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As BeninSC and I were conversing last night (this whole collaborative approach to diary writing is FUN!) I admitted that I was having a tough time coming up with a topic. I've got a lot of stresses on my plate, none of which are diary fodder for any number of reasons, and my Muse abandoned me for some early summer fun, apparently. She hadn't even left me a music diary hiding under the desktop clutter. Then my email (remember that, kids?) dinged, and a link to a wonderful parenting article was enclosed.  Basically, Ben said to take a look and see if it sparked anything. Lo, it did! Follow me below the orange pom-pon fold after a word from our sponsor...

Here at Top Comments we strive to nourish community by rounding up some of the site's best, funniest, most mojo'd & most informative commentary, and we depend on your help!! If you see a comment by another Kossack that deserves wider recognition, please send it either to topcomments at gmail or to the Top Comments group mailbox by 9:30pm Eastern. Please please please include a few words about why you sent it in as well as your user name (even if you think we know it already :-)), so we can credit you with the find!  

The article was titled A Simple Tool for a More Positive Home and grew out of one parent's realization that constant correction, criticism and disapproval under the guise of "good intentions" was extraordinarily detrimental to her children's emotional well-being. From the piece:

But that all changed the day my youngest daughter laid down her ukulele in the middle of a practice session. After much parental scrutiny and disapproval for the way she was playing, she just stopped. As if surrendering to a battle she could never win, my child said seven words I won’t forget as long as I live. “I just want to be good, Mama.”

I just want to be good.

My child, who has a genuine talent for playing the ukulele and an inherent love of singing, thought she was no good. And it was because of me—my critical words, my constant suggestions, and my disapproving looks. I had practically convinced myself that the corrections were building her up—when in reality, they were breaking her down.

What this parent did was to decide to, in her words, Notice The Positive. She filled a large jar with fuzzy craft pom-pons, set out jars for each of her children. Here's how it worked:
“This is The Warm Fuzzy Jar,” I explained. “Whenever you do something helpful or kind, you place a pom-pom ball in your designated jar because kind and helpful acts make people feel good, like a warm fuzzy.” The girls looked at each other with wide eyes and big smiles, so I continued. “And if you are doing something helpful together or just getting along nicely, you can put two pom-poms in your designated jar. And when your jar becomes full, you can choose something special for you and I to do together.”

The article goes on to describe how the kids got into doing good... AND how the author started noticing the good her kids did. It explicitly explains that "deliberate misbehavior, disobedience, or actions that could be potentially dangerous or harmful" are NOT to be ignored or allowed. It's a way to build kids up instead of seeing always the mistakes, faults and shortcomings.

I like this idea a great deal, most likely because I am guilty of Noticing The Negative far, FAR too often. K2 is thoroughly enjoying watching World Cup; I notice the shouts and talking to the TV instead of his enthusiasm. I notice my children fighting; rarely do I notice the hours of peaceful exchange, companionship and mutual love and support they have for and with each other. I see the faults in others too easily; their strengths and unique wonders, not so quickly.

I hear my children emulate my tone. Not the SuperWonderfulSupportiveMommy tone... the other one. The one that dresses them down instead of building them up.  I would much rather prefer to Notice The Good instead.

How about you? Are you someone who builds others up, or more frequently brings them down? Do you feel as thought the world notices your positive moments, or lays in wait for a bad day or an unskillful choice?

Anyone want a pom-pon? BeninSC deserves a jarful for unfailingly being kind, patient, and uplifting. And especially for kicking my writer's block to the curb!

Brillig's ObDisclaimer: The decision to publish each nomination lies with the evening's Diarist and/or Comment Formatter. My evenings at the helm, I try reeeeallllyy hard to publish everything without regard to content. I really do, even when I disagree personally with any given nomination. "TopCommentness" lies in the eyes of the nominator and of you, the reader - I leave the decision to you. I do not publish self-nominations (ie your own comments) and if I ruled the world, we'd all build community, supporting and uplifting instead of tearing our fellow Kossacks down.

From Steveningen:
In BeninSC's excellent Top Comments diary last night, gizmo59 had some choice words for the religious right and their desire to tell the rest of us how to live our lives.
From Puddytat:
There's a whole lot of truth in this one, from psnyder.
From Dave in Northridge:
Wisper adds some very good advice about writing  at Daily Kos, in Steven D's already excellent diary of advice to new Kossacks, Also flagged by Portia Elm.
From Wee Mama:
The meta thread to end all meta threads, begun by delver rootnose.
From Yours Truly, brillig:
Hunter brings us another tale of Tea Party Hypocrisy. bosdcla14 cuts to the chase and MargaretPOA was kind enough to share her draft notes.

Pluto has this comment and the reply graphic which imho everyone needs to see. From David Harris Gershon's Detroit Shutting Off Water to Thousands Every Week as Desperate Citizens Appeal to U.N. for Help.

Top Mojo for yesterday, June 23rd, first comments and tip jars excluded. Thank you mik for the mojo magic! For those of you interested in How Top Mojo Works, please see his diary FAQing Top Mojo.
  1) Whenever you call the police by shmuelman — 198
  2) Like the homeless man in Albuquerque by weezilgirl — 163
  3) Wonderful image! by offgrid — 157
  4) Having been in this situation before with an by BluejayRN — 120
  5) If there's a single chance a cop might... by CanisMaximus — 119
  6) what a family by Karl Rover — 115
  7) I had a snarky response ready to go, but by CwV — 113
  8) I'll say this much, those police are total by inclusiveheart — 112
  9) Why did the cops have to subdue him? by bobdevo — 110
10) So I have to learn Latin ? by indycam — 105
11) Maybe they didn't need to subdue him at all. by Boundegar — 104
12) Not my problem! by kos — 99
13) The big question: by Crashing Vor — 99
14) Seriously?!?!? by CwV — 98
15) Nice!  Thanks for sharing. by julesrules39 — 92
16) This is a big reason why I think some of by Pluto — 90
17) They should be required to attach their names by cai — 89
18) There were 6 cops. They easily could have lifted by viral — 79
19) What kind of people are police hiring who can't by GeorgeBurnsWasRight — 78
20) There's never any shortage of complainers by milkbone — 76
21) Often people call 911 thinking that paramedics by grover — 75
22) It wuz squirrly frum teh start by Horsefeathers — 70
23) I think this is exactly what MB means when he says by blueyescryinintherain — 70
24) and is Lorem Ipsum a stochastic terroristâ„¢ /nt by annieli — 70
25) .... by Horsefeathers — 67
26) Thanks as always Jesselyn. This amoral memo by PhilJD — 67
27) ... by Horsefeathers — 66
28) Theyre not even trying to make shit up by DrTerwilliker — 64
29) The future we all hoped for. by Susan from 29 — 64
30) I tink it wuz fer poppin' by Horsefeathers — 63

Top Pictures for yesterday, June 23rd.  Click any picture of a cat to be taken to the full comment. Thank you jotter for the image magic!
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