Monday, November 2, 2009

89 Ways to Say "Very Good"

Not long ago, we decided to not put Logan into the social skills group for which I had searched far and wide. I was sad not to send him but after speaking with his therapist at school, we decided that it would not be ideal for him this year.

I tried and tried to find him other classes but everything was too far or too hard or too expensive. I did find a martial arts class in my neighborhood and we tried it out. And in the first ten minutes, I was feeling really encouraged because they were doing drills and he followed along with each step.

Then came the wait-in-line-to-kick-something drill and we lost him. On top of that, the other boys were mean to him. The teacher even asked him to leave early and come back tomorrow for another free trial class but of course, we never went back.

While I did not want to do this, I felt I had no choice but to get him a private lesson and I chose swimming. Luckily or shall I say super luckily, I found a swim instructor who worked well with children with disabilities and offered lessons at the pool that I've joined (three blocks from my apartment)!!!!! And he was affordable as private lessons could go. Moreover, I found a small grant that can pay for some of his lessons.

I was really stunned by this teacher. On the first day, he handed me a booklet of rules and expectations and at the end of the packet, there wer a two pages listing a zillion different ways to say "Good job." Right there I knew that he was "the one."

At the end of the lesson which turned out great, he asked me if he could give Logan a lollipop and I said, "No, praise is his sugar." It really is and even though I know it, I am ashamed to say, I just don't do enough of it but I am determined to try. Here is the list that the coach gave me. I don't know where he got it from so I'll just attribute to Logan's coach, Michael Jackson. (Yes, his name really is Michael Jackson)

89 Ways to Say "Very Good"
  1. I'm proud of the way you worked today.
  2. You've got your brain in gear today.
  3. Your figured that out fast.
  4. I think you got it now.
  5. Super!
  6. That's the way to do it.
  7. That's not half bad
  8. I knew you could do it.
  9. Good Work!
  10. Marvelous!
  11. Terrific!
  12. You're doing fine.
  13. You certainly did well.
  14. You're really improving.
  15. You're on the right track now.
  16. You deserve a medal.
  17. Wow!
  18. This is exceptional.
  19. Tremendous!
  20. Your are learning a lot.
  21. Perfect!
  22. I couldn't have done it better.
  23. Now you have the hang of it.
  24. You make it look easy.
  25. Outstanding!
  26. You're getting better everyday.
  27. That's great.
  28. Way to go!
  29. Congratulations!
  30. That's the best ever.
  31. That's really nice.
  32. Wonderful!
  33. Not bad.
  34. That's quite an improvement.
  35. Your are learning fast.
  36. Sensational!
  37. Excellent!
  38. Nice going.
  39. Good thinking.
  40. That's it!
  41. Right on!
  42. Well, look at you go!
  43. That's right!
  44. You have great potential.
  45. Exactly right!
  46. That's better.
  47. That's a good (boy/girl).
  48. You remembered!
  49. Keep it up!
  50. You've got that down pat.
  51. That's much better!
  52. Fantastic!
  53. I'm amazed!
  54. Keep on trying.
  55. You outdid yourself today.
  56. Great!
  57. Now you have it
  58. I'm very proud of you.
  59. Good going!
  60. Fine!
  61. That's good.
  62. Good remembering!
  63. That's good work!
  64. Nothing can stop you now.
  65. Way to go!
  66. You're incredible!
  67. Far out!
  68. You make my job fun!
  69. You are very good at that.
  70. I like it!
  71. You're doing a good job!
  72. Good for you!
  73. That's better than ever.
  74. Your haven't missed a thing.
  75. That's the right way to do it.
  76. You've just about got it.
  77. Keep up the good work.
  78. You're really going to town.
  79. That's coming along nicely.
  80. This is beautiful work.
  81. You did a lot of work today.
  82. You must have been practicing.
  83. That was first class work.
  84. You're doing beautifully.
  85. Keep working on it, you're getting better.
  86. That kind of work makes me very happy.
  87. It's a pleasure to teach when you work like that.
  88. One more time and you'll have it.
  89. I've never seen anyone do it better.
I used this list when I was helping Logan with his reading homework and he did better than usual. Praise really is his "sugar."

Picture: Our recent Halloween success story. Spencer actually wore a suit without crying. He ever wore a hat! What really was amazing was that he even went trick-or-treating with us! Last year, he only made it to one door before he broke down. Logan was great too! He went to a Halloween event at the American Museum of Natural History with his friend from school. It was crowded and chaotic but I didn't need three shots of whiskey afterwards! We all had fun. For this day, I think I'll not only praise my kids for their achievement, I think I may praise myself for shoving my fear aside and taking him to a place of what I can only describe as a sensory explosion. Thanks K. for coming with me.

Some more on praise: Edward Hallowell, a famous ADHD expert called praise one of the best "pick-axes" for mining hidden talents in ADHD kids in this article. I think he's right.

1 comment:

Penny Williams said...

what an awesome list! and what an awesome coach! shouldn't a coach/teacher/parent of any child, not just a special needs child, employ this attitude? praise the good and they'll want to do more of it.

I admire your strength in what you feed/don't feed your children. Just yesterday the bank teller asked if my kids could have Halloween candy and I said, "sure." I can't imagine trying to change that expectation now.

You are doing such great things for your boys!

oh, and I wouldn't rule out martial arts yet. I read over, and over, and over that tae kwon doe is so fantastic for ADHD kids. It sounds like you just need to find a better instructor. One more like the swim coach. Now that our insurance/medical-related expenses have dropped significantly, I am going to let Luke try marital arts.