Claire’s friend got an award at school a while ago. It was a big deal. I could hear the envy in Claire’s voice as she told me all about it and asked when she might get her own award. It’s amazing what a little piece of paper can do.

All that talk made me remember the awards we had growing up.

They were just pieces of paper that had the acronyms of what they stood for written in my Dad’s best artistic hand. The ones I remember most are “SS” for “self-starter,” “WWJD” for “what would Jesus do,” “LFR” for “leader for the right” and “NAP” for “neat as a pin.”

We’d sit around at Sunday dinner and have the “awards discussion.” My parents would ask us who was in the running for each award. We’d pipe up and tell about things we or a sibling did to be a “Leader for the Right” that week (great things came out that may have never been heard otherwise), or my parents would make comments on who they thought was particularly good at being a “Self Starter” with their jobs or homework, etc. Then my Dad would award the awards to those he deemed the “winners.” We’d proudly get to display them on our doors all week until the next Sunday dinner when they were up for grabs again.

I loved it. I think it really taught me to want to be better…to try harder. To be my best.

So we started doing it with our kids years ago. It stuck for a week or two, but they were too young to really get it. But after Claire’s little “award envy” this year I decided we needed to give it a try again.

Well guess what? They get it this time. Some weeks we’re better at doing it than others, but I love it because it gives the kids a chance to really think about what they’re doing that’s good…and a chance for us to praise them about it.
(We added “respect” too since it’s part of our family motto.)

So, thanks Mom & Dad for another good idea.

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  1. GENIUS idea. Those Eyeres… they’re always coming up with something to fix kids. 🙂
    They’re like Mrs. Piggle Wiggle, minus the magic. 🙂

  2. Your FHE lessons from our exchange group all those years ago are still among my very favorites and I see that you are continuing on with your amazing traditions! I love this inspired idea to help kids to be looking out for the good in each other, while striving to improve themselves as well. It’s a wonderful idea! Thanks for sharing.
    PS your family is just beautiful!

  3. I LOVE it! I am gong to make the signs today. Can’t wait to see the kids faces. They will be so excited. Thanks for sharing your ideas!

  4. Shauni, I accidentally posted as my Aunt Lori – so if you wonder who the stranger “Lori” is…I was logged in as her setting up a blog for her and her son who was in a terrible car accident.

  5. What a great idea! We might have to incorporate that in our house.

    And whatever you do, DON’T GET A DOG! It was a lapse in judgement on my part. He is a sweetie, but my life was SOOOO much easier without him.

    Consider yourself warned. 🙂

  6. i hope you don’t mind, but i have stolen every single parenting idea you have ever shared on your blog.

    i even have all of your parents’ books too, but is nicer to see the idea with a photo. Love it!

  7. This. Is. Brilliant! We’ve just instituted a job chart for real (tried before, but failed) and this idea may just make the whole deal sweeter for us all. As always, thanks for the inspiration!

  8. Wow Shawni, can we use these signs in our presentations? They are SO much better (sorry honey) that the old ones we used to use. This is what we love about parenting…you give somebody an idea and they make it BETTER!
    Sure love you! Mom

  9. Shawni! YOu seriously have the greatest ideas! I can’t wait to try this!
    I just looked up your parents speaking schedge….that’s it I have got to heae them speak!

    Let me know if you DIDN’T get my letter..thanks!

  10. We instituted this at FHE last night. The kids loved it, and are eager already for next week. Do you give every child an award each week? Also, do you give multiple awards to one child (say if they are neat as a pin, and a leader for the right)?

  11. Your blog inspires me to be better. After reading this post quite a while ago, we started doing awards in our family. What a success! My kids love that we recognize their efforts to contribute to our family. I appreciate the opportunity it gives me to pay closer attention to how they serve in our family each week. Win-win! I blogged about how we have adapted your idea in our family and, of course, referenced your fantastic post.
    Thanks for continuing to be a force for establishing stronger families.

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