Valentine's Day is a great opportunity to think about how we express our affection and thankfulness to the people that we care about. It's an opportunity to say, "I'm so thankful for who you are and for the joy that you bring to my life."
One way that we can do this on a regular basis is to use a strategy called "positive descriptive acknowledgements." We say something specific that the person did, with an adjective about how it describes the person, such as desired character trait or expectation. For example, to a child we might say "You took turns with your friend. That's friendly," or "You put away the dishes. That is helpful." We can even look at the behaviors that we don't want and look for opportunities to provide positive, descriptive acknowledgements when they do the opposite!
To our partner we might say, "Thank you for doing the dishes. That's really helpful, and it makes me feel like our family matters to you."
I am thankful for each of you who reads this.
More details on how to move from praise to positive, descriptive acknowledgment can be found here: https://cainclusion.org/teachingpyramid/materials/general/MovingFromPraisetoAcknowledgement.pdf
Find more strategies for acknowledging children here: http://childcarerrnc.org/secrets/folder/030303/StrategiesforAcknowledgingPositiveBehaviors120907829.pdf
Some classroom examples of providing positive, descriptive acknowledgement instead of saying "no" all the time: https://cainclusion.org/teachingpyramid/materials/classroom/TellMeWhatToDoInstead_ClassroomCA.pdf
This week's challenge: Make a plan for how you can regularly tell your loved ones and friends and even acquaintances what you are thankful for and what you like about them.