Never fully dressed without a smile!

If Annie is right about that then I suppose I am half naked quite a bit of the time.

I knew smiling would be kind of hard, but it was even more difficult than I suspected. However, I thought about it so much that I know I did smile more than usual, and I think it made a difference. Not that I never smile, but things have been pretty hard around here lately and that’s when I find it near impossible.

It was easy to smile when the kids were being adorable and obedient and helpful. It was a lot harder when they were fighting and I was at the end of my rope. But, guess what? When I did smile in those situations, my kids were much easier to deal with. That alone convinced me to keep it up.

And I will.

This week’s goal is Plentiful Praise: Catch your children in the act of being good and envelop them in well-deserved praise.

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When I remember to use plentiful (meaningful) praise at home and at school, it truly does make a difference.

Thanks for the reminder. I especially need it for school the next 5 days.


Smiling IS hard to do sometimes! I’m not a very good faker at emotions I’m not feeling. One of my tricks is to think of something unrelatedly happy, or something good about the other person to smile about. It works for me sometimes!


Lara, as I’m a pretty strict mom, I love how I catch my kids off guard when I break up their little tiffs with a frowny face, not say anything then a big grin. It helps them forget what they were fighting about.

That’s not to say I’m a master of it. I tend to hide a lot instead! LOL


I ironically find it pretty easy to smile away from home when I am mingling with work friends or when I am at church. But the guard comes down sometimes when I am home and can be myself.

Good luck in all of your “stuff” right now.


What a great idea. To look at the more positive things that the kids are doing. As mothers, it is easy to be a nit pick mode. No fair for them.


Smiling is difficult when you are an onerey old fart like me!! (0;

I am going to watch my kids for this. I know with my son it won’t be difficult–he is a giver and helper. My girls are still learning from his example (or I hope they are).


I’m gonna try and smile more, too! Thanks for that.


Ya know it’s definitely a lot easier to put that smile on when we go out into public. Keeping that happy face for our family can be a challenge at times. Sad but true.
Thanks for sharing this little tidbit that really CAN make a big difference in a day. I am going to be more concientious about it today. I appreciate your thoughts this morning Lara.

Annette Lyon

Good advice when summer vacation starts in oh, about an hour.


Worthy goal.

Kristina P.

I will be smilling a lot, come next week.


Man I need to get that book!!


Does a teeth-baring snarl count? If so, I’m the cheeriest gal in the world!

But you’re right; as much as we enjoy the momentum a good mad gives us, things usually turn out better (and we can live with ourselves) if we can defuse the situation with a perspective-altering smile.

You’re awesome. Hope you’re doing OK.

Melanie Jacobson

I’m jumping right on this bandwagon.


Keep up the good work!! I probably don’t smile as much as I’d ought to either. I get frustrated way too easily, especially lately. Maybe I ought to give the goal a try too.


that’s all.


I was working yesterday and had my sample cart set up near the registers where people coming into the store would see me. I did my best to smile at everyone and greet most people the entire day. It was interesting to see the different responses from people. Most would smile back even if they hadn’t been smiling before they saw me and the transformation was heart warming. But there were quite a few who would keep their scowls and walk quickly past, that was sad…


That is a good goal. If we only pay attention to our kids when they are being naughty, we teach them to be naughty more frequently. If we notice when they are being good and praise them for it, they will try to be good more often.

Thank you!


I do well for weeks at a time when I make it a goal to be nicer. I’m in one of those weeks right now — trying to be nice when really I’m super cranky.


Who CARES what they’re wearing from main street to saville row (is that even the words?… boy, I do love that musical).


So much easier said than done. Especially when the kids are fighting or talking back. Makes me want to lock myself in the bathroom and scream!
I’ll have to try your approach and smile!


I read something (once–somewhere) that you have to say ten positive things to your kids to undo the damage of one negative thing. Makes one stop and think, doesn’t it?


I think I should have got that book many years ago. What wonderful words and advice. Cherish every second you have with your children even when they aren’t making you very happy… they will be gone from your home before you know it. Both of my children have chosen to live with their dad in Cedar City, so I will not have the joys of kids around my home very often. It makes me sad and wish that I would have had these reminding words long ago… to maybe set the stage for a much happier home.


I grew up with a mama who was a deep well of praise and positive thinking. I’m grateful and astounded at her happy tenacity with us five kids, now that I have 4 of my own and find smiling an actual chore (gasp!) some days. 😉

PS: Joy seems to be the topic of the week! Something’s in the water for certain. 😉 (I blogged about it as well!)

Loralee and the gang...

I love the Plentiful Praise idea! It IS so easy to be grumpy and sharp with the people you love the most. That’s just taking for granted that they’ll love you anyway, and how is that fair? I need to do a better job. Thanks for the inspiration.


For what it’s worth, I think you smile alot.

Game night was fun as usual-

Have so much fun on your cruise!!! Jealous!!!