In my previous blog 'The Rigour around Triggers', I mentioned the importance of praising appropriate behaviours and always ensuring your child knows what they are being praised for. This strategy reminds me of one of my favourite books - 'Have you Filled a Bucket Today? A Guide to Daily Happiness for Kids' written by Carol McCloud. I absolutely love this book and think it is such a valuable resource for teaching everyone how to express kindness and appreciation towards others.
The message of this lovely book is simply that when you provide kindness, caring and understanding towards another person, you make them feel good and, the extra bonus - it makes you feel good too. So not only is their bucket filled but you have also filled your own! In addition, reinforcing or boosting someone with positive words increases the likelihood of you doing the same again in the future. A ripple effect occurs! Love those ripples!!!
Bucket filling is a nice analogy to think about when we practice how we respond to our children. It even applies to everyone we encounter though out our day. The author uses the bucket as a metaphor for the way we reinforce each other, and the importance of building or filling each other up with kindness, gratitude and appreciation. The outcome or consequence of receiving praise or a kind comment is that it encourages and supports positive actions.
The book also addresses how we can empty someone's bucket. Saying unkind words, yelling or criticising can have a negative impact on a child. Unkind or angry words can drain someone's bucket, reducing self esteem and the likelihood of that person engaging in positive behaviours. Essentially, in order to increase appropriate behaviours, we want to ensure we are doing the positive action of bucket filling rather than the negative action of draining someone’s bucket.
So…… take a day, maybe start with a morning, an hour, or even 10 minutes and just focus on filling someone's bucket. Take it further and get yourself some little buckets and label them for each member of your family – everyone can have the opportunity throughout each day to fill each other’s bucket with notes of appreciation or recognition. Let’s spread those ripples far and wide!!