Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Praises makes a difference

It's final exams period here, Jared has just completed his, but Ryan has two more weeks to go. Thankfully it's not the other way round, because it would be impossible to motivate J to press on if his brother was all done and relaxing, like J is now!

As usual it was a struggle with J through the past two weeks of intensive revision. He tends to be inconsistent in his daily work, so there were a lot of tears (him) and incessant nagging (me) while we help him catch up. But interestingly (and thankfully) he is more matured this year, and now has the desire to do well (he wants to enter his brother's secondary school). Except that the spirit is willing but the flesh is still weak (!) So I had to be his study buddy and sat with him all day and revised with him. Needless to say, he did not enjoy my company very much, lol!

I'm not sure if I'm the norm or not, but I'm guilty of scolding more than praising my children on most any given day. There's so much I can find to nag them about, lol! The situation got far worse the past few exam revision weeks, naturally.

So it was time to apply the 'home training lesson' I took home from Bible Study Fellowship entitled "Amazing results will happen when children hear positive words and encouragement from you". It suggests that we need to practise praising at every chance and even listed a compilation of phrases like:

"I'm so impressed! I really like that! You amaze me! I thank God for you everyday! I'm glad you thought of that!"

I came up with some praises of my own:

"See, you did it! Great task completion! Good attention to detail! You're so creative! Nobody can do that in our family except you! I'm glad you took the initiative! That's very thoughtful of you! I love your attention to detail! Great job tidying up! I could tell you put in a lot of effort! That's impressive, you know, ..."

It was easy to come up with praises once I got going. The boys responded so differently to praise compared to nagging..haha..Hate to admit that I needed a simple reminder to practise what I always knew was so important. And so I'm now happily practising finding every opportunity to praise my kids (and hubby too!). It's definitely rubbing off, on them and me. Pray I keep it up!

11 X 8.5 Layouts
In the comments to my last post, a question was posed asking it I would ever consider doing 8.5 X 11 templates for those who prefer that format? Well, as you know I only want to make templates from layouts I make for myself, but guess what? When I started out digiscrapping, I made layouts in the 8.5 X11  format so as to be able to print them out on my home printer. And I've been wanting to go back to update and complete the layouts from our trip to New Zealand in 2005 for a photobook. Your comment encouraged me to start working on them and I'll post the templates too!

Here's the first two layouts I dug out, they were both on a flat blue (photoshop color-filled) background (did not have access to much scrapbooking supplies then), which I decided now to discard, in favour of my current favorite white background. I was already using the linear style then! And ever since, double pages! Haha!
I can't get over how tiny the boys were, just 5 years ago! Jared just sat beside me and told me some of what he remembers from that day, he was six then. We huffed and puffed, coaxed and cajoled the boys up the hill, and I remember how proud and exhilarated we all felt when we got to the topafter 5+ hours. And that amazing, breathtaking view!

You can download both templates here

And I've happily completed more Hokkaido trip layouts. We arrived in Niseko train station enroute to the Niseko Ski resorts. It was a one carriage train that fetched us away from the city into the country, stark and completed snowed out, so utterly beautiful.
Credits: foliage by Elisas bits, paper by Cinnamondesigns, and alpha by Krista Hartley and word art by Paislee press.

Now this Onsen experience is quite another story, after much deliberation, we decided we just could not bring ourselves to join in the public onsen (bath) so we spurlged on one night in a room with it's own onsen pool! It was an experience alright, the water was lovely with a faint mineral scent and color, but I couldn't take the heat and felt faint after 20 minutes (lol). We thought the boys would not go near it, but they loved it!
Credits: petals by Ajay Abney designs, word art and backgroun paper from rejuvenate by sahlinstudio, paint splatter from Cafe J.

And the next two layouts are just us trudging around in the abundant snow the next morning, making our first little snow man (we had not imagined it was so hard to make him big and round!)

 Credits: word art by Ali Edwards, snow flake and 'snowball'by Dani Mogstad, blue paper by A Victoria
This is now available as part of Template Pack 7 in the store. Thanks for your interest!


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