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My Board of Encouragement

Awhile ago I blogged about the benefits of using words of encouragement over words of praise. Encouragement offers children support for positive behavior and motivates them to continue that wanted behavior. Oftentimes, behavior problems stem from children feeling discouraged and disheartened. The good news is that we can start today to focus on using encouraging words as often as possible!

While I work diligently on making sure my children’s cup is full of these uplifting words, I wanted to go one step further. I keep an “encouragement board” going in the corner of my children’s giant dry-erase board. I have written, “My kids are…” and then I follow it up with a word or words that inspire the kind of behavior I want to motivate. I change out the word every other day or so, plenty of time for them to notice it. I want them to know that I am always grateful for them, appreciate their efforts, and happy to celebrate their achievements with an eye toward keeping them motivated.

Encouragement goes such a long way toward positive behavior in children. By filling their little cups with heaps of support and inspiration, they feel secure about their actions and secure in your love and attention, so their behavior mirrors that positive reinforcement. Anytime we start to have problems or we start to have a series of days where we are backsliding, it is usually because I haven’t been as on top of offering them encouragement. I just forgive myself and promise to redouble my motivating efforts the next day, and I can start with my encouragement board! You can easily find encouraging words or phrases online if you need help getting started, but remember, encouragement is not the same as praise. Build a vocabulary of encouraging words and phrases and practice them everyday!

Author:

I have been active as a freelance performer since 1992 and as a teacher since 1996. I currently serve as Second Flute with the Columbus Indiana Philharmonic orchestra and have performed with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, Indianapolis Chamber Winds, Terre Haute Symphony Orchestra, Danville (Illinois) Symphony Orchestra, Bloomington Symphony Orchestra, Bloomington Chamber Singers Orchestra, and the United States Collegiate Wind Band’s European Tour, among other ensembles. I have also enjoyed performing for various occasions such as formal and charitable recitals as well as giving master classes at Butler University in Indianapolis and at Morehead State University in Morehead, Kentucky. I am also Adjunct Professor of Flute at Indiana Wesleyan University. I earned a Master of Music in Performance with Distinction at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, England studying with Peter Lloyd and Laura Jellicoe. While in England, I played in charitable concerts for St. Augustine’s Catholic Church. I was featured as a soloist at the Pennine Spring Music Festival in Heptonstall, England in addition to performing in the music festival’s orchestral and solo events. I earned a Bachelor of Science in Performance with Distinction at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music where I studied principally with Kathryn Lukas. While at Indiana University, I also had the incredible opportunity to study for several weeks with Barbara Kallaur on baroque flute, Donald Peck, Thomas Robertello, and Kate Hill. I am lucky to be the mother of three beautiful and talented children, and I play on a wonderful David Straubinger 10K gold flute with 14K head joint.

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