■ Create a Stick to It Award. Marilyn Waters, a mom of four kids from Seattle, Washington, decided to emphasize effort with her four kids. In a spur-of-the-moment bit of inspiration, she cut off an old broomstick and printed "Stick to It Award" across the dowel with a black marking pen. She then told everyone to be on the alert for family members showing special persistence for the coming month. Each night before bedtime, she held a family gathering to announce the names of family members who didn't give up and to print their initials on the stick with marking pen. She also made sure to tell the recipients exactly what they did to deserve the award. Soon her kids were nominating each other's efforts, and they decided to begin a family contest to see how long it took to fill the stick with their initials. Marilyn said her kids loved counting how often their initials appeared on the stick! Best yet, it reminded her to look for her kids' efforts and not just to focus on how things turned out in the end.
■ Develop a family effort motto. Jennifer Kapler, a mom of three in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, conveyed the message about effort to her children so successfully that they spent an afternoon together brainstorming family mottoes about effort, such as, "Try, try, and try again and then you will win," "In this family, we always do our personal best," and "It's not if you win or lose but rather how you play the game." They wrote them on index cards, and her kids taped them on their bedroom walls. Develop your own family motto as a reminder that a critical piece of your family code of behavior is always to do your best.
you practice, the easier it will be." "Keep it up—don't stop!" "The harder you try, the more successful you'll be."
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