Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Scouting badges, challenges and rewards

Over at my other blog (the newly tricked out lauravanderkam.com) I posted the other day about the "Merit Badge Mindset." As a junior Girl Scout years ago, I used to love looking through the badge book and choosing projects that I could do without a huge field trip. There was something so neatly satisfying about undertaking a challenge, checking off different components of it, and then having some concrete proof of mastery.

Wouldn't it be nice if more of life was like that?

I've been thinking about the topic in the context of parenting. It's easy to have a neutral or sour attitude toward many of the challenges we face in family life. As parents and as kids. But when you've got a merit badge mindset, it's very different. You want to do a good job, and to proudly display your achievement (even if, to be honest, most other people don't notice. It's not like anyone was counting the badges on my Girl Scout vest!)

I've thought of a few merit badges I, personally, would like to display:

* The getting all three kids into the car by 8:45 a.m. without raising my voice badge
* The balanced meal on the table even though I didn't feel like it badge
* The still using a dramatic voice upon the tenth reading of Madeline badge
* The willingness to answer 15 "but why?" questions in a row badge

What about you? What kinds of merit badges would you want to display? What kinds of merit badges do you think your kids would want to earn?

4 comments:

musicartwords said...

My kids are nearly grown now, but I love this! We beat ourselves up so many times, when we need to realize that we are doing the best we can with what we have every day, and multiple times a day.
The best "badge" I have earned so far? The day my 15 year old VERY strong-willed (15 "but why?" questions before breakfast) daughter told me she was glad I put boundaries in place for her. Yes, it DOES happen sometimes!
Thank you for this post.

L Johnson said...

My badge for the umteenth time I don't understand the way you think but will respect it and go with it even though it is very different from us.

Raising a Happy Child said...

Great post. I would like to earn "not criticizing daughter quite so much" badge and "letting her lead" badge.

Rae said...

I would like a "has worked 12 hours a day with no days off on very interrupted sleep for two years with a non-stop son" badge. =)