As we look to celebrate Absolutely Incredible Kid Day this week, we are also reflecting on the importance of celebration in general as a way to instill confidence, publicly acknowledge efforts and accomplishments, and promote work towards goals.  The distinction between a special treat and a celebration is small, but significant.  A celebration is linked to something specific, such as completing a goal, trying something new, or sharing in someone’s accomplishment.  At Camp Fire, we regularly celebrate youth within our programs and incorporate celebration into our routines.  With celebrations built into your family routines, you have the opportunity to acknowledge each individual in the family, highlight growth, and support each other’s aspirations.

It is important to remember to celebrate effort as much as accomplishment, so youth can feel good about trying new things, even if they struggle.  An act of celebration for overcoming a fear, trying something new, or making a small step towards a larger goal is a great way to put a positive spin on something that might be hard for youth and can help them build confidence to take the next small step.  Adding in these celebrations elevates the small successes in our memories to drown out negative self talk and create a family culture of positive reflection.

As a way to stay committed to larger goals, mini celebrations of completed steps towards a goal coupled with a grand finale when the goal is accomplished is a great way for the whole family to support one member.  This is a scaffolded approach to completing a larger or more long term goal by identifying the necessary steps to get there.  If you can involve siblings in the celebrations, they may even become more invested in helping their brothers or sisters succeed in their goals!

Celebrations can be tagged on to any of your regular weekly traditions, such as pizza night, or movie night.  Just include a moment for each person in the family to share what they are celebrating this week.  Or go deeper with a growth mindset and ask everyone to celebrate a failure for the week as well!  Failing also deserves celebration, as it reminds youth (and adults!) that the process of trying new things or working at something over a longer time is an important part of growth and development.  

So, as you are reflecting on how Absolutely Incredible a kid in your life is this week, take a moment to think about how you and your family celebrate each other.  And don’t forget to celebrate yourself!  It is not only great for you to acknowledge your own accomplishments, but it is great modeling too! 

Looking for specific celebration ideas? Check out this list of 6 simple ways to celebrate your child’s accomplishments.