The Tattletale Tightrope: How to Teach Kids Social Awareness – Puzzle Time

The Tattletale Window to Social Awareness

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Tattletale Begone! Social Awareness Flow In

Social awareness is like opening a window to let empathy and understanding flow in. It helps your child see the bigger picture and connect with others. Today, we’ll open the tattletale window by:

  1. Discussing a common dilemma.
  2. Help your child’s mind become more socially aware with questions.
  3. Help them see the bigger picture about tattling.
  4. Solve two puzzles.
  5. Encourage them to connect with others without becoming a tattletale.

Family Talking
Dinner Dilemma Discussions


Understanding Why Kids Tattle: Kids tattle for a few reasons:

  1. Children want to do the right thing. They want others to do the right thing too. When they see something wrong, they may feel compelled to tattle.
  2. Children may want to feel important, so they tattle to gain attention.
  3. Children may want revenge, so they tattle to get someone in trouble.

Kids may lack the experience to know when not to tattle. It's essential for kids to learn when to inform an adult, which is not tattling. The right word for this is 'Telling.' Telling is about helping others, such as when:

  • Someone falls and is bleeding.
  • Someone's crying because Rover (the dog) is lost.
  • Someone needs help with a heavy chore.

A Common School Dilemma: Imagine a situation where a classmate, Penny, is constantly tattling. Your teacher reacts to Penny’s behavior. Discuss this with your child and encourage them to role-play different scenarios.

A Girl with Hand UP 1000
Tattletale Girl


Role-play the Big Tattletale Dilemma:

  1. "Role-play being the teacher and Penny. Pick out a family member to be the teacher and someone to be Penny. What will they say? How will they show your teacher's feelings? Take turns role-playing. Exaggeration and laughter are welcome.

Mom or Teacher 1000
Penny kept interrupting her teacher.


2. Discuss your family's opinions about the role-play and tattling:

Ask each member each question.

  1. How do you think teachers feel about tattletales?
  2. How do you think Penny felt?
  3. Do you like kids to tattle? Why?
  4. Is telling a teacher someone fell on the playground and is bleeding being a tattletale? Why?
  5. What’s the difference between tattling and telling?

This dilemma could encourage your child to think beyond themselves and develop social awareness.


Quiz for Kids about Tattling: Let's see what you've learned about tattling!

1. When might a child want to tattle?

  1. When they want to help someone.
  2. When they want to feel important.
  3. When they want revenge.
  4. All the above.

2. What is the difference between tattling and telling?

  1. Tattling is always a good thing.
  2. Telling is when you want to get someone in trouble.
  3. Telling is informing an adult to help someone while tattling is trying to get someone in trouble.
  4. Tattling and telling are the same thing.

3. Is telling a teacher about someone who fell on the playground and is bleeding being a tattletale? a. Yes, b. No

Remember, it's essential to choose the option that best fits the situation and promotes kindness and understanding!

Answers: 1. b, c 2. c 3. No

Dear puzzle enthusiasts,

In today's special edition of "The Tattletale Tightrope," we have a fun and challenging puzzle for you! Solving this puzzle will not only be a great brain exercise but also a lesson in family teamwork and kindness. Are you ready? Let's dive in!

Puzzle Instructions: GS Strategy SMALL 450

  1. Below, you'll find a series of scrambled words related to kindness and positive actions. Unscramble the letters to reveal the hidden words.
  2. Once you unscramble each word, write it down.

Scrambled Words:

  3. GODO

Use Your Brainpower and Think:

Once you've unscrambled all the words, think about what each of the words means and how you can incorporate these actions into your daily life to spread kindness and create a better world. Discuss it with your family and share your ideas!

Remember, kindness begins with YOU. Let's work together to make the world a better, kinder place.

Happy puzzling and spreading kindness!

Unscrambled Words:

  3. GOOD

Well done! Keep practicing kindness and spreading positivity wherever you go.

Watch this short video to learn an important tip about turning tattletales into kind siblings! 

Best Tip for Tattletales

Remember, the power of these discussions lies in the connections you'll create the values you'll reinforce, and the growth you'll inspire. So, let's come together and embrace the magic of dilemma discussions. Get ready for captivating conversations and endless opportunities to nurture your family values!


Ready to embark on this values-driven adventure? Grab your Dilemma Discussion Kit today. It's your golden key for nurturing strong family bonds and shaping the character of your loved ones.

(Note: The provided link will direct you to our website where you can access the Dilemma Discussion Kit. Happy discussing!)


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Thanks so much,

With warm wishes,

Jean Tracy

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AI assisted.

The Power of Listening: 6 Ways to Build a Strong Bond with Your Child

Why Listening is a Parenting Superpower

Listening is a powerful parenting tool that can help you build stronger relationships, solve problems, and create compassion within your family. Here are six reasons why listening counts:

1. Listening Cares

1499707_happy-woman 450

 My listening is caring.

My kids love our sharing.


Listening Is the Caring Connection Between Parent and Child


"When you listen, you sprinkle caring into the conversation."


When you listen to your child with care, you show them that you value their thoughts and feelings. This helps them feel loved and supported, which is essential for their emotional well-being.


Listening Understands

Black Dad Thinking

I listen with understanding,

And my mind is expanding.


Listening Boosts Understanding Between Parents and Children


"When parents listen, they give children the gift of their time and attention."

When you listen to your child with understanding, you try to see things from their perspective. This helps you build trust and rapport, and it makes it more likely that your child will come to you for help when they need it.

3. Listening Heals


My listening is healing.

It's a beautiful feeling.


Listening is the Superpower to Healing Your Kids' Emotions


"Your listening is the silent kiss your child loves." 

Listening heals. When you listen to your child with compassion, you help them to feel validated and understood. This can help them to heal from emotional pain and to cope with difficult experiences.

4. Listening Supports


My listening is supportive,
And the results are effective.

Listening Gives Your Child the Support System They Need

"Love is heard through the ears, not just the lips."

When you listen to your child with support, you offer them encouragement and guidance. This helps them to feel confident and capable, and it makes it more likely that they will succeed in life.


5. Listening Encourages


My listening is encouraging,
And my children are


Encouraging Parents Boost Their Children's Belief in Themselves

"Your listening is like a warm hug in your child's heart."

When you listen to your child with encouragement, you let them know that you believe in them. This helps them to develop a positive self-image and to achieve their goals.


6. Listening Bonds

My listening is bonding, 
And my children are responding.


Children Who Feel Heard and Respected by Their Parents Bond with Them


"Parents who listen are like hearts beating in harmony with their children."

 When you listen to your child with empathy, you create a strong connection between you and them. This helps your child to feel safe and loved, and it makes it more likely that they will thrive.

Based on this article, here is a little Quiz. Pick out the best answer:

When you listen to your child with care, you show them that you:

    1. Value their thoughts and feelings
    2. Love and support them
    3. Understand their perspective
    4. All the above

When you listen to your child with care you show 'd' All the above. 

Conclusion for Listening - Your Parenting Superpower

Listening is a skill that takes time and practice to develop. But it's one of the most important skills a parent can have. By listening to your child with care, understanding, and compassion, you can build a solid foundation for a happy and healthy relationship.

Your call to action: Pick out one of the 6 listening techniques to practice. Add a new one each week. Let me know the results.

This 50-second video The Key to Family Closeness is helpful when you don't have time to talk. Its tip is priceless.

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Thank you so much.

With warm wishes, 

Jean Tracy

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Empowering You to Parent with Heart - Effective Communication - 3 Ways

Dad and Son Faces
Parenting with Heart: Your Joyful Journey

Dear Parent!

Your heartfelt love creates an incredible journey with your child. It's filled with joy, laughter, and love. But let's face it, sometimes communicating with our children can be a challenge. We've all had those moments of not understanding their feelings and struggles.

Parenting Struggles:

We get it. Talking with your child can be tough. Balancing everyday life while staying tuned in to your child's world isn't always easy. Distractions, impatience, and finding the right balance between listening and guiding can hurt effective communication. But remember, you're not alone on this journey.


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Parents Face Challenges.


But don't worry! This post is here to help you overcome those struggles and strengthen the deep connection with your child through the power of parenting with heart by 'listening with heart.' 

Practical Tips for Listening with Heart:

  1. Be a Safe and Non-judgmental Parent:

Be a safe space where your child can freely express themselves. Here's how:

  • Look them in the eye.
  • Show open body language.
  • Give them your undivided attention.
  • Remember the 70/30 Rule: Listen 70%. Speak 30%.
  • Be open-minded and caring.

This builds trust and encourages your child to share their thoughts and feelings.

  1. Confirm and Empathize:
Mother loving daughter 1000
 Understand Your Child's Feelings


Support your child's feelings. Use phrases like:

  • "I understand how you feel."
  • "It's okay to feel that way."
  • "I'm sorry that happened."
  • "You seem happy."
  • "What's making you smile?"

By speaking in these ways, you show care and understanding.

Quote from a Child Therapist:

Dr. Haim G. Ginott, a respected child psychologist, once said, "Children are like wet cement. Whatever falls on them makes an impression." Your empathetic listening can leave a lasting positive impression on your child's emotional well-being.

  1. Strike the Balance:

Listening with heart doesn't mean being a passive listener. Your child looks up to you for guidance and support. Find the right balance by setting clear boundaries and expectations. Here are three guidelines:

  • Be Respectful: Listen without interruptions, giving each other time to express thoughts and expectations. Expect respect from your child too.
  • Pay Attention: Show you value the conversation by giving your full attention and removing distractions.
  • Encourage Positive Behavior: When children feel heard and confirmed, it encourages positive behavior. It helps them develop a powerful sense of self-worth. It also leads them to healthier relationships and decision-making.

Remember, offer gentle guidance without imposing solutions, and let your child explore their thoughts to find their answers.

A Boy Thinking 1000 4
"I Can Choose"


These guidelines empower children to engage in discussions, fostering understanding, respect, and effective communication. Follow these tips. Your children will share their thoughts and build a stronger relationship with you.

Remember, setting clear boundaries with children is an ongoing process that requires consistency, open communication, and understanding. It helps your child develop structure, responsibility, and respect for themselves and others.

Based on the content of this blog, here is a little quiz:

 Which of the following is NOT a practical tip for "listening with heart"?

  1. a) Show open body language.
  2. b) Use interruptions to guide the conversation.
  3. c) Listen 70% and speak 30%.
  4. d) Be open-minded and caring.

Answer: b) Use interruptions to guide the conversation.

Listening without interruptions is essential for "listening with heart." The other options (a, c, and d) are positive and effective strategies for connecting with your child.


By acknowledging the struggles and challenges of parenting, you can take steps to overcome them. "Listening with heart" is the key to a deeper connection with your child.

Embrace the practical strategies we've shared, create a safe space, affirm their emotions, strike the balance between listening and guiding, and explore creative avenues for communication.

Asian Girl Smiles 542
'Listening with Heart' Helps Her Bond with You


       Please listen - only 1 minute and 11 seconds.


Now, go and strengthen that special bond with your child through the magic of listening!

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Thank you so much.

With warm wishes, 

Jean Tracy

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15 Engaging Car Chats for Your Family Vacations

Car Conversations 2 450
Car Talk: Building Memories on the Road


Family vacations are an excellent opportunity for meaningful conversations with your children. Engaging in conversation starters allows your kids to express their thoughts. They give you a chance to understand their perspectives. Likewise, it provides a platform for your children to hear your thoughts as well.

In this blog post, we will explore a family's car chats. Use them to make your family vacations memorable and enjoyable for everyone. Pick up our fifteen conversation starters with your special code before you go.

Boy Watch Timing
Timing Family's Thoughts


Kickstart your conversations with a little friendly competition. Set a timer and allocate a specific duration. Two minutes for each person to speak is good. The rule is simple: "No Interrupting!"  These two techniques ensure that everyone gets a turn to express themselves.

Fact: Research shows that active listening and effective communication within families can strengthen bonds and enhance understanding.

Quote: “Family is not an important thing. It’s everything.” –Michael J. Fox

First Conversation Starter:

Boy Thinking Chin
Making Memories Together


Encourage thoughtful responses. Urge your child to think before they speak. This prompts the child to take a moment to organize their thoughts before starting the timer. It helps develop their communication skills and encourages mindful expression.

Metaphor: Just as a sculptor meticulously shapes their creation, let your child carefully sculpt their words before sharing their thoughts.

Quote: “The most important thing in the world is family and love.” –John Wooden

Second Conversation Starter:

Girl looking up Thinking
Using The Power of Visualization


Stimulate the power of visualization by asking your child to imagine their response before speaking. This technique allows them to tap into their creativity and promotes imaginative thinking. It adds a fun twist to the conversation, making it engaging for everyone involved.

Conversation Tip:

If a member wishes to choose a previous person's topic, time them for two minutes to provide equal speaking opportunities. This fun twist adds a touch of excitement and ensures everyone's ideas are heard.

Quote: “To us, family means putting your arms around each other and being there.” –Barbara Bush

Third Conversation Starter:

Fostering Family Communication and Interest


Reflect on your earliest memory and share why it has remained significant to you. This question allows Mom to take a nostalgic journey, reminiscing about a special moment from her past. The family gets to learn something about Mom they never knew.

Quote: “Family gives you the roots to stand tall and strong.”

Fourth Conversation Starter:

 Uniting Families through Shared Stories



Explore what Dad loves most about the family and why. This prompt encourages Dad to express his appreciation for the unique qualities and bonds shared within the family unit.

Are you going on a family trip, enjoying a car ride, or spending a cozy night at home? These conversation openers can create a warm and engaging atmosphere within your family. Remember, the key is to have fun and cherish the moments spent together.

To make our fifteen conversation starters (below) easily accessible, consider placing them in an envelope, a glove compartment, purse, or a backpack. Why? To ensure they are within reach whenever a conversation inspiration strikes.

Enjoy our enhanced conversation starters. Explore the enriching conversations that await you!

Conversation Starters Conclusion:

Utilizing conversation starters during family vacations can create cherished memories and foster meaningful connections. They give each family member an equal chance to express their thoughts. These conversation starters enhance communication within the family unit. So, make sure to pack the free conversation starters below for your next trip or even a cozy night at home. Remember, a happy family vacation is all about having fun together.

Fact: Engaging in regular family conversations has been linked to improved child development and overall family well-being.

Quote: “The only rock I know that stays steady, the only institution I know that works, is the family.” –Lee Iacocca

Don't miss out! Visit and enter the code "CAR" to download all fifteen conversation starters for free. Also, feel free to comment and share this post with your friends on social media.

You might also like to learn more about travel benefits for children from my friend, John Bramer:

Family Travel: The Positive Developmental Impact of Travel on Kids

It's an easy delightful read and matches our ideas nicely.

With warm wishes,

Jean Tracy

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This Mom Can't Listen - 5 Harmful Mistakes, 5 Easy Solutions

1 mom and daughter
Why won't this daughter listen?

Parents, who cannot listen, are the worst communicators. They cannot teach effective communication because they don’t practice it. 

Hey there! Are you someone who argues instead of listening to your child? Many parents do. Yet, listening is your most important parenting tool. Don't worry, if you decide to, you can always improve it. There are some habits you might have to brush aside before becoming a good listener.

Today I will share:

5 listening mistakes to avoid

5 simple listening habits to increase

1 simple formula for being your child's best counselor

3 fun listening activities for your family. 

5 Harmful Listening Habits to Avoid as a Parent:

Mom asking us to be quiet

Do you ever:

  1. Interrupt your child?
  2. Discount your child's opinions?
  3. Dismiss your child's feelings?
  4. Criticize your child?
  5. Lecture your child?

Don't be overly concerned because here are 5 easy listening habits that you can use right now. They'll quickly improve your listening skills.

5 Listening Habits to Learn, Practice, and Model:

Black Dad Discussing
Father and Son Communicating


  1. Look your child in the eye.
  2. Focus on what they are saying.
  3. Remember the key points.
  4. Repeat those points in your words.
  5. Ask questions to better understand your child.

By practicing these skills, you'll become a better listener. You'll be teaching your child good communication skills too. 

Become Your Child's Best Counselor:

Do you know why counselors are loved by their clients? It's because they are good listeners. They practice the 5 good habits. They also include the 70% Law of Communication, meaning, they listen 70% and speak 30%. As a parent, strive to speak less, listen more, and appreciate your child's thoughts and feelings. As you progress, notice how your relationship with your child strengthens. You'll become your child's best counselor too.

Here are 3 activities to make 'listening' a priority in your family: 

3 Activities for Family Listening:

  1. Post a ‘Listening Habit of the Week’ on your refrigerator. Practice that habit in your home and outside your family. ‘Catch your children being good’ with a compliment when they listen well. 
  2. The Morning Forecast: Tell your child, “Name something you’re looking forward to today.” The Evening Review: Ask, "What are some things you are grateful about today?"
  3. Create free time each day and turn off technology. Use this time to discuss both your day and your child's day. Practice the 70% Law. 

Make 'Listening' a priority in your family. Listening Works!


Video - Short Clip - 1.11 minutes 

Sometimes pictures do speak 1,000 words. What do you think?

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With warm wishes, 

Jean Tracy

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Parenting Tip List - Teaching Kids to Judge Character

Mother and Daughter Discussion 2

Mother and Daughter Discussing Character

Judging character is easy to teach. Coach your child to see how a person acts and hear what she says. Is the other kind, honest, and respectful? Or is she rude, unkind, and dishonest?

Training Your Child to Look for the Good 

Good Character is about being honest and having strong moral values. You can trust an honest person. But a dishonest person signals the red alert, "He lies. I can't trust him." The following questions open your child's eyes to finding good character in others.

Parenting Tip List - How to Ask about Character: 

Consider using these discussions around the kitchen table, in the car, or at bedtime.

1. Reject fault-finding in classmates.

  • How can the habit of finding fault in others hurt you?
  • How could fault-finding lead to gossip?
  • What do you think about gossiping?

How Could Gossip Hurt Him?
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  1. Explore the Qualities of Character:
  • How would you describe someone with a weak character?
  • What are signs of a good character?
  • How would you recognize the good character in others?

   3. Help Your Child Make Friends with Kids of Good Character:

  • How can you be friendly?
  • How can you have fun?
  • How can you be appreciative?
  1. Practice Praising a Classmate's Good Character:


Boy and Girl Praising 450
Girl Enjoying a Compliment


  • Pick a classmate to praise.
  • What would you say? Let’s practice. 
  • Share it with your classmate and tell me what happened.
  • Who will you praise next?

Help your child listen to a classmate's words and see how she acts. He'll be assessing the 'content of her character.' It can influence him about who to avoid and who to choose as a friend. 

Guide your child to 'look for the good' in others. He will find it because you opened his eyes to see and his ears to hear.



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Jean Tracy

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"Stop Tattling!" - 5 Parenting Tips with Video

Tattletale mom frustrated
Tattletale Frustration

Are your tattletales driving you batty? Do you want the tattling to stop? Check out the 5 discussions below. Then listen to the 37-second video for a simple solution.


Discussion about Tattling

Tattletale smile
Tattletale Trouble Maker

With your child, discuss the list below. Ask whether the tattler wants to get help for his sibling or get her in trouble. Then say, "Tell me more."

  1. Mom, she ate all the ice cream.
  2. Dad, he didn’t help me clean the garage.
  3. Mom, her nose won’t stop bleeding.
  4. Dad, he scratched your new car on purpose.
  5. Mom, he poked his eye with a stick.                                      Which tattle gave a motive for the other sibling’s behavior? Did you need more details about any of the tattles? What tattletale complaints frustrate you in your home? Discuss them too.
IStock_000002491462Xfamily singing
This Tip Gets Kids Thinking


Best Parenting Tip for Tattles

This short video clip gives parents one excellent parenting tip for dealing with tattletales. Discuss its solution.

Use the solution whenever one of your children tattles. Be consistent. Let me know the outcome.

If you want more in-depth help - How Parents Stop Kids From Tattling on Sibs.

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Jean Tracy

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Turn Your Sad Child into a Happy Thinker – 5 Easy Steps

Frustrated boy SMALL
"Nobody likes me."


This sad boy talks to himself constantly. He tells himself self-pity thoughts. Find out how to help him.
People talk to themselves a lot. Often, they’re not aware of what they tell themselves.
When their thoughts are happy and healthy, they feel strong and positive.
When their thoughts are sad and filled with self-pity, they feel weak and miserable.

Girl laughing
You CAN help your child choose how to think.


How can you help your child become

a strong happy thinker? Here’s how:

Pick up your free Happy Thinker Exercise at  Insert the code word - THINKER and download your gift.

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With warm wishes, 

Jean Tracy

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Family Vacations - 15 Conversations for Carefree Travelers



Conversation starters are perfect for vacations. Children get to speak, and you get to hear what they really think. Your kids get to hear what you think too.

Boy watch time
"One, Two, Three -GO!"


Time how long each person speaks. One minute is good for starters. 

Rule: No interrupting!

The first speaker picks his conversation from an envelope (see below). No peeking!


Boy 800
This child is thinking before he speaks.



The timer starts only when the speaker starts. When the speaker is finished, the group may ask him questions or give their opinions.

He then chooses the next person to speak. (Make sure everyone has a turn.)



This girl is visualizing her answer first.


If a member wants their turn to be a previous person’s topic, time them for one minute. Then that person picks the next speaker.


Mom is thinking whether to answer this question or the
previous one.


Note. The group can use the same conversation opener for everyone. Otherwise, each member can pick their own conversation. .


Dad is smiling as he thinks.


Put the Conversation Starters in an envelope, purse, or backpack. Make them easy to find.

Whether you're going on a trip, a car ride, or a fun night at home, use these conversation openers. They're a great way to feel warm and cozy as a family. Remember, if f your having fun, your doing it right.

Get all 15 conversations starters. Insert code: CAR and download at  - They're FREE!


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Jean Tracy

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Dr. King's Dream - How Kids Choose Praise Over Gossip

Typepad Kids 624


Gossip and Looking for the Worst in Others

Meet Alexa and Tony. Both are gossipy 10 year-olds. They like bad-mouthing the kids in their 5th grade. It helps them feel superior. 

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"He thinks he's so cool." 


Alexa: Did you see Noah's glasses?

Tony: "So ugly!"

Alexa: “I agree.”

Tony: "Nobody likes him."

Alexa: "He thinks he so cool."

Tony: “Yah. He has the biggest house in town.”

Alexa: “They have 2 Teslas in their garage.”

Tony: "He’s so spoiled. He gets everything he wants."

Alexa: "Right! I hate hearing him brag about his video games."

Because Noah had more toys, the biggest house, and expensive cars, they felt envious. They told themselves, “I’m not spoiled like Noah. I’m better than him.” 

If looking for the worst in others become a habit, Alexa and Tony could become gossipy adults.


 Praise and Looking for the Best in Others

Diverse Boys Computer 725
Calvin Complimenting Noah


Meet Calvin. He’s in the same 5th grade as Alexa and Tony.

His easy laughter and friendly smiles draw kids to him. 

Noah asked Calvin to his birthday party. Noah didn’t invite Alexa and Tony. Calvin noticed that mostly adults and few classmates attended. 

“I like how you made your invitations, Noah, especially with your cat pawing the cake. Would you help me draw like you?" 

Later, Calvin asked if they could play video games.

Calvin Choosing Praise Over Gossip

When they finished, Calvin told Noah, “You're good at making those car racing decisions.” Everybody agreed. Noah felt like he was starting to fit in. He smiled at Calvin for helping him.

Calvin looks for the good and finds it. He shared it with Noah too.

Other students sense Calvin's positivity and want to be his friend.

If Calvin makes "looking for the good" a habit, he could become an effective leader today and in the future.


What Do You Think?

How did Alexa's and Tony’s mindsets differ from Calvin’s?

Who, in your judgment, had the better attitude?

If you chose Calvin’s attitude, check out the following Slide Share.


Dr. Martin Luther King's Dream - How Kids Pay It Forward

In this slide share you’ll find 3 ways to seek and share the good in others. And 3 ways to seek the good outside the family. My Family Compliment Weekend, a special technique, is waiting inside for you.

Watch Now!


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Jean Tracy

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