Friday, May 3, 2013

Praise for the Children

Parents should take every opportunity to praise their children for a job well done. Teens know that it is our job as parents to praise them so they may not always take us seriously. It is very cool as a parent to have adults that are interacting with our teens give them positive feedback.

Every market a handful of customers will take the time to stop and tell Lisa or I about something good our teens have done. The kids always have a big smile and stand a little taller when someone tells us about the good job they have done. For example:
  • Cooking is becoming a lost art and we do quite a bit of explaining how to use herbs or vegetables. Our kitchen becomes a summer time laboratory for new ideas and things that our customers share with us. But it isn't unusual for one of our customers to stop by and thank us for a new recipe or preparation technique shared by our children.
  • We teach our teens to always give the customer the benefit of the doubt.  Andrea sold several buckets full of sunflowers to a lady for a weekend party a couple of years ago. The lady stopped by the next week and told her that the flowers were fine for the party but lost some their perkiness during the week. Sunflowers typically will only keep a week under the best of conditions. But Andrea replaced all of them. This lady is a life long customer and still reminds us of how well Andrea handled that situation. This is a lesson Andrea will never forget.
  • Our teens are recognized as a resource and having a high level subject matter expertise. They get asked questions about the 75 different varieties of vegetables we grow all summer long. If they don't know the answer they go look it up. So when one of our customers compliments them they have earned that praise.
  • We do a lot of weird things like make charcoal from wood on the farm.  Reed helped me make charcoal so was able to explain what we did. The customers thought it was fun hearing him and he enjoyed getting the credit for his contribution. I haven't met a teen boy yet that didn't like building a good bonfire (safely of course), which is part of the process of making charcoal.

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