

Celebrating successes

The end of another school year is fast approaching. Most of us are relieved. Even working parents who may have to scramble to figure out the appropriate child care for the summer are thankful to be able to set the evening routines aside. Homework can take a break for a few months.

And at the end of the semester, report cards will be issued. Some have done very well, often with the support of others. There is also a common tendency to notice the things that did not go well, the subjects that need more attention. Just for a little bit, let's have a moratorium on nitpicking and focusing on the negative. Let's do the opposite of what we often do, and be sure to give more positive attention, offering congratulations for the things that have been well done, the successes accomplished.

This is a reminder we all need. I am much more likely to be critical of myself and the mistakes I make than to acknowledge when I do well. It is more encouraging to get positive feedback from others than to feel the inadequacy of "constructive criticism." Is it ever really constructive? It still feels like judgment, even if it is feedback that could ultimately be helpful. When things are going well, the kids are playing together without fighting, we tend to hold our breath in surprise and gratitude. These are the times to recognize and celebrate.

So, for today, I celebrate the successes in my family members and in myself. Well done! Good for you! Enjoy the day.

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